The Web is a great medium. Freedom of speech, the speed of content
delivery and unrivalled collaboration get together to form an information
utopia. However, there's plenty of hype out there.
Everyday, dozens of so-called "marketing reports" fill my
mailbox. Most are about as useful as a hole in the head, promising a flood of
visitors or number one positions in the top search engines. Believe them? I
should hope not.
And it's that never-ending spring of fiction that inspired this
column. Here I'll attempt to summarize the main points of Internet success.
They've all been tried and tested on my own successful sites, the Internet
gossip stop, IT
Gossip.net and the world's simplest portal, http://OnlineSpy.com.
Firstly, I'd like to highlight site design. Stick to the
- Cool Graphics - Use modern, stylized graphics full of bright
- Definitive Simplicity - Needless to say, don't overcomplicate
anything. For every extra complexity, expect 5% of your visitors to leave
- Words Are All You Have - Check for spelling and grammatical
errors. Write in a flamboyant and exciting style, avoiding obvious
"sell-sell-sell" terms such as the overused "free"
Looking for that professional look? Try out these tips for
- Get Branded - Define a company logo, slogan(s) and color
scheme. And stick with it!
- Your Own Domain - Demand respect? Get out your wallet. For
Example: www.itgossip.net rather than http://www.tripod.com/members/freepages/~johnnie/forsale.html
What about site promotion? How do you get your voice heard? Try
one of the following, in order of effectiveness.
- Partnerships / Reciprocal Links - Don't be surprised by its
effectiveness. Links are the building blocks of the Net. Get friendly with
Webmasters running sites with a similar theme. Develop a relationship and
- Newsgroup Postings - Don't confuse this with spam. Post
details of your site to *relevant* groups upon its launch and whenever major
updates take place
- Award Winning - For a few thousand more hits, try submitting
your site for top awards. We recently appeared in the WhatsOn.com top ten Internet sites list after recommending ourselves. Try out
- Award Giving - Why not start your own award service? You can
request entrants implement a return link in exchange for a mention on your
site. Submit your details to the guys and gals at http://www.award-it.com
- Something Else - Offer a unique, creative or special service
that makes people listen. E-mail a few tech-journalists and news organizations
When it comes around to banner sales, the most influencing
- Price - Don't go overboard
- Market - Analyze logs and subscription information to provide
potential advertisers with demographic details. Identify your average
- Technology - Don't have the necessary tech know-how to design
your own banner system? Download free banner scripts from http://www.freecode.com/onlineapp.html
Don't forget that research shows small banners near the bottom
right-hand corner of the browser window receive the most click-thrus.
How do you keep visitors coming back? Easy. Try out the
- Updated Content - You've heard it before, but content really
is King. Keep it fresh! Why do people visit our news site day after
- Newsletter - Why not utilize the Net's most powerful tool?
E-MAIL! Start a newsletter of some sort and keep your visitors up-to-date with
recent happenings. Don't forget to tempt them with some incentive - free daily
news, a "website of the week", etc.
- Interactivity - If the user actually *does* something or
contributes to the site in some way, it provides a motive to return. Perhaps
they've posted a message on your guestbook and revisit to check the response.
Check out http://www.sitelaunch.net/toolbox.htm for a few
top interactivity tools
Until my next article, folks. Bye!