Chamber ready to unveil new look for website

Added features could benefit businesses more

The Cortez Area Chamber of Commerce is always looking to evolve. The first and most important upgrade this year is the redesign of the Chamber's website.

The original site made its debut only two years ago, but Internet and web design have already made various transformations. The existing website seemed to be in need of a fresh look. The new page, designed by chamber employee Becky Brunk and chamber ambassador Bob Scott, will debut this week and boast a multitude of new features.

Chamber members and others will be able to get more information about the area, archaeological sites, where to shop, where to eat and much more. They have given the site a complete face lift in hopes that businesses will take advantage of their chamber membership.

"There will be a free expanded listing for each member that includes access to an entire page," Chamber Director Dena Guttridge explained. "They can add photos, videos, text, links to their main websites, whatever they want that will help people visiting our site."

The previous chamber website had a tab for all businesses that are chamber members. Any business on the listing has a separate "page" of information that a visitor would be directed to. That same feature remains with the new site, but the chamber added new updates so a business would have a chance to represent themselves the best way possible. There are about 400 businesses that are current members. Any of those members with a pre-existing website can still partake in the Chamber's offerings. They can now have double the information on the web for marketing and advertising purposes.

Businesses have always been able to include a variety of search keywords and categories attached to their page. Scott, who was involved with the technical end of the site, is hoping that this feature will reinsert itself so members can take full advantage of search benefits.

"It is database driven and is not limited," Scott said. "This creates a higher probability that their web page will show up when searched. Google tries to return website links appropriate to your search. It can be specific or it can be hit or miss."

The website's improved capabilities are not restricted to user friendly updates. The new features are also helpful for chamber members to create relationships with one another, which is after all the main focus for any community chamber.

The Chamber's new site offers businesses numerous links for tips, guides, assistance and more in creating and maintaining a successful business. Useful sites for marketing, social media, employer assistance, free online workshops, plus other important city, regional and state information necessary for business owners, are also available.

"People do business with people they know by finding them on the Internet," Guttridge said. "This is a great way to focus on our members and create value for them."

They will have new interactive features for job listings, hot deals and savings, Google maps and local events. Everything on the site has been made to optimize searches in hopes that people all over the world will have a better view into Cortez and its surrounding areas.

There will be upcoming workshops and trainings conducted for chamber members on website utilization after the website is fully accessible. For more information on the Chamber call 565-3414.