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Five Tips for
Attracting Visitors to Your Web Site
by Joe Gracia

1. CONTENT, CONTENT, AND MORE CONTENT

First and foremost, if you want to drive traffic to your Web site, you must have something there that people want.

Don't make the common mistake of thinking that pictures and information about your company, and your products or services will be enough to attract visitors.

Those things may be enough to draw family members and friends to your site as a show of support, but they are rarely enough to attract the general public.

Providing lots of free articles related to your product or service, is one of the best ways to draw targeted traffic to your site.

Our Give to Get Marketing Web site is filled with free articles to help our visitors market more effectively.

Our Get Organized Now! Web site is filled with free articles to help our visitors get organized.

By offering exactly what our prospects and customers want, we attract thousands of visitors to our Web sites each week.

But, traffic isn't the only thing you want to generate. The thousands of visitors we get to our Web sites because of our content, result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in product sales annually.

Keep your content fresh to guarantee return visits from your prospects and customers, and promote your products throughout your site.

For an example of what we mean, stop by our Give to Get Marketing home page and look at our site from the perspective of someone who is interested in learning how to market their business better.

http://www.givetogetmarketing.com/

You'll find 80% free, helpful content, and about 20% promotion of our products.

2. SEARCH ENGINES

Thousands of web surfers find the information they're interested in on the Internet by searching for keyword phrases in the major search engines.

If your Web site is not listed in these resources, you won't be found.

There are less than twenty major Search Engines and Directories that you need to concern yourself with, at this time.

Here are the major Search Engines and Directories you should consider getting your site listed in. Some are free to submit, others charge for submitting.

AOL Search: http://search.aol.com/

Alta Vista: http://www.altavista.com/

Direct Hit: http://www.directhit.com/

Excite: http://www.excite.com/

All the Web: http://www.alltheweb.com/

Google: http://www.google.com/

Goto: http://www.goto.com/

Hotbot: http://hotbot.lycos.com/

IWon: http://www.iwon.com/

Looksmart: http://www.looksmart.com/

Lycos: http://www.lycos.com/

MSN: http://search.msn.com/

NBCi: http://www.nbci.com/

Netscape: http://home.netscape.com/

Open Directory Project: http://dmoz.org/

Yahoo Web Sites: http://www.yahoo.com

Inktomi: (You can't actually search Inktomi's database. This is a directory that provides its database to many other Search Engines.) http://www.positiontech.com/inktomi/

Keep in mind, that getting listed in a Search Engine or Directory and being found by anyone searching that engine, are two entirely different things.

Designing your Web pages so that people can actually find your pages is a much more detailed subject, and beyond the scope of this article.

Before submitting your Web pages to the Search Engines and Directories, you'll need to learn a bit about optimizing your pages to give you the best chance of being found.

3. PUBLISH ARTICLES

A very inexpensive way to drive targeted traffic to your Web site is by writing articles related to your product or service and then submitting those articles to media sources such as, newspapers, magazines, Web sites, and electronic newsletters.

The media is always looking for interesting information and articles that would appeal to their readers.

The key is that the articles must be interesting to their readers. We're not talking about articles about you or your company or even your products. That wouldn't be a give to get approach. You've got to give the readers what they want before you can get what you want.

We're talking about articles like '15 Ways to Organize Your Home Office,' by an organizing site, to appeal to people who would like to get organized, or '21 Low-Cost Marketing Tips to Make Your Sales Soar,' by a marketing site, to appeal to small business owners who would like to grow their businesses.

The media editors must feel that their readers will enjoy and benefit from reading your article, before they will consider publishing it.

If your articles are focused on you and your company, the chances of getting them published are greatly diminished.

If your article is accepted, you don't get paid for the article. Instead, you get to include a promotional resource line or two at the end of your article directing the readers to your Web site -- after all, that's what you want, visitors to your Web site.

If the readers feel that the article you wrote was informative or helpful, many of them will now visit your Web site to see if you have even more helpful information there.

Hopefully, when they arrive at your Web site, they will find tons of appealing content so they'll want to return again and again.

4. EXCHANGE BANNERS OR LINKS

You can exchange banners or links with other Web sites that have a similar target audience.

Many Web sites actually include a Favorite Links page for this purpose.

You list a link to their site, and they list a link to yours.

Make sure that the other Web site is attracting the type of visitors that you want. If you are primarily targeting women entrepreneurs, then you won't want to do an exchange with a site that is attracting male wrestling fans.

Also, don't fall prey to banner mania. It's one thing to have a well organized Favorite Links page. It's quite another to have a hodgepodge of animated, twirling, blinking banners blaring at your visitors. In many cases, your visitors will be turned off by this image. It simply isn't very professional.

You also don't want to drive people away from your Web site by posting dozens of banners and links to other people's Web sites. The name of the game is attracting visitors to 'your' Web site and 'keeping' them there so they can appreciate what you have to offer.

5. PROMOTION

Promote your Web site at every opportunity.

Put it on your business cards, your stationery, even your invoices and envelopes.

Put it in your ads, your flyers, your sales letters.

How about magnetic car signs? Flyers, post cards?

Tell your associates about your Web site and why it would benefit them to visit. Remember, lots of interesting and helpful content attracts visitors.

Send out an announcement to your prospect and customer lists (you do have a prospect and a customer list, right?)

We have a fast food client who promotes his Web site on the front page of his menus and attracts hundreds of additional visitors to his Web site each month because of this simple reminder.

Make a list of every possible opportunity for you to let people know about your Web site.

Don't just promote your Web site URL. Tell people what they'll get if they go to your site. Tell them about your free articles, or free Idea-Kit, or free E-book, etc.

If you appeal to your prospects' and customers' sense of curiosity and self-interest, they will have a hard time resisting a visit to your site.

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