21 Reasons Why The Next Site I Visit Could Be Yours (Part 1)
by: Steve Nash
You spend so much time promoting YOUR site, but why, exactly, do YOU VISIT someone else's?
The other day, I re-visited all of the sites I had been to that week (using Internet Explorer's History option). I asked myself the simple question: "Why did I visit that site?" I came up with 21, yes 21!, reasons why I visited a particular web site. Now if they are reasons why *I* visited a site, they could well be reasons why I (or someone else) would visit YOUR site!
So here are some reasons why I visit a web site, and at least one way to make it a reason that people visit YOURS!
Reasons I Visited A Web site:
- To Win Prizes [Run an online competition]
Surfers are a selfish lot - they all want to win something (including me)! Why not let them? A suitable joint venture, affiliate program or just something you can offer as a prize will do it. Find more information about online competitions at:
- To Read My E-mail Online [Host a web-based e-mail service]
This is Hotmail's fault (but I keep on returning!). Now there are plenty of ways to create your own free web-based e-mail system, with your own web-address too. Why not visit
- To Buy Something [Join an affiliate program]
I admit it, I'm one of the few that buy online!! You probably do too. Did you know that there are many, many ways of running your own virtual store. The easiest way, though, is to build a collection of affiliate links (not just banner ads!) that your site visitors will really appreciate...
- http://www.isyndicate.com (virtual store - US only)
- Because Of Free Stuff [Create a download resource]
We all like freebies, and even visit sites that only contain LINKS to freebie-sites. Well, now it's possible to put free downloads etc on your site. Visit this site for an example
- I Found It On Lycos [Submit site to search engines]
Submitting your site to search engines is a must, when it comes to getting visitors to your site. Rather than going on about meta tags, keywords, doorway pages, etc., I'll just point you to these excellent resources
- http://www.searchengines.com/ - All about search engines
- http://www.jimtools.com - 'Submit your site' tool
- I Saw A Link On Someone's Site [Reciprocal link]
Links to your site get you noticed; links to your site build trust; AND links to your site improve your ranking on search engines. So swap links with similar sites, and create a "Links" page. Or just visit these sites for more ideas
- I Read About The Site In An E-mail [Press release]
This could also be 'because I saw the site address in a magazine or a newspaper'. How did that address get to be in the newspaper or e-mail? Probably because someone submitted a press release to the editor of the magazine, newspaper, or ezine. Most news is 'created' via a press release or publicity stunt. Dr Nunley knows all about publicity and PR
- Because Your Site Is Already Bookmarked [Favorites/bookmarks]
- As Site Was Recommended To Me By A Friend [Recommend site]
You see those links on a site that say: "Like our site? Tell a friend!" Well, it works. People like to recommend a great site to their friends - they gain kudos, respect. So why not make it easy for them to recommend YOUR site to THEIR friends! You can set up a recommend service yourself by using a free Perl/ CGI script, or let another site provide the service (for free):
- http://www.bignosebird.com (script called birdcast)
- http://www.recommend-it.com (offers competitions)
- http://www.letemknow.com (you don't lose traffic)
- To Meet Others [Build a community]
This is a 'killer reason' to visit any web site. You meet others that share your interest, and you swap information and ideas. Message boards, forums, online communities, they all generate a great deal of traffic; traffic that returns again and again. Community-building tools are free, but you will need to promote heavily to get your community started, and you will need to consider just how you go about moderating the discussions.
- I Read A Site's Newsletter [Create a newsletter, e-zine]
I subscribe to many newsletters to find out about free offers, competitions, price updates; or just to act as a reminder to visit that site. (I only subscribe if I'm confident my e-mail is safe from spam, mind - I always look for a privacy statement of some kind.) A newsletter provides you with an excellent opportunity to stay in touch with your site visitors; a great newsletter even encourages new visitors. Use these tools:
- http://www.topica.com (Free service)
- http://www.lyris.com (Professional service)
- http://www.bignosebird.com (Do it yourself Perl/CGI script)
- I Saw the URL Somewhere [Promote your site off-line]
Now where did I did see that URL? Was it on someone's T-shirt, or on the side of a car? Was it on a letterhead or business card? Was it on a tie-pin or broach? Was it on a computer's screen-saver, or an electronic Christmas card? Was it on a bill-board or on TV? Was it on a restaurant's guest book(!)... Okay, okay, I'll stop there! But you get the idea!
(Oh! And don't forget your e-mail signature files!)
- To Check On An Affiliate Program [Run an affiliate program]
Affiliate programs are great, and if you sell a product on- line you should *seriously* think of running one (if you don't already). Affiliates help 'spread the word' about your site; they also improve sales; AND - remember this! - they keep on re-visiting your site to check just how much money they've made! You win, and your affiliates win too (with improved site-content, and earnings)! For further advice:
That's your lot. Next time, we'll look at writing articles, banner exchanges, web resources, playing games and more!
About The Author
Steve Nash is webmaster at http://www.taurus-graphics.net - website hosting, design and promotion at prices YOU can afford. He also edits the newsletter Promote! Promote! Promote! - great ways to promote and grow your business, online!