Google Sites is not necessarily the first application that enters the mind of most people as a platform for building out a corporate website, but there are a number of Google Sites use cases that organizations can take advantage of.
One of the great aspects of Google Sites is the fact that it has the built-in sharing options that are common to all Google Apps components. These granular permission levels make Google Sites easy to adapt to a variety of “non standard” use cases.
Here are five ways to use Google Sites other than as a corporate website platform.
1. Landing Page Hosting
Google Sites works surprisingly well for hosting B2B style landing pages. Here’s how to create a B2B style landing page in Google Sites in just a few minutes:
One of factors that plays into whether a visitor will submit a form on a landing page is their level of trust. Landing page trust factors come in all shapes and sizes.
As it turns out, “Report Abuse” and “Powered by Google Sites”, which are text elements at the bottom of every Google Sites page, serve as trust factors. We found that our conversion rates went up when we switched to using Google Sites for our landing pages, even though the pages look almost identical to how they looked on the previous platform (a marketing automation system).
2. A Small Business Intranet
While there are a number of enterprise solutions for building intranets, small businesses that have committed to Google Apps for Work may want to consider using Google Sites as a company intranet platform.
One of the biggest complaints among corporate intranet users is having to log into “yet another site”. If a user is logged into Google Apps, the user is also logged into the Google Sites based intranet.
Another common complaint among intranet users is not being able to easily find what they need. With the full power of Google search, it’s easy for users to find anything on a Google Sites-based Intranet by using very familiar search techniques and parameters.
Even the text in uploaded PDFs is indexed:
3. A Deal Information Organizer for Salespeople
This use case is a Google Site that’s created by a salesperson. The salesperson may want to keep the Site private or share it with one or two other people on his or her team, such as a sales engineer.
If a salesperson working on a deal has a variety of scattered information pertaining to the opportunity such as spreadsheets, documents, presentations and would like to consolidate and view all details on a single screen, Google Sites is ideal for this.
While a CRM system lets users attach various documents to an Account or a Contact record, users still need to individually open or navigate to each attachment to see the contents. On a Google Sites page, any added Google Docs, Sheets or Slides are already opened in view mode and can be edited in a new tab by clicking a link in the lower left.
Via simple point and click, a salesperson can easily add all information that’s pertinent to a deal on a single Google Sites page.
4. Proposals and Statements of Work
This is a bit of an edge use case, but an idea that we came up with is to use Site’s pages for customer proposals. The sharing option “anyone with the link” provides security through obscurity.
One of the drivers for this concept is that dynamic spreadsheets can be embedded within a proposal’s narrative. A big pain point for salespeople is to have to paste pricing information from Sheets into a Document as a table, at which point the table becomes static. Any changes to pricing requires manual updates or re-copy/pasting of the source spreadsheet into the Document.
5. Creating a Microsite
Even if your corporate website is hosted on WordPress, Drupal or some other CMS, if you need to spin up a public website for a specific purpose and are authorized to do this, Google Sites is a very convenient option.
A microsite can be set up as a subdomain of your main domain so that it benefits from your organization’s general web presence.
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