For all news outlets, content is a key component. Whether it’s for print, digital or word of mouth – if your content is of a low standard, no one will want to listen to you. For many websites, great content is determined by Google Analytics algorithms – with content being ranked by it’s quality, relevancy and social links. In fact, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team said that “by doing things that help build your own reputation, you are focusing on the right types of activity. Those are the signals we want to find and value the most anyway”, which is great news if you’re a niche website that publishes hundreds of articles on the same subject, which a great depth of knowledge. But what about the wider spectrum? What if you’re a news-based website, and therefore publish articles on politics, sports, film, music and whatever else is considered important that day?
In a time where a newspaper’s core business is no longer printing papers, but producing and delivering content, Content Management Systems is the key to ensuring content is delivered quickly and accurately in real time. More importantly, it ensures that content is high value to readers in terms of quality, reliability and relevancy.
Content Management Systems, or CMS to you and me, is an application that allows for publishing, editing and modifying content in a well-structured and collaborative environment. News outlets, such as The New York Times and the Guardian, have had to adapt to the changes in how readers consume content – gone are the days when most people buy a daily newspaper – as they can easily search a website for the latest news and headlines.
So why is CMS important? Reputable websites like the aforementioned Guardian and The New York Times need their content to be fast – to break these news stories first. The value of a news story rapidly decreases over time. If it isn’t on your website when the news breaks, readers will go elsewhere and not come back. This lowers the website’s value as a news source, and will have negative affect on business revenues – ranging from ad revenues and digital subscriptions. CMS allows content to be updated hundreds of times a day online, which means you can plump up a story once more information is available. This fast paced, steadily growing style can be vital in ensuring readers come back to the website when the next big story breaks.
Of course, a big news story doesn’t happen every day, so CMS needs to support the natural newsroom workflow. By mimicking sophisticated article editing and photo preparation, the CMS allows content to be adapted for web and print, which is an important factor when looking at how valuable the content is.
Another great thing about CMS is that it solves many front-end problems for web designers. By creating a responsive web design with progressive enhancements and semantic markups, CMS makes content more valuable to the team behind the website, as well as the reader. A website with rich semantics helps to keep the reader on your page – by linking topics with tags or author bylines. Some CMSs also allow for native embedding, which can increase valuable metadata by inserting relevant links to youtube, twitter and even creating automatic stats.
So are Content Management Systems the faithful queen to the content king? Yes, if it’s a queen job to make the king more accessible, more valuable and more relevant to it’s loyal subjects.