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5 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website
by Chrislyn @ GayAW

Once you have your website up and running, you need to promote your site to get visitors to see it. Here are 5 simple ways gay webmasters can get the word out.

The Best of The Best
Getting special recognition for your web site can help access audiences that are already interested in your topic. Initially, you will have an influx of traffic from just being listed. Afterwards, you should get a steady flow of extra traffic from the previous winners archives. Pay attention to how often a site gives awards as well as the look of prior award winning sites. Make sure your web pages are comparative before you submit your site for consideration. Try submitting to the Rainbow Awards () or for a Gay Entertainment Award site.

I'll Take Yours if You'll Take Mine
If you discover a web site that could be attracting your type of customer, consider asking the site's webmaster or owner to swap links. Not only should swapping links gain some extra hits for your site, it
should also increase your link popularity. Search engines use link popularity to help determine your ranking. Sites with higher link popularity rank better. Make sure you keep your links up to date and remove dead ones from time to time, this will appease to search engine gods and keep also help your ranking. ;-)

Take A Look At Me
Nothing grabs a surfers attention better than a well-designed banner. Banners use pictures, words, sounds and video to get the surfer to click on it. Design your banner to load quickly and give tempting detail. It is a good idea to have a professional design your banner as it gives a vital initial impression. Although you can try to have your banner placed on another web page, chances are you won't get a prominent placement if the owner agrees. Banner exchanges require a certain placement, so whatever you give, you will more than likely get. Like link exchanges, you should look carefully at the ratio of exchange. Click here for a list of banner exchanges you can check out.

We're So Much Alike
Another way to increase traffic is to join a webring. Webrings contain web sites with some common thread. When a surfer finds one website he likes, he can follow a link to a similar site with a different contact. Not only is the webring owner getting traffic for the members, but so is each individual webmaster. If you are looking for webrings that compliment your site's niche, try a search in Google such as 'twink webring' and browse through the results.

But I'm Right Next Door
One of the most important steps in increasing your traffic is to advertise in offline markets. Use the classifieds in magazines related to your niche. Sometimes it is helpful to offer Internet-only specials. These magazines or newsletters that you find locally could bring in traffic that your other marketing techniques have missed. Don't forget to add your URL to your signature in your site's email when answering questions or posting to newsgroups.

The bottom line to getting traffic is to list your site everywhere you can. Traffic will not come if they do not know you are there. List your URL on as many related sites as possible.
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