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When CMS Met SEO - Using the Power of Content Management Systems

Search Engine Optimization revolves around providing useful, unique content on your web site and making sure that search engines can find and understand it easily. 'Organic SEO' as it is called, puts emphasis on optimizing hundreds of keyword rich content pages as 'spider-bait' for search engines, with Google being the most popular target.

While organic SEO in itself boils down to a few simple techniques and a lot of hard work, the most tedious of those is always adding and managing content. If you're a webmaster lost in a world of dead links, missing pages, distorted images and a site structure that beats any maze, you're not alone. Such is the nightmare that many Dreamveawer-and-Notepad type of webmasters hide.

What is CMS?

CMS, or Content Management Systems, is a great alternative to using manual WYSIWYG HTML editors, web site builders, and all the others kinds of expensive web site tools in the market. CMS applied solely to the purpose of creating and managing web sites are also knows as Web Management Systems. A short excerpt from StepTwo.com on the definitions of CMS:

" A content management system (CMS) supports the creation, management, distribution, publishing, and discovery of corporate information. It covers the complete lifecycle of the pages on your site, from providing simple tools to create the content, through to publishing, and finally to archiving. It also provides the ability to manage the structure of the site, the appearance of the published pages, and the navigation provided to the users."

Advantages Of Using CMS for Your Website

Here are a few often overlooked advantages of using CMS for your web project, from a search engine marketing point of view:

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1) Easily Create, Publish and Manage Content

With page editors that resemble a word processor program, adding content with a CMS interface is simple and fun. Most CMS software also allows you to change the location of your content pages and links easily, while the back end processes takes care of updating the links throughout your site.

Done manually, reorganizing a web site's content, particularly a large one, can cause a webmaster some pretty restless nights.

CMS also allows the web site owner to outsource content remotely from willing contributors. With built in access level hierarchies, users can register as Authors and start submitting articles and news. This is then automatically sent to the next in line, the Manager, and on to the Editor and finally the Publisher or Administrator, and then it can be automatically published on the front page as new content.

And SEO specialists know that search engines love new content, above everything else.

2) Create a Solid Website Structure

While search engine spiders can maneuver your web site like a human being can't, they too are fond of web sites with good structures and easy-to-find content. Most CMS software can automatically create menus and navigation from categories that you set. Once you create a new category or subcategory, you can instantly publish it on all your pages, with the click of a button.

According to popular SEO wisdom, search engines spiders do not index pages more than 3-4 levels deep on your web site structure. In response to this, some CMS software also allows you to put all your content on the first level, for example "http://www.yoursite.com/article236.html'. However, using the CMS' control panel, you will still be able to see all content within their respective folders and subcategories.

3) Search Engine Friendly Capabilities

This is perhaps the most significant development in Content Management Systems. As more businesspeople and SEO begin to dig deep into CMS, the need for spider-friendly pages has taken center stage. Recent advancements have enabled CMS users to install modules (sometimes already built in) to make it appealing to search engines. The latest CMS software can create keyword rich pages, titles, meta tags and even anchor text.

That, coupled with advanced search engine spiders being able to go deep into databases to index pages, is set to turn Content Management Systems into the next big organic SEO tool. In fact, search engine friendly CMS even makes organic SEO specialists, sad to say, sort of 'obsolete'.

Make CMS Work for Your Web Business

Most content management systems are available for free, or at a minimum costs, under the GNU General Public License (http://www.gnu.org/). While there are literally hundreds of available CMS out in the market, these web sites are a good guide for choosing a right one for your web site or internet business:

Compare various CMS : http://www.cmsmatrix.org

Try a CMS: http://www.opensourcecms.com/

Search-engine Friendly CMS: http://pss.sfidreamteam.com

About the Writer of this Article

Gobala Krishnan is an author and entrepreneur in Malaysia. For free business and life coaching, as well as $1 access to million-dollar tips and strategies from experts, sign-up at http://www.OneDollarCoaching.com

How To Add Fresh Content To Your Website

I've read over and over that when it comes to building a web site and getting a lot of traffic to it "Content Is King." If you do a search for any topic you will find the web sites that come up in the Top 10 all have a lot of content on their web sites.

