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Creating Value on Your Website
by Kevin Bramlett
It's becoming obvious to businesses on the Net that you can't simply "build it and they will come". The Web is filled with thousands of website that are little more than advertisements that draw little or no traffic, and do not generate revenue. How can you make yours different?
Many articles have appeared describing the techniques for increasing traffic - I've written several myself! There's a lot of talk about registering in search engines, using various forms of mostly free Online and Offline marketing, and certain forms of paid advertising. These strategies are standard fare for drawing customers to your site. But how do you get them to stay once they are there, how can you get them to return, and how can you close sales?
These objectives are harder to reach than simply driving surfers to your site. The best way to accomplish them is to create Value on your website. How can you create Value? Actually, there are several key components.
1. Decide on and stick to a single clear purpose for your website. You can't be all things to all people. Better to be the best at what you do in a single area. So decide if your site is for customer service, or vendor information, or closing the sale, or marketing, and design it accordingly.
2. Be Entertaining and Interactive. The Net has certain advantages that other mediums can't match, so use them. Music, games, humor, and contests are all easy to provide given today's technology, and are popular forms of entertainment. Use forms, cgi, java, and ActiveX applets to provide interactive content. This requires a little more work, but it's worth it.
3. Be Informative. Incremental cost of providing more information for your customers is approximately zero, so don't be shy! Let the client decide when to stop pulling information about you, your company, your products and services, your warranty, your satisfied clients, etc. More information is better! Information that your customers want is great content that builds repeat traffic. That's why real-time stock price request forms are so popular on sites that cater to investors. It keeps them coming back!
4. Give away 'free stuff'. As they say, the only marketing word better than 'sale' is 'FREE'! Providing samples of your work, a database of contacts for complementary services, free reports and newsletter subscriptions, and software downloads are some of the many ways that successful websites find to attract customers and get them to keep coming back.
5. Finally, always update. The Internet is not a static medium. Provide fresh content, new links, new information, redesign your site periodically, and think of new ways to create additional value on your site.
Article by Kevin Bramlett (Kevin@WorldWideGuide.com) and WorldWide Guide, providers of unique and powerful Internet Instructional Video Courses, and publishers of ECOM: The Newsletter of Electronic Commerce (subscribe@WorldWideGuide.com). Find out how you can get a FREE Internet Business Video by visiting http://www.WorldWideGuide.com, and FREE Special Reports by autoresponder(GuideList@WorldWideGuide.com).
Tags: E-commerce and Internet