In the previous post we discussed how to create a simple website for a small business using Google Sites. In this post I will talk about adding new features to your simple site to make it more interesting for your visitors.
Google sites is simple but full of features to meet all your needs. You can add almost anything to your website by using it with other Google web applications. All these great features are available to you under the Insert menu when you edit a page.
There is a handy button to upload your pictures. But you can also add pictures from Picassa web albums. This feature is particularly good if you want to publish albums of your products, your business, events, and so on. Using albums will provide your visitors a reason to stay, browse, and would eventually compell to take action and contact you.
You can upload your videos to Google Video or YouTube and then embedd them on any page on your website. If a picture is worth a thousand words than a video is better than thousand pictures. You can use your handycam to make video and upload them to Youtube. Just make sure that your videos are not too lengthy. Make short clips and make sure that they are good. You can always edit your videos with Windows Movie Maker. Add music to them, add subtitles, slides, or logos.
Add Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations
You can embedd your documents from Google Docs to your website. Even if you use MS Word or Open Office, you can always upload your documents to Google docs just for the sharing purposes. I specially love the presentations feature. I think it is a great idea to create promotional material in slides and add them to your pages or offer them as downloads so that visitors can learn more about your business by viewing a colorful presentation.
People are lazy, and with the wealth of information available on the web it is difficult for them to memorize your site and your business details. They are lazy to pick up the phone and dial your number. So it is a good idea that you add forms to your site so that they can leave their contact information and you can tell them more about your business, products and services. You can create a contact page with a form on Google Sites. First create a form in Google Docs then add it to your page. It is hassle free and you don’t need to know any programing, scripting or html to do that. You can place an order /query form, run a poll on your website and ask visitors questions. Run surveys and display the data on your pages.
Add Google Gadget
Click on the More button under the Insert menu and you can choose from hundereds of gadgets to add interactivity and usefulness to your website. You can add translate tools, you can add calendars, add an online chat gadget to talk to your site’s visitors. Browse the gadgets and you will be surprised to see how many tools are there to make your site interesting. But a word of caution, don’t use too many gadgets and don’t use them at all if you don’t need them. They are available to add interactivity and external functionality to your website. Using them un-neccarily would be annoying for your site’s user experience.
There is nothing to worry about if you ever run into any problem while working on your website at Google Sites. They have support available for you. You can browse their help pages, join their forum and post your questions, or you can subscribe to their Google sites blog. They often feature websites that are taken advantage Google Sites, so drop them an email and they might even feature you on their blog.