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April 30, 2009
Issue 540
 
 

Online Business Functionality

What Do You Want Your Online Business To Do? I'm sure you've heard the term Web 2.0 recently and wonder... What does that mean?

Well, "Web 2.0" refers to a perceived second generation of web development and design, that facilitates communication, secure information sharing, interoperability and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Essentially, Web 2.0 changes the way people use and interact with the web.

The concepts behind Web 2.0 have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, social-networking, blogs, Twitter, et cetera, et cetera. There are some really cool web companies coming online and doing great things.

As a business owner, you're probably thinking, "Web 2.0 means I need to spend even more money on my already oversized technology budget." Well, we're here to help.

With Web 2.0 we need to change some terminology. Instead of talking about your "web site" let's talk about your "online business". The technology changes to the web have changed the way web sites work, or at least, should work.



 

Instead of having your web site simply display your telephone number and physical address, web sites are now living working extensions of your business. Your web site should be more proactive and work hard to:

* Amplify Your Voice
* Automate Your Customer Service (Self-Service)
* Sell Products Online
* Generate New Leads
* Build Your Community
* Build Customer Loyalty
* Amplify Your Voice

Amplify Your Voice

One of the best ways to amplify your voice is through Blogs and Email Marketing. Good content addresses your customers' information needs, and search engines love good content. It also gives your business a human touch.

Automate Your Customer Service (Self-Service)

How many customer phone calls do you get asking about the same thing? And, how much time is spent answering the same question? Every web site should have a section that focuses on Customer Service. It is important your web site has an FAQ section, Webforms and Workflows and Secure Zones to help your business automate your customer service.

Sell Products Online

Building eCommerce web sites and selling your products online was once a very expensive, time-consuming adventure. The cost to develop online shops has gone down dramatically. If you want to sell your products online, there is nothing standing in your way. Online shops are a great way to expand your business' reach and product offering.

Generate New Leads

Your web site should offer users an option of getting in touch with you. Webforms and workflows help ensure your web site is converting users to new leads.



 

Build Your Community

A good business will always have a community of dedicated customers. With your online business, Blogs, Forums, Comments, Customer Databases help to build that community and keep it strong.

Build Customer Loyalty

Building customer loyalty is a lot harder than it seems. It takes incredible focus to make sure your customers are loyal. Your web site needs to help you do just that. Targeted Email Marketing, Comments, FAQs are all aspects of your online business that should be working for you to build that loyalty.

Businesses must embrace the strengths of the web and use it as a platform. Make your web site, your online business, work for you!

Oh, and if you need a great web site design and development company to help, let's talk. We'll take you by the hand and provide good guidance. We give concrete ideas about suitable design, what functions your web site should have, and strategy to help you achieve your business goals. We take the time to help our clients prioritize their goals so that we can provide you with a great solution.


 

About the Author: John Sullivan - After 5 years as the Interactive Director for a fortune 500 company, Bullsprig was started by John Sullivan in 2003. Since then, we've done a lot and learned a lot. We take pride in being partners with major companies, small start-ups and everything in between. Our work has won national and international marketing awards.



 
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