Your website control panel is full of apps, wizards and tools just waiting to be used. The best part about using the tools offered by your Web hosting provider? You know they will work with your website. Why? Because your website provider recommended them because they took the time to test the tools to ensure they worked properly. If you try to download an open source application on your own from a vendor’s site, you run the risk of it being incompatible with your site, and tech support won't be there to help you.
Here are four of the top four tools that you should take the time to learn and use.
1. Website analytics
You need to know how many hits, visitors, pages visited and conversions (sales) your website provides. Yes, you can use a hit counter, but analytics can provide daily, weekly or monthly tracking so you can see how your website is growing. In the beginning, you should watch these numbers weekly to see what adjustments you may have to make. The benefit of your analytics tool is to track increases so you can see when you level off, or not at all, so you can make changes. For example, if you see that customers put items in their cart, but do not check out, then perhaps you need to review your check out process.
2. Search engine optimization tools
You should also be using SEO tools, which are designed to help you build keywords, find errors and analyze content. The result of using these tools is improving your search engine ranking so customers can find easily find you on the Web. Another key component (which is usually included) is a search engine submission tool. Instead of having to go each search engine and enter your business information, this enables users to automatically submit their website to several popular search engines at once.
3. Social media widgets
If you haven’t started using social media, then this is the perfect opportunity to let technology get you there. Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, whatever social networking site appeals to you, pick and join one—it will improve your search engine rankings and brand awareness. Take advantage of the widget or icon your provider offers. It’s much easier using what is already available than trying to download or hyperlink to one of the sites. You can slowly join other platforms when you feel comfortable.
4. Mobile Web page options
If your website provider offers you a wizard or tool to create a mobile website, use it! This is an awesome marketing advantage, as you have a unique opportunity to attract new customers in a market that is growing. Did you know that over the last 10 months there has been an 11 percent increase in American adults who own a smartphone? As of February 2012, that number reached 46 percent and Smartphone owners now outnumber users of more basic phones. (For official stats, click here.)
Technology is a wonderful thing. It’s there to help. It can make your life easier by saving you time and helping to improve your website. Embrace it! Take advantage of the tools and enjoy their benefits.
What tools are in your toolkit?
Jean Hendricks is one of AT&T’s treasures with the 27 years she’s been with the company. She currently works in product marketing, which is one of her favorite roles enabling her to help customers find their way to solutions amidst a maze of technology. Her philosophy for customer support is to provide the information customers need to get the best offers and assistance to make the right decisions for their business.