Your website is just one of the billion sites parked on the World Wide Web. Chances are, you don’t think yours will ever get noticed. Here are five ways to get people clicking on to your site.
1.) Make sure it’s professional looking.
No one likes looking at website that reminds them of a book report they wrote back in school. Invest in learning a good web design program, and let your creative juices flow. Make sure it’s compelling, well-designed, and organized. People don’t exactly find it fun to weed through haystacks of cyberfiles to get the information that they want.
On that note, don’t make it a heavy site. Putting up some flash intros may be great eye candy, but the average internet surfer only waits 10 seconds for a page to load, and then they’re off to the next.
2.) Put your URL on every search engine possible.
Putting your URL on business cards and bugging your family and friends to check out your site won’t exactly increase traffic. Submitting it to search engines will make it easier for people to find you, provided that your webpage carries the topics they’re looking for. To understand how a search engine works, think of it as a “spider”: it crawls through your website, picking up words and information which would later be indexed in the search engine’s database. So make sure you pepper your site with keywords you think are relevant to what people are looking for. Web directories, like Yahoo!, are operated by humans who actually categorize the websites themselves.
If you don’t feel like submitting your website to numerous directories, consider subscribing to sites like www.submit-it.com, who, for a fee, will automatically submit your site to search engines and directories for you.
3.) Link everywhere.
Find other sites that carry similar content as yours and ask to exchange links. Create banners to be placed on other peoples’ websites, and offer to the same for them on your site. Add your URL on your e-mail signature. Join webrings if you must—there’s nothing like strength in numbers.
4.) Advertise offline.
The world of cyberspace isn’t enough to get you noticed. Write up press releases and send them to local newspapers and magazines. Print out fliers to be distributed. Just make sure that your site is already up and running to avoid giving people a bad impression (no one likes getting pumped up for something only to get disappointed).
5.) Interact with your readers.
Put up forums or message boards for your visitors to interact with each other. Chat rooms are often time-consuming for some, while message boards allows them to check back every so often for replies. Create an e-mail list so you can update your visitors about new developments, and always be open to feedback—that’s what will make your site even better.