Many website owners join Topsites List sites as a means of free advertising, to gain more exposure for their websites. It’s great way to get your link out there, and free is in anyone’s budget. Some website owners also create their own topsites list sites; even we have one at OBJ, The Online Business Junction Top 100 Sites list. It’s a great way to let folks who visit or follow OBJ add their link and market their websites.
One of the pitfalls of running a topsites list is the tendency of website owners to completely ignore their list site once it’s setup. And to me, that’s just not good business. Your topsites list is a direct reflection of your website, and of you as its owner. As such, you should work to maintain that list and the integrity of your professionalism as a business owner. So below are some things that I see all too often on topsites list pages, and they are things you should work to avoid.
Broken Image Links: This is really one of the biggest things to avoid because it makes your entire topsites list page look sloppy and unprofessional. If your list contains a lot of broken image links where members’ banners should be, you need to either remove them, or email the members to request the correct URLs for their banners and update them. Make it a habit to check your topsites page at least once a month and get rid of those broken links.
Too Many Ads: A lot of topsites list owners sell ad space at the top of their list pages. That’s fine. But when you have too many ads, that’s a problem. I’ve seen topsites list sites with 30 or 40 ads at the top, before I even get the list members banners. Some have more ads at the bottom too! You want to have a well-populated and active topsites list membership, but why should anyone bother to join your list if their own ads will never get noticed? Keep your ads to a minimum–no more than 10 or 15 (less is always better).
Reset Never: If your list is set to never reset, that means that new members pretty much have zero chance of ever having their banner link make it to the first page. I visit lists all the time where the front page members have hundreds of hits in, so this is the tip off to me that the list never resets. Once I scroll down to the bottom of the list, I can usually confirm this because it will say, Next Reset: Never. And guess what? I don’t join those lists. You need to give ALL your list members a fair chance to reach the first page. What’s the point of having it otherwise? At the very least, your list should be set to reset every 30 days.
List Ambiguity: I have seen far too many topsites list pages without a clear explanation of whom their list is targeted to. If you’re promoting primitive or country sites, your list should say so. If you’re promoting WAHM sites, or Jewelry sites or Doll sites, whatever it may be, your list should say so. Make it clear to potential members and shoppers exactly what kind of sites can be found on your list. Either make it clear in the title of your list, or add a descriptive paragraph at the top of the list page with this information.
Unreadable Fonts: Many topsites list pages have fonts that are extremely difficult to read. The fonts may be too small, or an odd color, or just too busy a font to read. Again, this just looks sloppy and unprofessional. If your goal is to help other website owners promote their business and get more traffic, then their website information needs to be readable. So choose fonts that are large enough, simple enough, and a readable color that is easy on the eyes.
And just two final points to ponder…if you join topsites lists. First, don’t put your voting banner links on the main page of your website. The reason is pretty simple: you work hard to drive traffic to your website, so why send it away to other sites as soon as it gets there?! Create a new page for your voting links, and just link to that page from your main page. And second, click on your voting links yourself on occasion! The whole point of joining the list is to get more exposure, and to do that, you need to try to get to the front page of the list (because that’s where it’s going to get noticed!). That won’t happen without votes. So help yourself out and vote for yourself once in awhile.