Saturday, 4 February 2012

BT Tradespace: Why Should you Bother With It?

BT Tradespace, let's be honest about this, is a rubbish website. It's slow, it's butt ugly and it doesn't give you much in the way of styling ability. The support isn't great and usually consists of shrugging and saying there's not much they can do about it. Don't get me started on the navigation: Scott of the flippin' Antarctic would lose another team in there, it's so awkward to use. Is there any benefit in having an account there at all?

The old adage that you get what you pay for has so far held true for BT Tradespace. It's free for the most part and you don't get much bang for your buck. You can pay to upgrade, of course — but to what?

What it is

It's a social networking behemoth that lumbers slowy from one function to another, providing a website of sorts to people who haven't got one. You can, in theory, forego having a website and just use BT Tradespace instead. Functionality includes

  • home and about pages

  • discussion forums/help/customer service area

  • galleries to display images

  • news that imports the RSS feed from your blog AND allows you to post items

  • selling online via an Amazon app

Who does it better

Facebook. By a country mile. It's faster, easier to navigate, has more interactivity and better apps integration.

So why should we use it, then?

After all I've said about it you'd think it best to give BT Tradespace a very wide berth, but actually there are some advantages to using it, most of which are to do with SEO. The one and only reason I have an account there is to boost my SEO. Nothing else. No one interacts with me there (I presume they're all at Facebook) and I've never had an enquiry from there. I used to offer account setup, configuration, integration and customization there but never got a response for it one way or the other. But you should at least consider having an account there because of the SEO advantages which include

  • It makes you put keywords and titles on each image you upload

  • It gives you separate areas, each of which has a link of its own

  • You can make as many business profiles as you like: one for each of your websites if you have more than one

  • The apps integration allows you to connect your Twitter account and your blog

  • You can make as many services, community and gallery pages as you want

A brief search of my name alone will bring up a few of my BT Tradespace links on the first few pages. It's one of the things that makes me findable online, so as much as I despise it, I'll update my services pages, galleries and what have you from time to time to keep my content fresh — and add more SEO value to my account.

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