At first, when talking about web tools, as a website owner, you may think, ‘It would be nice, but I don’t have the time or money to get a web tool’.
Now, if we turned the argument around and asked you to name some of the biggest sites on the web, you may come back with eBay, Amazon, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Google and some others depending on your background.
Now, let’s look at those sites individually:
- eBay – One big tool that allows you to buy and sell your items
- Amazon – A shopping site, made up of many tools that help you in selection
- Wikipedia – one big repository of information. Is it a tool? **
- Yahoo – One large and several smaller tools that allows you to search the net, read mails and so on
- Google – The best and largest search tool out there, along with many other tools
OK, so we have established that most, if not all major sites are a tool, or a series of tools.
Is this an accident? Let’s take a look at a random industry. For this, I have selected ‘spectacles’. I will now, as I am writing this article, search for spectacles on Google to see if the leading sites are indeed tool-based.
Great! The site at #1 for ‘spectacles’ on Google UK is Glasses2you.co.uk
On first view of the page, I instantly see two tools – this is good news for this off-the-cuff example of course.
The first tool is a simple search engine to search for the particular glasses that you may need. Nothing earth-shattering, but very useful nonetheless.
The second tool is a glasses fitting room tool that helps you to see what your glasses may look like when worn. A very useful tool indeed.
So, this random example has shown that the site at the top of Google UK for a one-word phrase also happens to have some very cool web tools on the site also. Is this a coincidence? Do you think that the web tools encourage other people to link to the site, recommending its features? Do you think that the time spent on the site from visitors following a Google search helps?
Our suggestion is that this is no accident at all. Do a search in your industry. Does the most popular site in it have a cool web tool or three? Isn’t it time that your site had some of those tools?
** regarding Wikipedia being a tool. If finding information about pretty much anything being located in one big space is not a tool, I don’t know what is 🙂