When somone does a search they are looking for information and the search engines job is to provide it to them. For your web site to increase in popularity you have to constantly be adding fresh content. This will increase your ranking for the keywords on your site and ultimately increase your traffic and repeat traffic.

Here are a few simple things you can do to add fresh content.

1. Do you publish and ezine? If so add a file to your index for each issue and archive it online. This will bring all kinds of keyword rich content to your web site on a constant basis.

2. Start and article page. Add new articles to it. If you write put your articles on your web site. Subscribe to a few ezines that are industry related. If you come across an article you like add it to your page.

3. Add Free Syndicated Content Feeds to your article page. This is really easy to do. All you do is copy a few lines of code into the HTML of your web page and you have a constant stream of new articles for your readers. Here are 2 of my favorite sources:

http://www.submityourarticle.com/syndicate/

http://www.web-source.net/syndicator.htm

4. Add Pay Per Click Advertising to your site. Most people think of PPC advertising as a way to promote their site. I have found it very easy to build new web pages around different keywords relating to the the theme of my site and actually get paid for the click. One of my favorite pay per click advertising sources is SearchFeed. This is very easy to work with and provides a nice income boost every month as well.

http://www.team-schuman.com/searchfeed

Here is an example of a page I built around the SearchFeed advertising model. Notice that I have made the look of their box compliment my own page. Also a key here is that as the advertisers with SearchFeed change so does the content on my site and I never have to do anything except add some easy code one time.

http://www.team-schuman.com/make-money/homebasedbusiness

I have an article on the page and I change that periodically as well.

5. Start a Link Exchange Program. This is a little harder to set up and is time consuming, but I have found it to be worth the effort. In a future article I will go into detail on how to properly do link exchanges. For now just let me say that linking is a great way to constantly be adding new content to your site as you link with new web sites that compliment yours.

One company who does a great job if you don't want to spend much time linking is LinksManager. They manage reciprocal links, and help increase your web site traffic through linking with other like-minded quality sites. Check them out here:

http://www.linksmanager.com/

6. Think outside the box. It is worthwhile to continue to think of new and easy ways to keep adding fresh content to your web site. Go to Google and do a search for "Fresh Content For My Website" without the Quotation marks. Currently there are Over 1.9 million results that come up. Everything from cut and paste charts, to RSS feeds and a whole lot more.

In conclusion "Content Really Is King. I have found my position with the search engines improve dramatically when I really started building more web pages and adding more fresh content.

It is time consuming at first, but the payoff in the long run is worth the effort when the search engines reward your effort and your traffic and income grow proportionally as well.

Jeff Schuman is the creator of several web sites. His Sites-Plus.Com web site is a small business web site that contains the best of everything you need to start and run your own small business. Visit it here today: http://www.sites-plus.com

Does Free Content - Sell?

The answer is: no one knows. Many self-styled "gurus" and "pundits" - authors of voluminous tomes they sell to the gullible - pretend to know. But their "expertise" is an admixture of guesswork, superstitions, anecdotal "evidence" and hearsay. The sad truth is that no methodical, long term, and systematic research has been attempted in the nascent field of e-publishing and, more broadly, digital content on the Web. So, no one knows to say for sure whether free content sells, when, or how.

There are two schools - apparently equally informed by the dearth of hard data. One is the "viral school". Its vocal proponents claim that the dissemination of free content fuels sales by creating "buzz" (word of mouth marketing driven by influential communicators). The "intellectual property" school roughly says that free content cannibalizes paid content mainly because it conditions potential consumers to expect free information. Free content also often serves as a substitute (imperfect but sufficient) to paid content.

Experience - though patchy - confusingly seems to points both ways. Views and prejudices tend to converge around this consensus: whether free content sells or not depends on a few variables. They are:

The nature of the information. People are generally willing to pay for specific or customized information, tailored to their idiosyncratic needs, provided in a timely manner, and by authorities in the field. The more general and "featureless" the information, the more reluctant people are to dip into their pockets (probably because there are many free substitutes).

