Promote Your Website

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thousands of dollars in sales from its Web site and also increased sales through its normal retail channels.

Do you need to hire experts for your website? No, if your budget does not alow it, try these nine methods to bring in more traffic & customers to your website:

1. You must get prominent listings on search engines and in Web directories. The key word here is prominent. When Alta Vista returns 1,000,000 listings to someone searching for your type of product, the last thing you want is to be # 999,999. You want to be in the first page of results. For most Web sites, search engines and directories are the most important sources of qualified visitors. They account for 70 percent or more of the visitors to many sites.

2. Rent or collect "opt-in" e-mail addresses and e-mail invitations to your prospects. "Opt-in" lists consist of people who have asked to receive e-mail about a specific subject. One country music site rented three separate e-mail lists of country music fans, combined them, and e-mailed an announcement about a country music contest. Within eight hours, 11.6 percent of
recipients visited the site. A week later, 30 percent had visited. E-mail lists like these are one of the best ways to build traffic quickly.

3. Beg, swap, or buy links to your site from other sites your prospects visit. Associations, educational sites, and other companies are likely candidates for links. What other Web sites do your prospects visit? See if you can get a text link from those sites to yours. Over time, they could send you a steady stream of highly qualified visitors. Sometimes you can get a link from another site just by asking. Try that approach first. Most of the time, however, you'll scratch their backs and they'll scratch yours as each of you adds links to the other. If the other site's visitors are valuable enough to you, you might even offer to pay for a link.

4. Promote your site URL offline everywhere you can. You ve seen other people s URLs (Web site addresses) on buses, billboards, t-shirts, and TV commercials. You can do the same with yours. Put it on your letterhead, business cards, and checks--anyplace you print a phone number. Make sure all your employees include your Web address in their e-mail signature files.

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