Build -- and Promote -- Your Web Site so 'They Will Come'By: Mary Westheimer
If you're not happy with the traffic your Web site is getting, you're not alone. BookZone's recent publishing Web site survey revealed that 60.7 percent of respondents were not satisfied with their site traffic. Thankfully, there are techniques and tools that publishers can use to boost traffic and thereby sales. (What visitors do once they get to a site leads to the subject of how to optimize a site for productivity, but for now let's zero in on how to attract visitors.)
One of the biggest surprises in BookZone's Survey of Publishing Web Sites was the reported effectiveness of newsgroups for online marketing: those publishing professionals who used newsgroups to market online were the happiest with their site traffic. Newsgroups are online clubs that are not on the Web, but actually reside on another part of the Internet known as the Usenet.
Here's how to use such online clubs:
I'm Searching …
The giant indices of Internet sites, mail lists, newsgroups, Web forums, images and other components known as search engines have become battlegrounds for marketing prominence. The fight to stay at the top of the major engines is fierce and never-ending because this is where most people begin an Internet search. The battle to stay at the top can pay off - one publisher doubled its site's considerable traffic by joining the fray - but the cost is high unless your niche is extremely narrow. Researching your competition and each engine's requirements, crafting unique entry pages to match them and then playing "leapfrog" with your competition, is resource intensive. Nonetheless, it still is worthwhile to try to "shoot your best shot" with the engines.
Here are some specific tips for maximizing your search engine friendliness:
Birds of a Feather
Where else does your audience go? Use the search engines to find other sites they visit so you can request links from their site to yours. While search engines now sometimes drop listings, links have a cumulative benefit as you methodically add them to your marketing network.
These linking techniques will help you make the most of links:
Take it on Home
Electronic newsletters or "ezines" (short for "electronic magazine") are one of Net's the most powerful marketing tools. A Forrester Research study found that email click-through rates -- which measure how many people click on a Web address included in the email to visit a site -- range from 14 percent to 22 percent, compared to a click-through rate of just 1 percent for graphic banner ads. This makes sense, because people who sign up for ezines are interested in the subject and are more likely to read it when they come into their inbox.
Here are some tips on how to make ezines more effective:
© 2001, Mary Westheimer, BookZone. All rights reserved.
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