Google Apps As Part Of Your Website

Google Apps is a powerful suite of web-based applications.  Unlike desktop applications, the documents are web pages.  Thus, they can become strategic in your way to market or service your customers via your organization’s website.

Typically, your website is controlled in a centralized fashion.  This makes change and driving real-time connection difficult.

However, you can partition how your website works from a design and functionality standpoint.  If your CSS is set up to keep a consistent look and feel, you can designate public navbar pages or private pages to contain embedded or linked Google Docs, Sites or Calendars.

Here are some ways to empower your team to update information using Google Apps with your website:

  1. Embed a public calendar of events. Whether you have seminars to promote or key dates for your company, you can have someone manage a Google Calendar from their Google Apps interface.  Embed this on a page and allow this to be bookmarked by your customers and fans.
  2. Sharing Google Spreadsheets. Take a Google Spreadsheet and have a team manage it via collaboration and sharing rules.  Publish this on a site where it is updated.  Keeping a count towards a financial donation goal with a real-time chart or a list of attendees for an upcoming event are a few ideas to use this for.
  3. Embedding Google Presentations. Make your sales presentation or marketing materials self-service and updated.  Your sales and marketing team can manage the content, look and feel of company presentations.  Your website can keep the most up to date copy available on a page.  Customers can access this easily.
  4. Sign up or registrations. These can be managed via the Forms function inside of Google Spreadsheets and embedded on a page on your site.  Your respective Google Spreadsheet will collect any incoming form information creating an easily managed database of registrants.
  5. Share white papers or case studies. Have a hidden page accessible from a form registration.  Allow the hidden page to provide a managed Google Doc with your white papers, case studies or ebooks.  As content is modified or added, it will be consumed as current by your website visitors.

Your website is your touchpoint with the world.  If there are barriers to changing the data, it becomes difficult to keep a fresh connection.  Structure your systems to take advantage of Google Apps intrinsic web platform.  It will allow your team to actively participate in serving your partners and customers.

What are some ways you could use Google Apps for your website?

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