Intuit is adding new capabilities to its Intuit Websites service, including social networking features.

The new version of Intuit's do-it-yourself website building tool provides small businesses with the tools to get up and running quickly. Small business owners can customize their websites to reflect the uniqueness of their businesses. Key features include tailor-fit designs.

With more than 2,000 templates available, users can customize their choice to reflect their unique businesses. Drag-and-drop website elements help users place pictures and text on the page. Step-by-step navigation guides users as they build their websites.

Users can increase their visibility on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn by embedding "follow me" buttons. They can also extend the reach of their websites by encouraging their visitors to share news and reviews about them on Facebook via a "Facebook Like" button. In addition, they can add and manage a blog as a way to communicate with customers and keep their website content fresh.

Online merchants can create their own e-stores, complete with shopping carts and payment options. Users have the flexibility to manage their websites anytime, anywhere. The service supports Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

For those needing extra assistance, Intuit's team of Web Advisors are available seven days a week to provide guidance at any step in the process. The service is included in the $4.99 monthly fee. The Web Advisors are U.S.-based and can provide help with Intuit's website tools, offer design tips and suggest online marketing tactics to get more customers to small businesses' websites. Most of them have previously either owned or worked in small businesses, so can offer advice based on experience.

After creating their websites, small businesses can sign up for additional services to help attract customers. Intuit's WebListings service submits business information to more than 100 major local search sites to help local customers find the business.

Other services include search engine optimization, which improves the visibility of a website in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, and e-mail marketing, which enables small businesses to send e-mails directly to targeted lists of customers.

Additionally, Intuit's Online Marketing Toolkit (www.Intuit.com/Toolkit) offers advice to small businesses interested in learning more about online marketing strategies and tactics. The free online resource shares best practices and real-life small business success stories. Topics range from "Building a Website" to "Search Engine Marketing" and "Social Marketing."

More information about Intuit Websites can be found at www.IntuitWebsites.com.

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