The nature of the audience. The more targeted the information, the more it caters to the needs of a unique, or specific group, the more often it has to be updated ("maintained"), the less indiscriminately applicable it is, and especially if it deals with money, health, sex, or relationships - the more valuable it is and the more people are willing to pay for it. The less computer savvy users - unable to find free alternatives - are more willing to pay.

Time dependent parameters. The more the content is linked to "hot" topics, "burning" issues, trends, fads, buzzwords, and "developments" - the more likely it is to sell regardless of the availability of free alternatives.

The "U" curve. People pay for content if the free information available to them is either (a) insufficient or (b) overwhelming. People will buy a book if the author's Web site provides only a few tantalizing excerpts. But they are equally likely to buy the book if its entire full text content is available online and overwhelms them. Packaged and indexed information carries a premium over the same information in bulk. Consumer willingness to pay for content seems to decline if the amount of content provided falls between these two extremes. They feel sated and the need to acquire further information vanishes. Additionally, free content must really be free. People resent having to pay for free content, even if the currency is their personal data.

Frills and bonuses. There seems to be a weak, albeit positive link between willingness to pay for content and "members only" or "buyers only" frills, free add-ons, bonuses, and free maintenance. Free subscriptions, discount vouchers for additional products, volume discounts, add-on, or "piggyback" products - all seem to encourage sales. Qualitative free content is often perceived by consumers to be a BONUS - hence its enhancing effect on sales.

Credibility. The credibility and positive track record of both content creator and vendor are crucial factors. This is where testimonials and reviews come in. But their effect is particularly strong if the potential consumer finds himself in agreement with them. In other words, the motivating effect of a testimonial or a review is amplified when the customer can actually browse the content and form his or her own opinion. Free content encourages a latent dialog between the potential consumer and actual consumers (through their reviews and testimonials).

Money back warranties or guarantees. These are really forms of free content. The consumer is safe in the knowledge that he can always return the already consumed content and get his money back. In other words, it is the consumer who decides whether to transform the content from free to paid by not exercising the money back guarantee.

Relative pricing. Information available on the Web is assumed to be inherently inferior and consumers expect pricing to reflect this "fact". Free content is perceived to be even more shoddy. The coupling of free ("cheap", "gimcrack") content with paid content serves to enhance the RELATIVE VALUE of the paid content (and the price people are willing to pay for it). It is like pairing a medium height person with a midget - the former would look taller by comparison.

Price rigidity. Free content reduces the price elasticity of paid content. Normally, the cheaper the content - the more it sells. But the availability of free content alters this simple function. Paid content cannot be too cheap or it will come to resemble the free alternative ("shoddy", "dubious"). But free content is also a substitute (however partial and imperfect) to paid content. Thus, paid content cannot be priced too high - or people will prefer the free alternative. Free content, in other words, limits both the downside and the upside of the price of paid content.

There are many other factors which determine the interaction of free and paid content. Culture plays an important role as do the law and technology. But as long as the field is not subject to a research agenda the best we can do is observe, collate - and guess.

This article is, of course, free content...:o))

APPENDIX - Types of Free Content

The experiment of online content is in its infancy. Content creators, providers and aggregators fall into seven categories, though hybrids and permutations abound:

I. Entirely Free Content

Unrestricted access to the entire body of content available through a central URL or database.

II. Registration Required

Access to the entire body of content available through a central URL or database conditioned on providing a few personal data and being assigned - or choosing - a user ID and password. But, subject to registration, the content is entirely free, as in (I).

III. Time Limited Free Content - New but not Archived

Unrestricted but time-limited access to some content available through a central URL or database. Access to new material is free and unrestricted. Access to archived material requires a subscription.

IV. Time Limited Free Content - Archived but not New

Unrestricted but time-limited access to some content available through a central URL or database. Access to archived material is free and unrestricted. Access to new material requires a subscription.

