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In my last post, I wrote about Vista Sidebar Gadgets and the huge marketing potential I see by using them. Just recently, I had the folks at GadgetSpark develop a sidebar gadget to my specifications for one of my sites. I’m exceptionally pleased with their work!

Well guys and gals, after being “live” for 24 hrs my gadget had been downloaded 200 times and driving traffic to the site. Most notable is that the visitors being driven to the site by the gadget are navigating to other areas of the site. Needless to say, these initial results are very encouraging.

For those of you considering utilizing a sidebar gadget as part of your SEM strategy (if you’re not you should be!) there’s some things you should keep in mind.

Appeal

Your sidebar gadget should look and feel professional. No one wants a fugly gadget cluttering their desktop regardless of its usefulness. It should be pleasing to look at and reflect the theme and feel of your site. Give your potential visitors a taste of what they can expect to see and find on your site.

Design

Whether you design the gadget yourself, or have a company such as GadgetSpark.com design one for you as I did, keep in mind the benefits of it being digitally signed. A digitally signed sidebar gadget is an assurance to the person installing it that has not been altered. Without it, your potential user will be greeted with a warning window letting them know that your gadget may not be safe to install. This can quite easily deter many potential users.

Content

Keep the content displayed by your gadget fresh and updated regularly. Your sidebar gadget refreshes at a rate you specify. Allowing it to stagnate with the same information too long can cause your users to dispose of it quickly. Remember, your gadget is displayed on their desktop 24-7. Give them something fresh to look at to keep them interested and enticing them to your site to find out more.

Your Vista Sidebar Gadget can deliver just about anything you want. Be creative! Make it interesting and useful. Happy gadgeting!

Dave

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