Monday, July 03, 2006

Top 100 Lists Mostly SUCK!

Many of my readers, I am learning, are small business owning WAHM's. Since, I am also a small business owner and a WAHM; I thought I'd share some of my new learned tid bits with you all. So, today I will be doing much ranting and raving about BAD marketing ideas!!! My latest and greatest PET PEEVE has become Top 100 Lists. Not all top 100 lists are created equal, all are not bad, mostly all generate bad traffic, you shouldn't advertise on most and all (especially those on a homepage) will divert traffic away from your site. My breakdown of Top 100 Lists:
All Top 100 lists are not created equal!
Just so you know anyone can generate a Top 100 list, I even have my own. I got one started and paid to have the ads that come with it removed, I started contacting sites to join my list, and I really got into it until I took the time to think. So, before you go and sign yourself up for a bunch of these lists and fill your site chuck full of, unpleasing to the eye banners, THINK before you brand yourself! Not only can anyone generate a Top 100 List but they can put whatever banners and links they find on the net on their list. Hey, I want on my list, maybe HP, oh how about Martha and even (that's a really cool site with great stuff) must add them too. Yupe, so a list can go from 0-60 faster than my husband's 1979 Firebird! A list doesn't have to have approval from another site to add it to their list! You'll be able to tell if the person added most of the sites themselves if few have detailed site descriptions. Another clue is if when you click on a Top 100 site that is on their list it takes you to through the voting portal of the list.
Okay, ALL these lists aren't a bad idea!
Your right these lists can generate traffic to your site and they all aren't a bad idea. In fact, I am part of a couple of these lists and I advertise on some which generate REGULAR traffic to my site. I just don't really care for the ones that make you put their link on your homepage. I rather put it on a links page. If my customers care to see who I link with they know where to go! I shouldn't need to plaster my entire site with marketing for someone else unless I love that product or service. A Top 100 list isn't either a product or genuine service, what it happens to be in my opinion is a list of some of your competitors. Want to know which ones I personally like and think are a good idea? I'll give you links at the end of this post, as a Thank-you you can enter the list and vote for my site. Tricky, uh? No. I'm kidding about voting for my site, though! It is part of the game with these sites. This leads me to my next peeve with these sites.
Mostly ALL Top 100 Sites generate bad traffic!
No, I am not saying that all traffic that comes from these lists are bad some is actually from shoppers but most is from other business owners who like you are looking for traffic. Some is even coming from people doing research on becoming a business owner. Of course most of the traffic you will get then will not generate a sale! You have shop owners clicking on these links to see what other people are doing, to check out the competition and to get ideas on how to compete better. Does that sound like good traffic to you? Wait want to hear something even funnier? Most of these lists are just replete with web designer ads and these designers are usually towards the top of these lists! Why these web designers aren't dumb they are probably the smartest ones out there! Where do they put free ads for themselves? Where people who are in need of their services will be and will be magnetically drawn to them. I am telling you this because I for a fact know that mostly shop owners and shop owning hopefuls frequent these lists, making them a great place for web designers to advertise!
Reasons why You Shouldn't PAY to Advertise on Most!
While these ads that only cost a few dollars may seem like a good idea to get your name out there they really, usually aren't! Honestly, most of these sites aren't even Google ranked; few of them are getting enough daily hits for it to register in any search engines! So, you basically are paying for NOTHING! No one will see your $15 ad, wait I forgot your competition will. Where is your money going? More than likely to your competitor. Really these lists are started by other boutique owners aren't they? So, your hard earned cash just might be going to your competitor so they can spend it on REAL advertising! Don't get scammed people. When, I first started my boutique I was scammed. I soon noticed how quickly you could get a Top 100 list to fill up and people inquiring about advertising then I got angry about how scammed I got on the first few ads I had paid for. If the list is not ranked don't buy their ads! But if they are ranked then you might want to consider buying some ads or joining ones that generate constant traffic and adding only those links. Buying ads on popular ones will keep you from having to add their links to your site and diverting traffic away from your site, so that money might be worth it. If you have a low advertising budget and would like to better spend those dollars don't waste them on Top 100 ads what you should do then is join the list and keep yourself towards the top, by voting for yourself. Which now leads me to yet another pet peeve about these lists?
Number One on a Top 100 List does not equal a Top Site!!!
Until, I had my very own Top 100 list I didn't know that just because a site is number one on one of these lists it does not mean it is the most popular site among shoppers. Sites on the Top 100 lists can be weighted and most are to ensure unfair ranking. List owners can make their clicks to and from their sites be weighted higher than other sites. What you get is the 100 lists owner’s sites towards the top of the list. Another problem is that some of these lists allow for visitors from the same computer to vote as many times as they like in one day. I think this is another unfair practice. With those lists a site owner can sit and vote for themselves as much as they want and many do. I have noticed that these lists are at times carbon copies of one another. Not only are the same people joining them but these same people are becoming "maniacs" about voting for themselves. If you check some of the bogus lists out usually the same people towards the top in all of them!
All will divert traffic away from your site!
You don't want your customers leaving your site right? So, why give them a link to click and easily navigate away from your site, they might not even ever find you again. These top sites are usually a bad idea because they are essentially geared to drive traffic away from your since they encourage clicking and browsing. A customer might just keep clicking until they find one that is pleasing to their eye instead of staying and looking for quality in a site. If you want to join Top 100 sites for the possibility of getting some web traffic only join ones that do not require a link to them on your homepage. Keeping the Top 100 list off your Homepage or your entire site template will keep visitors on your site longer. Okay, so I promised you a list of Top 100 sites that are good here well honestly there aren't any when it comes to boutique sites!!! If you are looking for support groups or information on a particular subject like breast feeding then top sites are excellent clicking on one may take you to a corner of the net you would have never found before!!!Everyone please don't forget the Quintuplets I wrote about last week!!! If you can send them anything, especially diapers please do so! This family really needs help! They have six children who are so loved but finances are very strained. They have had so much help from their family and friends but that help can only go so far before it also becomes warn thin. To help them please visit!

Thanks for your support, Blog 2 you Later!


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