V. Time Limited Free Content - Rotation

Unrestricted but time-limited access to some content available through a central URL or database. Various parts of the Web site (desks, chapters, features, articles, stories, sections, etc.) become accessible at different times. Access is rotated between these sections periodically or thematically or arbitrarily.

VI. Teaser Content

Unrestricted - time unlimited or time limited - access to some content (selected articles, headlines only, etc.) available through a central URL or database. Access to the rest of the content requires a subscription.

VII. Subscription

Access to content subject to paid subscription or payment per item.

Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He is the the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

Why You Should Want to Pay for Content on the Web

I know what you are thinking. "Why should I pay for content when I can get content online on any subject imaginable --- and I can get it for free?"

If you are running an online business and you are seeking information concerning how to take your business to the next level, you should not want anything but paid content. Why?

AN EXAMPLE FROM THE SHORT HISTORY OF INTERNET COMMERCE

Let's take a look at "FFA link farms" first. Along about 1997-98, someone came up with the idea of putting together a webpage that has 20 links on it for 20 separate businesses.

By providing a 25 word description, each link made its own contribution to permitting the page to deliver up to 500 keywords to the search engines, and to provide an opportunity for web site owners to gain additional visitors to their web sites.

Soon, hundreds of thousands of people were utilizing free-for-all link farms to promote their businesses, providing tons of junk to the search engine databases.

Eventually, spider search engine managers realized that the key to their own success was high-quality, content-related, search results. As a result, the spiders blocked the FFA link farms from their database, and penalized people who utilized them on their web sites. Soon, whole domains were blocked from the search engine databases as a result of their utilization of FFA link farms.

When only 200 people used the FFA link farm approach to promote their businesses, the idea was useful and perhaps even very effective. But once the idea was advertised and hundreds of thousands of people were using the system, the system lost all of its original value.

If this concept was kept between its first 200 participants, then the idea could have still been producing tremendous results for its users. Instead, it was turned over to the masses that sucked all of the life out of the value of the program.

EVEN SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION SPECIALISTS HAVE COME FULL CIRCLE

A few days ago, I read a note from a SEO specialist about how she had looked at a site she had optimized many years ago. She was stunned to realize that in those early days that she had stuffed keywords into the ALT tag connected to the images on the web page.

Once again, the ALT tag in the image was a good idea that could have been utilized to enhance one's rankings in the spider search engines.

The sad thing is that this small piece of information was spread around and hundreds of thousands of people utilized it on their web sites. Ideally, if one were to use this to a good cause, they would include one or two keywords that helped to describe the context of the image shown. That was the intended purpose of harvesting this information into the search engine databases.

Abuse of this technique led people to stuff hundreds of keywords into the image ALT tag. When thousands of people began to abuse this tool, the spider search engines management team began to crack down once again. Today, few engines record the image ALT tag words in their databases.

THE KEY IS IN THE SIZE OF THE KEYHOLE

The lesson is that the traffic generation ideas that can produce significant results tend to lose their value as more and more people begin to learn about them and then utilize them.

People who give away their best traffic generation ideas for free are always walking a very fine line between attracting readers and giving away the tools that they rely upon to keep their business profitable.

"Free" always ends up in the hands of the masses, and the masses destroy the value of a promotional technique. "Exclusive" ends up in the hands of only the select few who will be able to squeeze the technique for every penny it can produce.

The best reason to pay for content is that it will assure that the best information is always in your own arsenal. It will also assure that the materials that can make you money will not have their real value washed away by the masses.

IN CONCLUSION

Pre-Internet history has shown us that the people who found the greatest successes in the marketplace, were those that had the best ideas. Ideas are simply the best resource for the aspiring entrepreneur.

By paying money to receive the best Internet marketing and business ideas, you are assuring yourself the ability to succeed beyond the wildest dreams of the masses that surround us.

John Calder is the owner/editor of The Ezine Dot Net. Subscribe Today and get real information YOU can use to help build your online business today! http://www.TheEzine.Net

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