If you already have a website for your hotel, motel or holiday rental accommodation, you may be familiar with the term content management system or ‘CMS’ for short. A good CMS can play a key part in your digital marketing strategy as it enables you to change or add web pages to your website, build digital content such as blog posts and improve your chances of getting found in Google search listings. When it comes to building your online presence, it’s as important to consider the software it’s built with as how the end-product looks. But what is a content management system and how do you find the best CMS for your property?
Before you can decide what the best CMS will be for your needs, you first need to understand what a CMS does. As the term implies, it’s the tool you use to manage all content on your website. This includes website pages, blog posts, images, videos. The best web content management systems are built so that people with little technical knowledge can easily create and manage web content.
For most small businesses and particularly smaller hotels, motels and vacation rental properties, engaging a web developer every time you want to edit your website can become a costly and time-consuming exercise. Investing in user-friendly cms software makes sense, particularly when it comes to creating new content, like blog pages or making simple changes to text or imagery on your website.
Among the most popular and well-known content management systems is WordPress. In Australia, a third of all websites are built using WordPress. Some of the other well-known alternatives include Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy and Joomla! A number of these platforms are open source CMS. This means that it is maintained by a ‘community’ of developers and the source code is freely available for people to create their own functionality.
As a small property owner, your website will be a key component of your marketing strategy so finding the right fit for your business is important. Not all content management software is built the same and given the time and budget constraints that accommodation providers find themselves under, there are some factors that we feel are a little more important than others. These include:
It goes without saying that your top priority should be finding a CMS that is simple and straightforward to use. You need to easily be able to create pages that fit with the overall design of your website, edit text and add images. Some content management applications (CMA) even include drag and drop functionality to make it super-easy to position the elements that you want on a page. You should also be able to add multiple users and assign them different roles e.g. administrator, editor
SEO or search engine optimisation is the process of enabling Google and other search engines to easily see your content and understand what it is about. Many CMS systems have SEO tools automatically built-in. For example, in WordPress, there is a plugin called Yoast, which makes it super-easy to add all the elements you need using a ‘traffic light’ system to highlight what still needs to be added.
It’s really important that whatever CMS you choose for your property business, it enables you to create a mobile-friendly website. Better yet, make sure your website content development system is ‘responsive’. This means it automatically detects the device that your website is being viewed on and adjusts the content accordingly.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure that your website easily integrates with a number of other elements including your booking engine, your email marketing system and social media platforms.
As cyber-attacks and data security breaches seem to be on the rise, it’s also vital that your content management system has the right tools in place to prevent or minimise the risk of such attacks. Look for software that you are regularly able to update yourself at the click of a button as up to date systems are usually much harder to hack than older ones. You should also ensure that your website has a security certificate and your content management database is backed up regularly.
At HiRUM we regularly build websites designed specifically for hotels, motels, resorts, holiday rentals and B&Bs. We know what works best for businesses like yours and we can help you with a beautiful, well-designed website that is easy to manage and update yourself. Talk to us today about upgrading your current website to a more user-friendly version.
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