So what do they have in common with you and your website?
Like you, your customers will have heard of Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. In fact, it's likely that some of them have used or at least looked at one of them more than once.
And that's where the challenge exists for you and your website.
As people become familiar with the capabilities of these types of websites, their expectations of all other websites increase.
Once someone has viewed their cousin's holiday snaps on Flickr it's difficult for that person to understand why you can't put step-by-step photo instructions on your website. Or if you customer's son or daughter has put a video on YouTube, why you can't have consulting and training videos on your web pages?
As your customers experience new online ways of doing things, their expectations of everything online changes.
To keep customers coming back to you and talking about your website, it's important to be aware of what they are getting out of their other online experiences and to see what you can do about providing the same on your website.
Here are 5 inexpensive ways for you to keep up with the best of what the Web has to offer.
- Illustrate what you do with photos.
- Grab a digital camera and take photos of your products from lots of angles and include some close-ups.
- Get a series of photos taken of you doing what you do, as you do it.
- Ask you customers if you can photograph them using what they've bought from you.
- Show them with a mini movie.
- Film yourself being interviewed or talking about the value your customers get from you.
- Capture on video how to repair, install or use the things you sell.
- Ask your customers for video testimonials.
- Add extras to your website.
- Incorporate Google Maps into your website for showing extra information about your business locations.
- Get a Skype button on your contact us page and allow customers to contact you for free by phone or online chat.
- Add a RSS feed to your website to provide it with a constant stream of new content.
- Grab some social networking tools to add to your web pages from widgetbox.com.
- Create your own community.
- Link your website to ning.com, the social network you create easily and inexpensively.
- Go mobile with bango.com and make your website mobile phone friendly.
- Add a blog to your website to provide snack-sized commentary, news and views on what's important in your business. Customer love to hear what you think is important and why.
- If you're using WordPress, consider BuddyPress a social networking plugin.
- Publish and distribute what you know.
- Record your web conferences and make them available as infomercials, online training or product demonstrations.
- Use an autoresponder to deliver an online training course via email automatically, while you sleep.
Keeping up with technology is fast becoming an essential part of having a successful website as customers' expectations are increasingly influenced by online hi-tech leaders. And the great thing is you can use this new technology too without having to invest huge dollars, to make your website one that your customers love.
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