More than a brochure.

More than Brochure

If you aren't seeing your website as a business tool you need to take another look. While small companies and organizations tend to think of a website as just another method for delivering their message, a website can be so much more than that.

While it's true, that a website can provide a list of your products and services to the public, 24/7/365 - the power of the "web" is its interactivity.

Websites, even static ones, are gathering information. Information that you can use to expand your knowledge of your customer base and information you can use to expand your website and improve the dialog between you and your site visitors. Your Website Statistics carry a wealth of information about what pages people are viewing, the length of time they are viewing them, the time of day they are viewing them, and where they are coming from. If your hosting company doesn't offer Website Statistics, or you are unhappy with the statistics they provide, you can include Google Analytics ( for FREE - to start learning more about your site's performance.

Why is this information valuable?

Take for example, Company A. Company A sells a lot of widgets. They are currently thinking of discontinuing Widget-XYZ due to dropping sales. However, in their website statistics they recently discovered and upward trend on the "Widget-XYZ Page" - and visitors to that page are up 30% this month - and 45% from the month before. If sales are sliding, why does there seem to be a renewed interest in this product now? Without the statistics, you wouldn't be able to ask these questions, and may make the mistake of discontinuing a product that is about to have a major market surge.

Or, let's look at it from another angle:

You sell Widget-A and Widget-B. Widget-B is the newest and latest on the market. As a result, you spend "lots" of capital marketing it. However, your website statistics show that visitors to your website, while initially going to the Widget-B page, spend less than 20 seconds there and then usually go to Widget-A's page where the average time spend is over 2 minutes. Additionally, Widget-A receives twice as much website traffic. What does this trend show? Widget-B is clearly the better product, but visitors still have more interest in A. Is it the price point? Is it the way you have displayed your content? Are you marketing Widget-B on your own website? By having these statistics it allows you to ask these questions and engage in the conversation with your customers. You can make changes to your site to see how you can increase the awareness of your product and watch how your site performance changes as you modify the content and message to direct your customers.

And finally, your website can gather information about specific visitors to your site. By having users fill out a form with their name, address, phone - and most importantly - email address - you can gain valuable sales leads and industry connections. However, this information is not easily given. People will not willingly give you their information out of the goodness of their heart. They expect something of value in return. Whether it's access to your company's pricing, access to downloads or private content, access to message boards or customer service, or monthly newsletters and podcasts - they want you to tell them or give them something.

The best use of this information is multi-faceted. For example: Offer them specialized content on the website while additionally keeping them informed through a monthly or weekly newsletter can build strong customer loyalty.

But of course - these examples are just the starting point of what you can accomplish, once you start thinking of your website as a tool, and not "just a brochure."

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