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?" And 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:
*1* 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
*2* To Read My E-mail [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
*3* 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. Find details here
*4* 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
*5* I Found It On Google [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
my favourite resource (ahem!)
*6* I Clicked 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 this sites for more ideas
*7* 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. Learn how to
get your news release published here
*8* Because Your Site Already Book Marked [Add To Favorites]
"Bookmark my site!" Does your site exclaim this? Do you ask
visitors to "Add this site to your favorites!" You should do. You
dependent on your visitor's browser. Find a script here
*9* As Site Was Recommended To Me By 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)
*10* 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 too
*11* 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 this resource
*12* I Saw the URL Somewhere [Promote your site off-line]
Now where did I did see that URL (website address)? 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!)
*13* To Check On An Affiliate Program [Run 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
*14* I Read A Good Article [Write articles]
This is one of my favourite (oops, favorite!) reasons for
visiting a web site. I mean, you're reading this article aren't
you? And when you've finished reading it you'll then visit my
web site (http://www.TextMeFree.com) (Won't you!?)
Seriously, writing articles about a subject you're interested and
knowledgeable about, can bring lots of traffic to your site.
Write an interesting article (and not just a sales letter), then
sell yourself or your site in the article by-line at the bottom.
Here are links to inspire you
*15* To Play A Game [Add a game to your site]
I am not one for playing games, online! I still visit Lycos to
play Fetch most days, however (you just never know!). As for the
surfing habits of others - online games are BIG. Games can bring
repeat traffic to your site, and can even encourage game-players
to explore the rest of your site too.
As with most online content, there are free as well as fee-based
solutions. Just be clear as to the aims and objectives of an
online game before you decide to pursue this option.
*16* The Site Is My Default Home Page [Make site home page]
Why do you think Microsoft and Netscape have two of the most
visited sites on the web? Could it possibly be related to the
simple fact that both produce Internet browsers with their own
site as default home page!? If they can get site visitors this
way, then so can you! (And so can Yahoo!)
If you distribute copies of Internet Explorer or Netscape
Navigator to your customers then why not set the default home
page to be the address of your site! Or, you could just ask your
site visitors to make your site their home page. (A great web
site with regularly changing content helps here, though!)
See how Yahoo pops the question
*17* To Check My Ranking [Host a 'topsites' page]
Site owners are a vain bunch! Tell them that their site is 'in a
popularity contest' on your links page, and they'll visit the
page every day to see if their hit-count has gone up! (Or am I
just talking about myself here? ;-) )
That is, in effect, what a 'topsites' page is: an easy way to
create a reciprocal-links page on your site. Each link can be set
up automatically via a perl/CGI script. And the links can be
ordered in terms of popularity; i.e. sites that bring most
traffic to your site, get the highest placing.
- (http://www.top50.to/) (example site)
- (http://cgi.resourceindex.com/) (free topsites scripts)
*18* To Find A File Or Other Resource [Make site a resource]
There are some fantastic web sites out there, containing a wealth
of resources that can improve my (and YOUR) web site. And to all
those Webmasters responsible I say 'Thank You'. Not that they
need my thanks; they get their dues from a massive, and steady,
supply of site-traffic.
Don't think you can create a web site resource? Don't think
you can compete with these web site experts? You don't have to!
Just start with a page of links that YOU visit - you do visit
other sites, don't you? - with convincing REASONS WHY you visit
them. And there you have it! A resources page that others WILL
find useful, and will visit again!
*19* I Saw Link In Newsgroup [Participate in newsgroups]
Newsgroups are becoming less popular, apparently, as more and
more people go on-line for the first time. However, newsgroups
(or online forums) are still a good way to exchange ideas, and
advertise your site in the process. (I still get visitors to my
site, because of a newsgroup posting.)
If nothing else, newsgroups allow you to demonstrate your
knowledge and expertise to a wider audience, maybe even your
*20* I Saw A Banner Ad [Join a banner exchange]
Banner advertising still works! Click-thru rates might be lower -
not for those banners that disguise themselves, though! - but
they can still increase awareness of your site/product.
*21* Because The Site Promises To Be *UNIQUE* [Wow-factor]
Is your site the next Napster or ICQ or Yahoo? Have you produced
a site that is just SO useful or unique that everyone wants to
use it; that everyone wants to tell their friends? Or have you
created a site that combines several great reasons to visit,
making your site a must-visit, must-bookmark site!
The site below is one such site that makes me say "Wow!"
Unfortunately, there are no easy links to visit, to make YOUR
site unique, to give your site that WOW-factor (if only!). There
are no easy answers, but it is possible nevertheless...
Want to get repeat visitors to your site? Just make sure that
some of the reasons to visit a site, discussed here, are reasons
to visit YOUR site! And remember, I am not YOU! You may have your
own reasons for visiting a web site; just make sure they become
reasons for people to visit YOUR site too!
Good luck in making your web site a 'Wow!'
PS I've just re-read my article, and re-visited my web site: I'm
going to be busy for some time!!
PPS Want some more ideas, read this article called: "Add Wow To
Create a Buzz" - (http://HowIPromoteMyWebsite.com/bin/ap.pl?wow)
© Copyright 2002 Steve Nash. All Rights Reserved.
About the Author:
Steve Nash runs one site that gets over
3000 unique visitors per day (no money spent on advertising)
Find out how you can use the viral power of SMS here!
And to get more website promotion ideas take his free 7-day
e-mail course, called Website Promotion That Works!
Sign-up here! mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org