WWW Make It Worth The Trip

There's a method to Web site madness. Keep these tips in mind for your company or personal Web site. You can learn from trial and error of your predecessors. These are simple, low-cost ways to bring visitors to your web site and keep 'em coming back.

Spread the word. Your company or personal Web site address should appear on all your literature, from business cards and brochures to radio, television, and print ads.

Make your site easy to locate. Making your site easy to find means getting it listed on all the major search engines. Of the hundreds of search engines that are out there, there are about 10 that dominate the industry, including Excite, Infoseek, WebCrawler, Lycos, Alta Vista, Hotbot and Yahoo.

Make it easy to navigate. Let's face it; in a world that becomes more fast-paced every day, you've got less time than ever before to make a lasting impression. People typically think that big fancy graphics and music will make a big impression. Visitors are looking for a page that loads quickly. If your page takes too long to load, or your site is to hard to navigate, people will give up before they even get started.

Answer visitors request within 24 hours. Getting back with your visitors (email or Guestbook) as soon as possible should be a top priority. In addition, by listing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on your site, your visitors can get there questions answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your visitors will get the information they're looking for right away, and you've just cut down on the emails, postage and phone bills.

Remember some visitors come to your site solely to find out how to reach you offline. Be sure your site lists your contact information, from your postal address, phone, and fax numbers to your email addresses.

Privacy. Assure your visitors that you'll respect their privacy. Knowing that you're going to keep their information confidential is enough to make your visitors heave a sigh of relief and feel comfortable returning to your site.

Keep your site fresh. Make sure your site changes regularly. Think about the sites you visit every day. You expect new information, different content. Though site changing content on a daily basis may seem a tall order, it doesn't have to be. It can be as simple as offering a different daily/weekly or monthly tip. For example, a pet site may offer advice on how to keep your pets flea-free all summer one day, and then change it to a tip on pet fitness the next.

Team up with others. Offer to run a link or ad on your site; in exchange, ask them to run an ad or link for your site on their site. It's free advertising, and it's powerful. In the same vein, consider linking your site to other complementary sites. Reciprocal links were a big part of the success of Yahoo.