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Six Vital Features of Every Business Website

A company website is the foundation that internet marketing is built on, and all of the online marketing methods like PPC ads and social media pitches lead potential customers back to it. In the past, a simple static page with a sales spiel and a few pictures of products was a sufficient effort. As the internet has evolved, so has the form that corporate websites have taken. While it isn’t important or even advisable for a corporate website to be overly complex, there are half a dozen features that they do need in order to take full advantage of the online marketing opportunities that internet marketing offers.

Landing Page
If your links in PPC ads and social network posts takes your visitors directly to the product or article that attracted their interest then you are missing the best opportunity available for turning them into long term customers. Landing or Squeeze Pages have been around for as long as the web and they remain as useful now as ever before. The landing page is an opportunity to collect information from your visitors usually at least their name and their e-mail address but often much more. Landing pages also give the visitor an idea of what the central theme of the site is and should be enticing enough to encourage them to look further. An essential feature of every landing page is a clear and compelling call to action and it is best to avoid clichés like ‘buy now’ which may flag Google’s spam filters.

The Company Blog
Blogs used to be the realm of so-called computer nerds, but with the development of software like WordPress and the introduction of Web 2.0, more businesses are including a blog on their website. Blogs generate positive SEO because they are constantly adding fresh information and give you an authoritive voice in your niche. Blogs also give your visitors a chance to interact with you on the internet and perhaps build a professional relationship, and are often the first point of contact for customers. Company blogs don’t have to be a journal of everything that is happening in your business or industry. Choose a topic that you can specialize in, start a conversation and encourage visitors to comment. Posting links on social media websites to your latest corporate blog post is also a good way to attract new visitors and potential customers.

About Us Page
You are proud of your business, so use your website to express this. Internet marketing is driven by cultivating relationships with customers over the web. People are more likely to make an online purchase from someone that they feel that they know, and your website is a chance to show them who you are and what you can do for them.

Social Sharing Buttons
When someone likes your business you want them to tell their friends about it, so the best thing to do is to make the process easy for them. Facebook says that 10,000 people are adding a like button to their website everyday1 which means that by now there could be 5 or 6 million websites with the like button. Out of the 555 million2 website now on the internet, that represents around 1% with Facebook integration.

Shopping Cart
It seems obvious that a business website should have a dedicated shopping cart feature, but even now a lot of sites send their customers to third party sites for any actual transactions. Not only does this take longer, but it takes visitors away from the trusted familiarity of your site and decreases the chance of more sales.

References:
1.http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150238854211729
2.at the end of 2011- http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/01/17/internet-2011-in-numbers/

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