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Make Your Website Work For You: Effective Online Marketing

Your website is important in today’s market. Is it performing the way it should? Read some important tips for the success of building your site and check out some new tools to use:

Your website is so important in today’s business market. You should think of it like an unpaid salesman for your business. If your website were an employee, would you fire it? Is it performing the way it should?

Here are some important tips for the success of building your site to result in effective online marketing:

1. New sites: Take direction from your web designer even if have pre-set ideas. Good web designers are more like architects than decorators. An experienced web designer understands structure and how search engines work and you should consider that their opinion comes from experience.

2. When I look at a website I should know the product or service that is being offered in about 5 seconds. I also expect a call to action. I’m ready to buy, what do I do now? Make sure you address this.

3. Ask your designer if they are using CSS and websafe fonts. You don’t have to understand what that means, but they do. If they don’t, drop them.

4. Include your social media links.

5. Don’t be seduced by lots of features on your site. Many users are using mobile phones and Ipads to view your site. Make sure the technology is able to be seen on all devices. If not, consider alternatives or create a mobile site.

Here are some of the latest features that you can use to market your site.

Chat services (see olark.com) make it easy to add a Web Chat function to your site. You can customize a welcome message and an offline notification and link it to a messaging program that you use. The transcript can also be exported to customer relationship programs such as salesforce.com. Fees start at $17 a month for one user. If you do not have an employee at their computer all day, this is not for you.

Video spokesperson (see liveactor.com) You can select an actor (age, gender, type of clothes, etc) and send them a script. You receive back a line of code for your site and voila! A person walks onto your website and speaks your message. It’s great for an immediate attention grabber but it can get annoying if your site is visited frequently by the same users.

Launchrock  Looking to generate buzz about a new service or product? This service lets you create a coming soon page that appears on your home page allowing visitors to sign up to receive emails and earn incentives by allowing them to share your content through Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and more. Cost: FREE

Punchtab This is a loyalty program for people that come to your site and make comments on social networking sites. Your visitors have a leaderboard which tracks their points and they can gain rewards points toward an incentive of your choice by sharing your content. Cost: FREE

Explore them and ask your designer if it works for you.

Andrea Wagner has been creating websites for small business for over 14 years. Contact her for design, redesign, updates for your site, or to discuss creating a social media campaign for your business. www.wagnerwebdesigns.com 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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