Mar 23, 2010

8 Ways To Drive Targeted Traffic #7: Build A Useful Web Application

eLearning Series

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This week’s tip to drive traffic to your website gives your site visitors something useful… while allowing you to keep in front of them with a branded message.

Eight Ways to Drive Traffic To Your Website Tip #7:
Build A Useful Web Application (Retain) Case Study: Air Quality Meter for Tennessee Residents We just helped build launch a new website for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, called, ClearTheAirTN.org:

Clear the Air TN Wbsite

The site is dedicated to helping “Clear The Air,” and getting the word out about air quality, and gives tips for what an average person can do (including idling your car less), and offers resources for schools, employers and commercial trucking operators.

A Mini-Web Application: At the top of the website is an air quality meter, that allows a person to click on their city, and then have the site display the air quality for the day: Air Quality Meter - EPA Feed When someone clicks on Chattanooga, for example, the system then displays the air quality for this town. The system also sets a cookie on their computer, so when someone returns to the site, they’ll automatically see the air quality for their selected town.

How Did We Do This?

We used a public database from the EPA, that they publish several times a day in a raw data format. We took this data feed, and have an automated system import it into a live database several times each day. Then, when someone selects the city, our system knows what information to display in an easy-to-read graphical format. This type of mini-web application is useful because it gives people a great reason to come back. It’s also relevant to the mission and purpose of the organization. A future option for the air quality meter application is to create a daily email that sends people the air quality in their selected town each day. Other Possible Applications: Other applications that may be useful for your site visitors include: Currency Exchange Calculator Carbon Footprint Calculator Monthly Payment Calculator Store Locator (someone types in a zip code, and the site finds the store closest to their geographical location)

Summary: Done correctly, a mini-Web application like the Tennessee Air Quality Meter can create a compelling experience that will drive new and repeat traffic to a website