Website Portals

Website portals available throughout the world can be incredibly useful to any visitor looking for information, advice, tips and even special packages in some instances.

What is a Website Portal?

A Website Portal is a website that generally includes vast information relating to a particular subject matter. When you land up on a particular portal, you will often read terms such as “one stop shop”, “online guide”, “online directory”.

The beauty of portals is certainly the fact that you can find most of the information that you require on one website – this ultimately can saves you time and certainly is very convenient.

Why use Website Portals?

As mentioned above, Website Portals that are well maintained and are popular tend to have good and useful information available.

Here are some good reasons to make use of website portals:

  • Up to date information on the subject matter is usually available.
  • Articles or pages on the website are available that provide you with more detailed information on the particular subject matter you are browsing the internet for.
  • Product / Service specials and packages are often displayed on website portals which can prove useful when looking at comparative costing.

How do I know which Website Portal to advertise my business on or use for my particular business?

You will need to do your homework if you want to advertise your business on website portals. Here’s how to get the information on whether it’s a good idea to market your business on a particular website portal:

  • Ask other companies advertising on the portal for their input and feedback.
  • Do searches on major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and MSN – you don’t want to advertise on a website that doesn’t rank well on the search engines.
  • Get the statistics on the website if possible. IMPORTANT: Make sure to get UNIQUE VISITORS and IGNORE Hits and Page Views as they are completely irrelevant.
  • Browse the website and use your judgment to determine whether the website looks good. Avoid advertising on websites that are filled with adverts that deter you from the main website. Banners can distract visitors from a website since visitors generally get redirected to another website when the banner is clicked. If a website portal is filled with banners, be careful when signing up as you are paying the portal to ensure YOU RECEIVE BUSINESS and not lose business.
  • For portals that take on PAID ADVERTISERS opposed to a commission based model: Check if there are limitations in the number of business listed in a particular area of the site – If there’s an unlimited amount, depending on the subject matter, this can also decrease your chances of being found. For example, Mammoth Solutions run s a directory for South Africa Weddings. We have a limited listing policy of 10 service partners per category and region which has resulted in our service partners receiving more business than if they were among hundreds of other service partners in the same category and province. Weddings are very specific, but the concept remains. 10 is a low number, but be careful of advertising on a portal where you are dealing with hundreds of other listings that are ultimately in competition with you.
  • For portals that are COMMISSION based: make sure you understand the terms and conditions with these types of sites. There is very little harm in advertising with these types of portals from a “payment upfront” point of view. But, you MUST UNDERSTAND the commission structure to ensure that a sale / purchase / booking through the portal website is still financially beneficial for you after commission has been deducted.

VERY IMPORTANT:

Make sure that understand the TERMS AND CONDITIONS relating to the joining up with a website. Make sure there are no additional costs and be clear on cost structures, costs involved, all your options and annual / monthly fees (if any).

Summary

There are hundreds of South Africa portals to list on, but it ultimately comes down to your business. As mentioned above, do your homework and make sure you understand clearly what is involved on your part.

TIP:

If people can contact you via the portal via a contact form, make sure to use an email address that is reliable e.g. don’t use YAHOO or HOTMAIL accounts as they don’t look particularly professional and they aren’t always reliable.