As companies get on-line or think of getting on-line, they need to do some thinking about what type of web presence they will have. Usually companies start with the simpler types and gradually increase the complexity of their site. As sites get more complex, they need to make the site easier to use. In many cases, this means increasing the interactivity of the web site to help the user find what they are looking for on your site.

One of the nice features of websites is that you can gradually add information to your site as you learn from customers' questions and comments. If one customer would like the information, others may also. Add it to your website! If you integrate it nicely, it won't interfere with the ease of use for those not interested and will be available for those who want it. You get the added benefit that the more pages you have about a topic on your site, the better your chance of appearing high on search engines.

I will relate the different types of site to other forms of business advertising.

Different Types of Web Pages

Business Pages Listing(s)
In this case, you don't actually create pages of your own. You enter your contact information on different business directory sites and hope new customers find you!
Yellow Pages Ad(s)
While you may or may not be creating your own pages in this case, in addition to having basic contact information, you also have your logo and some simple description of your services and hours.
Flyer
This is your basic web page about your company. Like a full page Yellow Pages ad or the basic flyer posted or handed out. At the next level, the flyer would be information on a product or service that you offer.
Brochure/Booklet
This is where you have several pages of information. Either several pages of information on one product or on several different products. There is usually a page devoted to contact information and hours.

Added Features

Detailed Information
Even though you may have some information in the Brochure/Booklet site, as you find the questions that customers are asking, you may decide to place more detailed information on your site for those who just want more details. This is normally the point at which you integrate some form of searching your site into your site. In my case, I provide a search box for a major search engine that includes code to limit the search to my site.
Product Catalog
If you have several products, you may have these arranged in some form of catalog. It can be like a mail order catalog where they need to send in a page with their check or creditcard number or call a toll free number or, more likely now, linked into a shopping cart that will allow them to order online.
Bulletin Board
With a bulletin board, you can bring your user community together and have them help each other while they are helping you get a better idea of what they are looking for on your site or from your business.
Registration/Feedback Forms
You may want users to register to be able to use your site. This will give you a list of people to which you can market. Be sure to ask them if it is okay for you to market to them! Better yet, use a double opt-in. This means you send them a email that they have to take action with before they are added to your list.
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