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Suggestions for your Web content
By Anna Marie Kukec | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/17/2007 6:01 AM

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Jeff Klingberg, president and chief executive of Hampshire-based Konstanz Kommunikations Inc. (www.konstanzkom.com), has been following our columns about small businesses and Web sites.

It started with a study that showed about 43 percent of small businesses in a survey didn't have Web sites, despite our society's growing obsession with the Internet.

Then last week, a Web developer talked about advantages for small businesses with Web sites.

Klingberg, who runs a marketing communications firm, said that just having an Internet presence for the sake of having it isn't good.

"Some thought has to be put into determining the content, structure and navigation of the site," Klingberg said. "But, how does a business determine what type of information, structure and navigation the prospective buyer requires?"

He has these suggestions:

• Put your consumer hat on. Everyone is a consumer. Think about how you find information and select a supplier for the items you purchase for your business and home.

• Talk to your customers. Ask them what information they need to make a buying decision -- company history, vision, mission, management team bios; nearest location, distributor or retailer; product specifications; photos; coupons, among other things. If your company serves consumers, "don't forget to ask the kids. They're a major purchasing influencer in most families," he said.

• Conduct research. Vendors and competitors are ideal sources for market intelligence as are trade publications.

Klingberg said a business' Web site is more than just an electronic brochure. "It is a communications and productivity tool -- and possibly a social community -- that is an extension of the company's brand positioning," he said.

If well done, those Web sites could do a lot.

"A business' Web site not only can satisfy a customers wants and needs, it can generate more revenue, reduce operating expenses and increase a business' bottom line, which is the ultimate goal of any business owner," said Klingberg.

Surfing: Arlington Heights-based Paylocity, a Web-based payroll firm said its WebPay, the company's flagship product, was awarded five stars -- a perfect score -- by the CPA Technology Advisor. The publication, a resource for accountants, conducts an annual review of payroll systems. WebPay was lauded for its ease of use, features and integration capabilities.

• The Apple Store opened over the weekend at 20530 N. Rand Road in Deer Park (www.apple.com/retail) and you can get more than just products. It offers some free programs, including a Youth Workshop series, special events, face-to-face technical support, among others.

• TechNexus, the Illinois Information Technology Association and FastRoot will close out the summer with "Down by the River" happy hour on Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the park at the base of 200 S Wacker. This reception is exclusive to invitation only and about 100 are expected. See https://www.illinoistech.org/calendar.aspx/588.