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Getting the Most Out of Your Website

Jun 26, 2008
You got together some images, worked on link building, and created content that would do any Web site proud. Yet, somehow, traffic remains slow. Are you getting the most out of your web site?

Web Site... Or Internet Experience?
These days, the internet is about more than information. Web sites are used to find mates, to meet friends, to be wildly entertained by wacky videos, to expound on opinions and to do pretty much everything else under the sun. Simple content alone is not enough to push a Web Site over the edge in todays multimedia age. For small business owners, the Web site is more than a place to talk about products and services. The Web Site should draw in new business and customers, create great word of mouth, and offer business applications to make your job that much easier. The business Web site is not just a piece of the Internet, it should be an online experience for every visitor who comes to call.

Business Applications and Tools
The Web site very directly reflects the business it represents. As such, it is important to present a professional, polished site that gives visitors the interaction Internet users have come to expect. Beef up a business Web site with applications and tools to push pages to the next level.
Content Management. This handy little application allows Web sites to be constantly updated with new products, specials and company information. Content is king on the Internet, as search engines rely largely upon a sites content to assign rankings to pages (where the site appears in a list of results). The more content you have, the better. A good content management system makes it easy to update and add new messages quickly.
Subscriptions and Sign ups. You have already been inundated with this type of marketing, though you might not even be aware of it. Many Web sites offer subscription and sign up services. Visitors simply type their email address into a box, hit Submit, and that is that. What the Web site ends up with is a comprehensive list of visitors, email address they can then use for marketing and promotions of all kinds. Many business sites have a mailing list for visitors to join, or offer subscription services such as newsletters. This is a great way to find out who is visiting the site, and a perfect way to get email addresses for all marketing purposes. Online forms and surveys. Want to hear what your website visitors are really interested in? Online forms, which pose questions to users, give you a great way to find out what Internet users think of your site. Giving traffic the chance to leave feedback is beneficial to all parties. The users gets the interaction they crave, you get valuable opinions, and you even get an email address to add to your growing list. Not too bad for some simple online forms and surveys.

Auto response. It is easy to set up an auto response email address that will reply to users whenever they enter information onto the site. Auto response emails give your site professionalism, and let users know their opinions are not going to be ignored.

Share. Everyone has seen those links that let you email this page to a friend or share with a friend. You click on the link to send a quick email, and all the friend has to do is click on the mailed link to go straight to your Web site. Remember, Internet users are looking for two things: simplicity and interaction. Make it easy for them to spread information about your Web pages, and they probably will.

Get the Most Out of Your Site
There are many different tools and applications which can add depth and interest to your Web site, but they are not all easy to implement. For those who are less versed in code and page-building, it might be a good idea to solicit the help of a professional Web designer. They will know everything about the most current and happening Web applications and tools, and can easily put these devices onto your site. Web designers know the ins and outs of page building, and help everything on the site hang together cohesively. Business Web sites can definitely benefit from these professional services, which will give your site a polish and prestige that is hard not to notice.
About the Author
Ratu Lewis is one of Australia's most respected Internet solutions consultants to Australian businesses. Director of Margin Media Ratu and his talented staff can create a valuable online presence for any business. Visit http://www.marginmedia.com.au for more information.
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