How Interactive Should Your Website Be?

The evolution of the website has been a fast paced journey. When websites started to appear on the Internet they were primarily online business cards. As they became more complex, they served as online brochures. At one point with the popularity of flash, websites started becoming online showpieces. However, today with the prevalence of social media and consumer-generated media, websites need to be an interactive platform to increase sales, educate your consumers, and provide excellent customer service. And most importantly, the right website can become a tool to generate more leads and customers.

Here are some interactive features that are beneficial to add to your website:

Newsletter Subscription – Visitors to your website should be able to subscribe to your company’s newsletter. It is a great way for them to stay up-to-date on current news and happenings.

Blog & Comments – A blog is a great way to talk directly with your customers and prospects. This will help you build trust and solidify relationships. In addition, it is highly recommend to also allow comments. Not only is it a great way to gather feedback, but it also allows the content to build with additional user generated comments.

Social Media RRS Feeds – By pulling in your social media account feeds (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) it adds fresh new content to your website on a daily basis. Not to mention, it lets your audience know that you are socially hip.

Surveys & Polls – Surveys and Polls are a great way to gather feedback, research, and marketing sound bytes. They also tell your visitors that you care about their opinions and suggestions.

Calendar of Events – Another way to show your visitors that you are active is to include a list of upcoming events. On the website we include a list of all upcoming seminars that staff are participating in. These days, all websites should have a CMS (content management system) where you can make updates to certain sections, like a calendar of events, without any knowledge of HTML or website coding.

Call to Actions – The most important aspect of your website is to include call to actions. Without this you will not be able to convert website visitors into leads. Agreat way to do this is to use an integrated marketing software that will allow you to create offer specific landing pages and content forms.