Given the rapid adoption of internet-based services, small businesses are becoming increasingly tech-driven, opting to deliver a seamless customer experience through their use of websites and online platforms.
Digital tools and resources have seen small businesses generate an unthinkable amount of online content through which they engage and interact with consumers, and tap into new markets that were previously outside their scope of practice.
Though several mechanisms help link the business with the customer, in many instances, it’s seen that websites and ecommerce channels remain a stronghold for business owners looking to generate new leads, build a customer base and increase profits.
Websites Still Backbone of Digital Experience for SMBs
A majority of small businesses have been found using websites, or similar platforms as a method of communication and brand development. Research suggests that roughly 21% of small businesses had a website in 2021, a steady increase from the 50% recorded in 2018.
And these websites are crucial for several factors. From brand visibility and search engine ranking, establish authority and convert sales.
While these systems can help communicate brand identity, it’s also brought another set of problems for business owners who are not well-versed in coding or website content management.
At the onset of the digital revolution, content management systems (CMS) — or Web CMS — now bridge the gap between the owner and the digital content projects. Today, Web CMS is more than a no-coding-required solution for business owners and other individuals, but rather a chain of advanced technological software systems that helps to document, control, process and resolve traditional content management issues.
Widespread adoption now sees more than 73 million websites being built with Web CMS, generating a market value size of just over $62.4 billion according to recent statistics.
The constantly developing ecosystem delivers a complex selection of Web CMS tools and services, and business owners often end up making the wrong choice.
Here are five common mistakes that owners should avoid when choosing a Web CMS solution for their small businesses.
Related Article: 14 Rules for Selecting the Right Content Management System
Not Aligning Website Problems With Goals
Oftentimes business owners will choose a Web CMS solution that sounds like it will resolve several website-related issues, but in reality, turns out to be missing key problems and not functioning based on primary business goals.
The issue is not necessarily with the Web CMS solution, but often the fact that owners have not properly analyzed their website needs. More so, it’s also a case of not having direct business goals that can be aligned with the website function.
Actionable advice: To avoid this, business owners should establish what their business needs and goals are, and select a content management system based on these principles. Additionally, it’s also important to have a website strategy that can help improve the functionality of the website as the business grows.
Thinking Too Big Too Soon
With a number of features, plug-ins and add-ons, Web CMS solutions are designed to resolve a list of complex problems that offer business owners several possibilities.
Yet, the number of features and opportunities has left many owners with too many options right from the get-go, and in more cases than usual, owners tend to think that larger solutions will deliver manageable results for their business website.
Although there are smaller proprietary tools that can be tailored to individual business needs, some Web CMS projects could require less modified solutions.
Actionable advice: The intent is to keep Web CMS simple and develop a forward-looking strategy that will grow as the business does. Having a better understanding of website needs will help accomplish business goals faster and more seamlessly.
Related Article: CMS vs. DMS: Understanding the Key Differences
Thinking Web CMS Is a Web Development Tool
While Web CMS is often marketed as a web development tool, and there are cases where this is true, business owners should look past this facade and consider the broader possibilities that Web CMS can offer their website and business in the long term.
Web CMS solutions come with a wide selection of applied functionality tools that can help owners extend exposure for their business into different consumer markets. Owners should allow themselves to evaluate the process of adoption which in part helps them decide on a clear website and business requirements. Evaluating the level of integration with existing structures means that business goals could be achieved more seamlessly, and ensure that Web CMS solutions are effectively used.
Actionable advice: Getting on track with what Web CMS has to offer, more than its general web development features, makes it possible for owners to correlate performance against cost, giving them a better chance to make informed or analytical decisions.
Using Past Experience for Current Problems
Businesses tend to view their current problems from the prism of past experience which can lead them to make irrational decisions, or not concretely adapt Web CMS solutions that can offer them real-time results. Although past problems were easily resolved using a range or a set Web CMS solution, it’s not to say that the same could be applied to the current scope of business.
The idea is to choose a content management system that will help resolve current issues, but at the same time play a critical role in the growth of the business.
Actionable advice: Building knowledge is part of choosing a Web CMS solution, and in this case, owners should look at previous problems as a learning curve heading forward. This will not only help them view their current issues in a different light but also help them ensure they are on the right path of choosing a system that can work with their business needs instead of against it.
Related Article: Headless CMS Vendors Seeking Growth Should Look Towards Content Services
Not Focusing on How to Properly Use Web CMS
A common mistake among many new small business owners is looking at “what” a Web CMS solution can do for their business instead of “how” it can function in the broader ecosystem of their growth and development. While it is valid to ask several “what” questions throughout the decision-making process, owners must consider the “how” factor as they develop a working strategy that can help them become more aware of their Web CMS strengths and weaknesses.
Identifying the problem, while also assigning a delicate practice of effort to resolving these issues, can help owners with more context on what their business needs at the moment to better improve systems and ensure effective growth.
Actionable advice: When there is a clear distinction between “what” and “how” Web CMS solutions will function, owners will often have a better understanding of how these systems can be implemented to deliver measurable solutions in the long term.
The Bottom Line: CMS Selection Takes Work
A better understanding of the typical pitfalls that are found when choosing a content management system can help business owners make better-informed decisions that can drive meaningful impact for their website strategy and business growth.
It’s best to start by understanding what the issues are and identify possible solutions that will help make it easier to determine Web CMS solution needs.
It’s a tedious process to work through the endless amount of information and research to find the right Web CMS solution, but it is necessary for businesses to accomplish their near and long-term goals. Implementing the right strategy and working from an angle of informed decision-making can help achieve improved results as the business expands.
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