Both search engines and customers love fresh, updated information. Nothing promotes a business online better than staying in touch with prospects. The more interactive continued contact, better relationship that is built with a potential client. But there’s no need to groan at thought of having to work hard at adding new content to your web site, it's not as complicated as you might think.
For more information about how to get interactive with your customers, take a look at our guide “Building Online Relationships” available here: http://www.enable-uk.co.uk/html/book_4.html
The business principle of continued contact and online relationship building has given rise to popularity of online business blogs, forums and feedback opportunities. Interactive online communication define web site owners as experts in eyes of visitors, and serve as a promotional vehicle for other products and services that business seeks to sell. Continued, interactive contact can bring many benefits, such as:
·You'll find out what type of content visitors want to see at your web site. This will attract your visitors to revisit and read content.
·You'll find out how to improve existing products or services. This will attract new customers to buy from your business.
·You'll find out which products or services your customers would like to see you sell in future. This will increase your back end product sales.
·You'll find out how to improve your customer service. This will cut down on customer complaints and how to better resolve problems.
·You'll find out how to improve your sales letters or adverts. This will increase your sales, traffic or subscribers.
·You'll find out how to design your web site to fit your visitors’ needs and wants. This will increase time your visitors spend on your web site.
·You'll find out what kind of non-related products or services your customers would buy. This will help your business easily move into a different market.
·You'll find out how to better price your products. This will help you sell your products or services at a price that will pull most orders.
·You'll find out interests of your potential customers. This will inform you where to market and promote your products.
Getting Started So where do you start? Do you need a blog, a forum, or a feedback form? All have different uses and your selection will depend on needs of your particular business and your limitation with regard to time and/or budget. Below are some of options and some ideas for adding interactive and fresh content to your web site.
For more information about how to establish and maintain online relationships with your viewers and customers, get a copy of our guide “Building Online Relationships” available here: http://www.enable-uk.co.uk/html/book_4.html
Weblogs or Blogs A blog is basically a series of posts that appear by date posted like an online journal. Setup is minimal and interface is easy to learn- if you can use a word processing package, you can write a blog! Services like Moveable Type and Blogger make it incredibly easy for anyone to publish on web.
Blogs can be integrated seamlessly into your site so that they have same look and feel. You can use a blog to publish an events calendar or comment on developments and news from your industry. A blog can be strictly professional, announcing special offers or new product info or it can be casual and create a "personality" for your company.
What can a blog do for your business? Think about what your customers want to know.
To add interactivity, several blog programs come with a "comment" ability built in. This allows general users to create an account and post their comments to your blog. This is something to be careful of as you can get negative comments along with positive.
Forums While online forums are popular and perfect method of relationship building, starting a forum and maintaining one can be challenging, especially in beginning when members can be few and far between. The challenge for most new forum owners is to get beyond initial start up phase and move onto a phase where forum members themselves promote forum simply by posting.
Forums have become a common feature in many websites. With good free scripts available, and paid scripts being relatively cheap, it seems that every new website has its own forum(s).