While this may be time
consuming, this is a sure fire way to generate traffic to your
site that is directly interested in the product or service you
are offering. Most webmasters, even if they might be
competitors, are very willing to exchange links or banners.
Some sites have over 200 links to other sites that are direct
competitors. These link exchanges may generate as
much traffic, if not more than search engines and directories
do. No one can do this but you... the webmaster.
Boards & Guest Books
These options offer a multitude
of benefits! Message boards can cause potential customers
to return again and again to your site to engage in conversation
related to the products and services you offer. The more
popular your message board becomes, the more visitors will
recommend your site to other people on the internet. Not only
this, but after your message board and guest book grows, they
become search engine magnets! Every keyword you
every dreamed of related to your product or service will be
discussed by your visitors. If submitted to a search
engine they will be spidered helping your ranking!
Generally most people frown on
unsolicited email (or "Spam") trying to sell you a
product you are not interested in. This is never a good
idea. To put this in perspective, think of a telemarketer
calling you at dinner time trying to sell you a product you
don't want. A better alternative is to have your visitors
have the option of "subscribing" to a "free"
newsletter from your site... let them make the choice. Do
not fill the mailing with sales slogans or other "slap you
on the back one-liner salesman techniques". Instead
mention the latest additions or updates to the site and possibly
any special offers. This can also increase word of mouth
referrals, but always be sure to offer an option in each mailing
to be removed from the mailing list.
This is difficult for any
webmaster, as well as ourselves. Many webmasters feel the need
to explain everything they can about their service and product,
as do we. The problem is, and research shows this, most
people do not read everything available. The trick
is you can offer all of the information you want, but rather
than filling one page with text, put links to other pages or put
the topics at the top of the page and have links to the
information that it located further down (as we have done on
this page. The trick is to limit the amount of
reading only to what the visitor has a direct interest in.
Use text links in addition to image links because many web
surfers may turn off graphics to make sites load faster. If no
text links are available, visitors may leave and some search
engines follow only text links when spidering a site.
Keep it simple! Everyday
more and more people are using the Internet. Many of these
people are on their first computer and have limited experience
using one, let alone the Internet. The more simple your
site is, the easier it is to navigate.
Many webmasters now have cable/DSL
modems, this is an excellent benefit to them, however it can
also be a direct disadvantage. Most Internet users do not
have cable modem access, they are limited to telephone line
modems. A Webmaster with a cable modem may not realize
that the page she/he is designing may take 60 seconds to load on
a standard modem. Statistics show that most
"surfers" are unwilling to wait more than 15 to 20
seconds for a page to load. You must also consider that
most sites with high traffic are charged for bandwidth.
Fancy sites are not always the answer and "More" is
not necessarily better. Try to keep your index page
between 30 to 40K. If the pages on your site are graphic
intensive, keep each page below 30-40K by using thumbnails
instead of full size images, this will allow the viewer to wait
only for the images she/he wishes to view.
This is a big issue. If
you do not know how to program in HTML and are using a program
to design your site, be sure to view it with as many browsers as
you can. You want your site to be as compatible as
possible and aside from the many versions available from the big
boys on the block (Internet Explorer and Netscape) WebTV and AOL
users may not be able to access your site properly.
Simplicity is the key.... while fancy plug-ins and other
enhancements may impress your friends, it may also limit your
Having your own domain name has
a big impact on your viewers, it shows that you are committed to
offering your service and may give them a feeling of comfort.
Your domain name should be short, a very good example would be
that one of our clients who sells Digital Video equipment and
supplies wanted to use a domain name of digitalvideosupplies.com,
with this domain name there was plenty of possible typographical
errors, instead we suggested a shorter name of dvsupply.com
because "dv" is the standard abbreviation for digital
video and potential customers interested in this field would
have no problem remembering the domain name. If you
have already registered a domain name it is not too late.
You can always add another domain name and use that name to
forward to your existing domain. Leaving the old and new
domain names up would double your exposure!
Domain name registration is
well worth the minor investment. On the internet you can
be as big as you want to be! For example: How do you know
for sure that big name companies like amazon.com
(a reseller of books, videos, and CD's) buy.com
(a reseller of just about everything) dvsupply.com
(a reseller of digital video hardware and software), binak.com
(a company that manufactures a well known brand name lubricant
for wind instruments) or for that matter submitasite.com
(us) are not all run from a family owned small office in some
rural location? Truth is.. you don't, but those domain
names give the visitors confidence as to their stability over a
site such as http://www.earthhosting.com/user/home/bettysbridal/