Building a website these days has more to do with the tools you have on your site and your content than the look and feel of the site itself. These things determine how useful your site is to users and to your company, as well as where you get placed in the search engines. Here are the top four business web tools that you need on your website, why you need them, and how to use them.

1. Shopping Cart. Your website must have a shopping cart so that your customers can place orders and make payment. Even if you sell services instead of products you should have some method for your clients to pay you through your website. This can be as simple as a PayPal button or as complex as a detailed shopping cart and catalogue system. Whatever the case, this is perhaps the most important tool for your website. You can easily purchase shopping cart software for your website, or many web site builders offer a shopping cart built into business websites.

2. Social Networking. Any informative content available on your site should include a link to share the article on Facebook or Twitter. These sharing buttons are the best way to entice visitors to promote your website. You will be amazed at the number of hits you get from this one simple website tool. Getting the share button is easy, and it is sometimes included in website builders. If you have to find the button code on another website, you can simply copy and paste the code into the editor of your web builder and you’re in business.

3. Google Analytics. This amazing website tool allows you to track what keyword searches lead to your visitors entering your website. It also shows you where your visitors are located and other demographics. You will know exactly who is visiting your site and how they got there. Using this tool is easy. Simply set up a Google analytics account and copy and paste the code onto your website pages. It will not show anything on your web page itself, but the code will be there for the web to read whenever someone visits your site. To see the data collected, just log back into your Analytics account.

4. Newsletter Sign Up. A free newsletter is a great way to get the contact information of your site visitors and present them with information about your products and services on a routine basis. This in turn leads to more sales. You can easily start a newsletter for free through a number of online list services, such as Yahoo Groups. Once you set up the newsletter, you should be able to copy and paste a code that will set up a sign up box on your web page. This way people can sign up for your newsletter right on your site without leaving it.

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