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In/Quest Graphic

Web Site Stratagies

by By J. R. Beach of

We rarely reach a web site these days that doesn't carry banner advertising. These mini-billboards have become so common, in fact, that many computer users have "learned how to ignore them", says Jim Sterne, author of Internet marketing and advertising books. The average click rate on a banner ad these days is .0025 (1/4 of one percent), Sterne says. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use banner advertising, but it can’t be your sole method of attracting traffic to your site, because you just won’t get what you might expect. In fact, to make banners as effective as possible you have to do more to capture attention.

But while you’re making your banner unique and noticeable, you should remember one basic premise says Sterne, author of What Makes People Click: Advertising on the Internet. "Click here works."

"I once thought such a simple command was insulting, but the numbers don’t lie. Banner ads that carry ‘click here’ receive substantially greater visits," he said.

Changing subjects, Sterne shared these marketing tips at a recent seminar in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida:

**Web site design. Include content that addresses customer needs and interests. "It’s not about what you want to tell people, it’s about what THEY want to see," Sterne said. Effective design revolves around easy navigation, interactivity and feedback. Be creative, but don’t try to be too hip or cute Sterne advises. "No big graphics. They take too long to come up on a web site. When possible, use a ‘text only’ button for people who just want the information fast."

**Give visitors choices. By offering a choice of clicking for information or allowing readers to type in an e-mail address for information to be sent to them, companies don’t lose a potential, but busy, customer. "A really solid marketing technique," Sterne said.

**Content matching. Place your advertising on sites that fit your product or service. If our business sells fishing equipment you might advertise in Field & Stream. It’s no different on the web. Find the place you’re likely to capture readers.

**Psychographic targeting. Sterne told of how Alta Vista creates a profile that tracks what a user looks at and then can direct advertising toward his or her interests. "They don’t know who you are or where you are, only what you’re interested in," Sterne said.

**Signature files. A subtle way to advertise is to include a "signature" on your e-mail messages. Known as a "Sig File", it looks something like a business card with your company’s name, slogan and contact information. Most e-mail programs allow you to design and easily insert a sig file in all outgoing messages.

**Gather Feedback. Sterne pointed out that Ragu’s site,, asks consumers questions about its sauces and other products. Rather than being invasive, the survey gives people a chance to give their opinions. The response has been overwhelming, Sterne said. It goes without saying that you should collect these consumers’ e-mail addresses and continue to follow-up.

What some companies don’t anticipate when they solicit feedback is that they also will get complaints. That shouldn’t be a deterrent. "If you can get customers to complain to you, you not only have an opportunity to correct the situation, you can build better products," Sterne advised.


Mr. Beach is a corporate marketing veteran and netrepreneur who has taught marketing classes at the university level. His company, BUSINESS-OPP.COM, specializes in locating scam-free and guaranteed business opportunities on the internet. To see his recommended opportunities and get free marketing reports, free advertising resources, free website and e-zine subscriptions, visit < >


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