As you look around for a content management system for your website, you’ll notice that there are actually open source, free CMS options out there. If you’re fiscally minded, then you’re probably already doing some research into these systems and wondering if you should save money on a CMS and spend it elsewhere in your budget.
However, while free is always good, in most cases you really do get what you pay for.
Let’s explore a few of the pros and cons of free and paid content management systems.
First of all, as you look around online for a CMS provider, you’ll see that a lot of them offer free options for their services.
However, when you look a little bit closer, you’ll see that these are highly limited. If you want to get their premium tools, features, and services, you’ll have to pay for them.
Essentially, these providers offer a limited free package because they expect customers to see the advantages they’ll get with a paid service and opt for the premium (paid) package after they become frustrated with the limitations on their free service.
So what kinds of services are you missing out on if you go with a free CMS?
Are you just going to be missing a few premium templates, or are you going to be excluded from using services and features that really matter to you and your business?
One of the most prominent limitations on a free content management system is your domain name. If you aren’t paying your CMS provider, your site will almost invariably be hosted on their domain. Instead of having a web address like, http://www.[YourCompanyName].com, you’ll have something like http://[YourCompanyName].[YourCMSProvider].com.
This kind of URL looks unprofessional, and it immediately gives away that you’re using a free service.
People visiting your site will assume that you are not invested enough in your business to pay for premium services, and they won’t be likely to take you very seriously.
Likewise, if you choose a free CMS and you want to add functionalities like a shopping cart, checkout system, and other dynamic tools, you’re likely going to have to find a third-party application for them.
Instead, with a paid service like Umbrella CMS, you won’t have to go hunting for third-party apps. Now, you can count on your CMS provider to offer all of the built-in functionalities that you need to create and manage a fully operational and scalable site.
Curious about what you can get with a good paid CMS? Try a free demo of Umbrella CMS today and see what a paid service can do for you.
You’ve taken the time and energy to create an attractive and functional website for your company. You’ve studied SEO tricks and tips, and you know to use keywords naturally and never to sacrifice quality content for keyword stuffing.
You should also know that local citations are incredibly important to your search engine optimization, too, and that your SEO job isn’t done when you finish creating your website.
Local citations on data aggregator sites and business listings can help push you up in the ranks of SERPs (search engine results pages) for both Google and Bing. With the right citations, you can get a real jump on your competition, and here’s why…
Google and Bing both use a number of algorithms to determine the ranking on their search results. While location-based searches have long been a big factor in SERP rankings, mobile technology is making location even more important.
Because the developers at Google and Bing understand that people who are searching for businesses on their smartphones and tablets often do so while they’re on the go. They’re searching for the services and products they need in a very specific area because they’re already headed out the door or are in the car looking for the closest place where they can finish running their errands.
As a result, when someone in your area performs a search for a keyword associated with your business, the search engine is going to find your website.
How high your site appears on the SERPs, though, depends on how many local citations the search engine hit on when it found your site.
So, if you appear in numerous business listings in the area, you’re going to show up a good deal higher in the ranks than you would if you weren’t listed.
When you list your business name, URL, physical address, and phone number with large business listings online, you’re going to see more traffic on your site.
When you look at your analytics tools, you’ll probably notice that a lot of that traffic is coming from mobile devices.
If you have a mobile-friendly site that shows people why they should visit your business and why they should choose your products or services, you’re very likely going to notice an increase in sales and physical traffic to your location. That’s because people searching for the products and services you offer while they’re in your area are going to find you before they find other businesses.
Of course, to get the benefits of local citations, you’re going to need to ensure that all of your data is accurate and that it’s pushed to the biggest listings possible. That’s where you can benefit from a service that does it all for you.
Umbrella Consultants has developed a service that completely automates your local citations and listings.
You just need to supply Umbrella Local partnered with Outer Banks Concierge with your business info, and they’ll push it to all of the most important listings to get you better search results rankings. Then, if you need to make changes, update the info in your account and your listings will be updated for you. It’s simple, easy, and great for driving more business your way.
Try it today and see how much more traffic you can get.
Effective SEO today goes far beyond the old days of keyword optimization. While keywords are still important, as they’re the basis for all Google and Bing searches, they aren’t the only SEO factor driving traffic to your site. In fact, it can be argued that external citations are just as important as internal keyword use.
When you Google your business, where does it show up in the results page? If it’s not first, you have an SEO problem. Basically, this shows that your business doesn’t have enough credibility online to allow Google to place it first in the ranks. Simply getting local citations with your business’ name, address, and phone number on a few data aggregators, business listings, and/or review sites could solve this problem.
Not only that, but local listings can also increase your search results rankings when people search for keywords related to your business. This is basically because your listings give you more credibility with Google and Bing.
Think of it this way, when you see a company you’ve never heard of before offering great prices on a service you want, what are you going to do? Well, if you’re like most people today, you’re going to Google them. If they don’t have any online presence or a weak presence, you’re probably going to assume that the deal is too good to be true and move on to a seller with more of a presence.
The same thing happens with Google and Bing’s search algorithms. If they see you represented on multiple trusted listings, then you’re going to get a higher ranking in search results. And, as we all know, the higher you are in the ranks, the more likely people are to click on your site.
At the same time, just as in the example above, your customers will see your name and address in listing and review sites they trust. As a result, they’ll start to become more familiar with your name and more trusting of you as a business, and they’ll be more likely to click on your site instead of your competition.
Local listings also do a lot for local-specific searches, especially for mobile searches. When users search for a type of business, product, or service on their mobile devices, search engines use their location to make the best, most convenient recommendations.
They don’t just base their results rankings on location and proximity, though. Your competition might be right next door to a customer looking for your products or services, but if you have more local listings, your business will likely show up first in the search results.
Getting local citations and listings for your business can be tedious and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.
With Umbrella Local, you can sign up for your business' listing management service that allows you to enter your information once and have it pushed to all of the major listing sites and aggregators to get you more traffic and better search results rankings. Try it out and see what local listings can do for your business.