WordPress is definitely the most popular content management system available, however many small businesses want to know exactly what are some of the things that a WordPress site can do that other sites can’t. The answer is nothing- you can do all of these things without WordPress. The power of wordpress however, is the ability to add features quickly and easily through something called plugins. Here are some of the things that you can do with a WordPress site through plugins that you may not have thought about for your small business.
How Can Your WordPress Website Enhance Your Business?
The analogy I use with clients is the following. Your smartphone really should have one purpose, to make calls. With the addition of certain “apps” however, your smartphone can become an e -reader, do banking transactions, become a mobile gaming console, etc. The developer community of wordpress has created “plugins” which can extend the functionality of your website very quickly and easily.
In fact you can extend wordpess functionality without hiring a developer, just find the plugin that you need, configure it according to the specifications, and in many cases you will be able go extend your wordpress site in minutes. That’s powerful.
Scheduling calendar –
You can actually use your website to show your customers what times you have available in your schedule. They can schedule a consultation or service with you and you can be notified instantly when you have an appointment scheduled. If your wordpress theme is responsive,(as most newer themes are), then your customers can book you on their mobile phone or tablet.
Online forms –
Online forms are not only able to keep you from wasting precious resources, they also allow your business to keep an electronic record of each submission. This makes things extremely easy for searching, editing etc. Many form plugins such as gravity forms allow you to make professional forms that are extremely good looking and can make your business more efficient.
Google maps –
You want to give your customers every opportunity to find your business. There are a slew of google map plugins that show your customers how to get to your location. Again, if paired with a responsive mobile theme, a customer can use their phone’s gps to beat a path to your front door.
Posting items to social media-
Social media is here to stay. Wordpress plugins that automatically post to your facebook, twitter, and google+ accounts are a great and easy way to have an “all in one” approach. Just think about being able to make an update on your website about your latest sale, and instantly sending it to your facebook fans and twitter followers.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, online video is worth a million. Businesses everywhere are taking advantage of inexpensive video hosting and placing demos, tutorials, etc.. on their website. Wordpress makes it easy to add online video to your site, which instantly lends credibility and clarity to your marketing efforts.
Online training courses
Similar to online videos, you can take your materials and make it into an online course. What a great way to teach your customers about your product or services. You can offer a training course online showing them how to use your product, ( this will greatly reduce your customer service overhead.)
Instead of mailing out brochures that will wind up in the trash , why not place a PDF file on your website for your potential customers to find, download, and print. You can then use the money you would have used printing the materials to improve your customer experience.
If you deal with music in any form or fashion, WordPress is a great platform to use to place audio files on your site. With the newer releases of wordpress, you can embed audio files right into your posts and let your customers hear what you’re all about.
Why not allow your former customers become your greatest salesmen? Worpress allows you to display customer testimonials in your main content, or in a sidebar that helps to sell your product or service.
Sell your product directly on your website. If you pair this along with a scheduling plugin, you can allow your customers to pre-pay for your product or service by booking it online and either paying the full price or paying a portion to secure their appointment.
Sample Wordpress Website Scenarios:
Scenario #1 – An hairdresser can allow customers to book appointments via her website. Once the appointment is booked, she receives an email notifying her of the appointment.
Scenario #2- A contractor is able to post videos and galleries of his work online. He can then send a potential client a link to an online contract that is legally binding. He can have the customer pay the initial down payment through the website, all without having to physically pass paperwork. This streamlines the process and saves money.
Scenario #3 – A local shop sets up an ecommerce extension for wordpress that allows them to sell their products to a national or international audience, all from their shop. Additionally, they can add videos showcasing featured products, and answer customer questions real-time.
Here are some other things that we didn’t visit in this article, but are possible with on a wordpress website very easily via plugins.
- Featured products
- Online mailing lists
- Custom proposals
- Online chat
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