By: Matthew Glanfield
It's strange. Most webmasters work extremely hard to promote their websites on the Internet. You have probably worked day and night optimizing your pages for the search engines. You have probably spent countless amounts of money on Pay Per Click advertising and Internet marketing consulting.
Yet in the end there are hardly any results. For some reason nobody seems to care about your website.
Did you realize that most Internet marketers are probably working backwards? It's like watching a home constructor try to put up the walls before the foundation is even laid.
Ask yourself this one question: "When was the Last Time You Referred a Website to a Friend?"
That may seem like an odd question, but think about in anyway. Was it Google? Or perhaps HomeStarRunner.com? Or another website?
Now ask yourself why you referred those websites to your friends. Back in the day when Google was starting to become popular I didn't hear about it from a TV commercial or from a newspaper ad. I heard about it from my friends.
In fact, if you think about it, most good websites that you know of probably weren't found by searching for them. You probably had a friend or colleague tell you about the website.
So what makes these websites so shareable? Why would you refer these websites to others?
It is simply because of content.
So ask yourself this question: "Is your website shareable?" There are several components of a website that makes it shareable. I will list a few here.
1. Entertaining Content.
If your website has content that will make browsers laugh then you probably have a shareable website. I don't think anybody would mind coming across a website that was cleverly funny in any way.
2. Useful Content.
Is your content useful? Or do you write articles just so that you will have more pages for the search engines and for the article directories? The truth is that most content on the Internet is not even created for people! How can anybody expect somebody to really want to stay at a website that was created for a search engine spider?
3. Free Content.
A lot of webmasters are afraid to give any information away for free. They think that any knowledge should be packaged up into an e-book and sold. While there is nothing wrong with doing this, you must be willing to openly give out free content. Otherwise most people will not stick around in anticipation of your next e-book.
4. Well-Formatted Content.
While having a well-designed website won't guarantee you success, by having a slick design that makes your content readable (or useable depending on your website) you will help keep even more visitors. Choosing a blue background with yellow text might not be the best idea if you have a lot of articles for your visitors to read.
In the end you need to take a look at your website as if you were a visitor and not a search engine. If you were to find your website today without any prior knowledge of it, would you stick around to read more? And better yet, would you refer it to a friend?
If the answer is no, then you have some work to do...
This article was posted on January 23, 2006
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