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Launching Your E-business Chapter 10 Beta Testing Your Web Site Software companies allow users to test their software programs, before selling them to the public, in order to find problems in the software. It is a good idea for an e-business to test its web site with a beta launch .

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Beta Testing Your Web Site

  • Software companies allow users to test their software programs, before selling them to the public, in order to find problems in the software.

  • It is a good idea for an e-business to test its web site with a beta launch.

  • By allowing visitors to test its web site before marketing it to the public, an e-business can get feedback and make changes.


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Marketing an E-Business

  • The early approach to marketing e-businesses was “If we build it, they will come”.

  • Today this approach is not effective.

  • Most conventional marketing approaches are useful to the e-business.

  • Some techniques and methods are unique to the e-business environment.


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Search Engines and Directories

  • The reality of web marketing:

  • Despite all marketing expenses, most viewers locate relevant web sites through the use of search engines and directory services.


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Search Engines and Directories

  • Examples of search engines and directories.

    • AltaVista.

    • Northern light.

    • HotBot.

    • GoTo.Com.

    • Google.

    • Yahoo.

    • Others ..



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Search Engines

  • Use a variety of methods to gather and index information.

  • This process may take time due to the volume of materials to be examined.

  • Some services accept submissions.

  • Some may require a fee to review and index quickly.



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Indexing Methods

  • Different search engine sites use differing indexing techniques.

  • This is why two different engines produce vastly different results at times.

  • It is important to add “Meta Tags” that accurately describe the content.

  • These tags are used by some indexing systems to help build their indexes.


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Techniques to Improve Index “Hits

  • Write clear but descriptive web page text that a search engine can index.

  • Avoid using frames, or have an alternate no-frames site to help search engine spiders locate all web pages at a web site.

  • Use static HTML pages for products that can be indexed by search engines, instead of active pages that are generated by the server from data from a product database.


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Techniques to Improve Index “Hits

  • Use fewer or smaller images to keep page load times down.

  • Provide links to complementary pages.

  • Arrange for inbound links from other web sites, which are used by some search tools to determine a web page’s ranking or relevance.



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Public Relations

  • A public relations effort is one of the more cost-effective marketing tools.

  • Part of the art of a public relations effort is writing effective press releases and sending those releases to the appropriate destinations at just the right time.

  • There are many businesses that specialize in providing public relations services.


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Customer Communications

  • Direct communications with potential customers is important.

  • Usenet newsgroups and forms represents a significant way to disseminate news and respond to customer concerns.


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Affiliate Programs

  • Affiliate web sites are an important source of customer referrals.

  • In an affiliate program, the e-business pays a referral fee (usually a flat amount) or commission (a percentage of the sale) on all sales sent to the e-business from another Web site.


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Other Cost-effective Promotion Methods

  • Link exchanges

  • Web rings

  • Awards

  • Word of mouth – goodwill marketing



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E-Business Advertising

  • Conventional advertising techniques may be necessary.

  • It is important to include web address and email address in conventional advertising materials.

  • This will “drive” potential customers to the web site and promote brand awareness.

  • Web based advertising can be purchased from a number of popular portal sites.



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Benchmarking a Web Site

  • A benchmark is a performance based objective for a business’s web site.

  • The process:

    • Determine the goals

    • Set the benchmarks

    • Measure the results

    • Draw reasonable conclusions


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The Benchmarks

  • A brick & click e-business has historical records to utilize.

  • A new e-business lacks historical or traditional data.

  • Look at sales, expenses, ratios, etc.

  • May be difficult to attribute to a single source or input factor


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Measuring Web Site ROI

  • Traditional financial measures available include NPV, ROI.

  • Look at customer satisfaction and intangible benefits.


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Online Measurement Tools

  • Web servers record all of the events that they process to files called log files.

  • A careful examination of these log files can reveal much about a web site’s effectiveness.

  • Analysis software is available to examine logs


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Logging and Tracking

  • Some of the information gained will be:

    • Number of visitors.

    • Number of page views.

    • Views per visitor.

    • IP addresses of visitor.

    • Referring URL’s.

    • Browser type.

    • Conversion rate.

    • Errors.

    • Return visitors.



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