Believe it or not, there are many rather popular website promotion methods that actually drive traffic away from your website. They usually clutter up your website with a bunch of graphics and do virtually nothing to improve your bottom line. Here are just a few examples:
Top Sites – The premise is that you put a vote button on your site and people click to vote for you, raising your site up in list of “top sites”. People who visit top site list see your site near top and click on your banner to see what your site is all about. Things to consider: You have to put a graphic on your site. Of course, you will make link open in a new window, so you don’t lose your visitor, but you have created a distraction for your visitor. You want your visitor to focus on your sales message, not a graphic that leads your visitors away from your website. Let’s be serious. If you’ve participated in a Top Site or visited a top site page, when’s last time you did any shopping from it? Realistically, Top Site List serves to best promote website that created list rather than individuals on that list. Check your website stats to see how much traffic you get from this list and see if anyone buys.
Banner Exchange – Everyone participating in exchange places a banner on his site. This banner rotates throughout participating sites every time a page refreshes. The premise is that you get a lot of exposure by having your banner appear on a number of sites. Things to Consider: Again, you have to put a distracting graphic on your site. Usually banner exchanges are made up of like-sites. Why would you send your visitor to your competitor?! Most banner exchanges give you one impression of your banner for every two times banner exchange appears on your website. Does it seem wise to possibly give away two visitors for every one visitor you might get back to your site? As in Top Site List, banner exchange serves best to promote website that created it. The banner exchange usually has a link to creator’s site underneath banner. This is one link that doesn’t change on rotation, thus, giving creator constant exposure on all sites, but giving you very little in return.
Web Rings – A web ring is a graphic placed on a website that allows visitors to travel from one related website to another. The idea is that everyone puts graphic on her home page to create a continuous “ring”. Things to Consider: It’s same old story. You’re creating a distraction for your visitor and potentially sending your traffic to your competitor. It just doesn’t seem like a good idea. These rings are often broken by members and you never know it.
And even more BAD ideas…
Buying Hits – It is so sad, but there is an entire industry that takes advantage of traffichungry website owners. If you see an ad that says, “Buy 10,000 targeted hits” or an eBay auction that says, “2 Million Hits to Your Website,” run other way. Here’s how these programs work: Your entire web page pops-up while somebody is surfing another website or is using particular software. Sometimes these hits are delivered within in a day or a few days and you have no idea where your site is popping up. You must realize that these aren’t bonus fide visitors to your website; it’s just people who may have been annoyed by your website popping up in their faces. Let’s go back to our conversion rate calculations. We know that a 1% conversion rate isn’t bad. If buying hits was a good idea, we would get 100 sales for every 10,000 hits we bought. We’ve tested this. It just doesn’t happen. And don’t be fooled by people who tell you they can target your hits by country or industry. There is NOTHING targeted by forcing someone to view your website without permission.