You should be using traditional marketing...
You should be using traditional marketing and training techniques along with new technology to increase traffic and usability on your web site.
So you built your web site. So now what. Who is going to find it and who is going to take the time to learn all of its benefits and new features? The past solution was to register your site with the search engines, a short mention in your print ads and maybe a few banner ads. Then you would hope for a few users to happen upon your site, and maybe stay long enough to stumble upon a few of your features and benefits. What a gamble. Would you open a new store this way? Would you sell a new product without instructions?
In the last ten years the thinking with the Internet was "this new-wired world is so revolutionary that we don't have to run or promote our industries or products in the traditional business ways." Companies have no problem spending money to advertise new services, products and stores with commercials, direct mail, print advertising and sometimes CD-ROMs. But for some reason when a web site is built, Corporate America thinks this technology is so good that all they have to do is build it and they will come. Or they spent so much money on building it that they will cut cost on the promotion and training the end users how to use this new tool.
A website is just that, a tool. It is not the online store that everyone calls it. Everyone knows how to use a store but they might not know how to use your new tool. All home appliances are tools and they come with instruction no matter how small or simple, so why shouldn't a new technology like your web site or online tool be treated with the same respect.
With a little more money and effort this training material can be created and your investment will be returned. Try for yourself and see how many large web sites and online stores have a demo or instruction on their site. You will see most websites have no demo or quick help section to aid you or point out features you might need.
For example, lets say you build an online store to sell CDs and DVDs. You have just launched your store and people have arrived. What do they do? The first thing they do is surf around and look at the titles and maybe they make a purchase if the price is right and they feel they can trust you. But will they or any of the other surfers know about your benefits, like a customized home page with news and info about your favorite music and movies, or the feature that will let them know when a new title is available or on sale. How about the feature that lets them listen to music before they buy. And how about the fact that you have a trusted secure web site and they can return all merchandise at the local store or send it back free of charge. A short online demo can accomplish all of this in matter of seconds.
When developing the website it does not cost as much to add the development of a training section so your users can learn how to use your new site. This is an important cost of doing business on the web, not an extra you can do without. Everything has instructions, why not your website. The instructions do not have to be boring text, either. With today's software and talent in the work place, along with the advanced browsers and bandwidth, we can demonstrate products and websites using technology such as Flash, Shockwave and QuickTime. This could also be a kind of commercial to promote all the features of your site and company, it can be fun, it can be creative it can even be abrasive (if that is the demeanor you want to promote). You have spent a lot of time and money and effort to create this website, why not hit them over the head with what you got.
This article was written by a staff member of: GENECA
Geneca provides an array of software consulting, advising, and outsourced project/product development services. Geneca's ability to create trusting client relationships, plus its rapid web deployment tools and commitment to continuous learning has helped them stand out in this crowded field. Geneca is located at 1441 Branding Lane in Downers Grove, IL. They can be found on the web at www.geneca.com and contacted both by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and by phone at (630) 434.8200, x120.