Webrings are a unique way to promote a website. They are powerful, but not necessarily a great fit for every website. This article will discuss webrings, how they function, benefits they bring, and how to join a webring. After reading through this article, you may wish to see if webrings are an appropriate promotional tool for your website.
A webring is a collection of websites that have organized themselves into a loop, or "ring." Each site in the ring displays a webring navigator that links to the next site in the ring. For example, a person interested in Model Rocketry could visit every single member site in the Model Rockets webring without ever having to go back out to a search engine.
The whole point of a webring is that owners of websites can join together and share traffic. Basically, visitors can travel throughout the ring by going forward, backwards, going to random sites in the ring, or selecting specific sites from a list. Regardless of what the visitor chooses, he/she will visit sites dedicated to the topic of interest.
Joining a webring is great way to increase traffic to your site. And not just random hits -- hits from people actively seeking information about a topic that your site provides. Users like webrings because rings pull related sites together into easily explored groups. Webrings create actively maintained virtual communities of pages on the web. One thing you need to consider is that you will have to dedicate some space on your website to display the navigation bar for the webring(s). Since webrings can generally send you some traffic quickly, you might consider joining them at first until other streams of traffic are established.
Before trying to join a webring, you may want to visit and surf some webrings to understand how they work and if this promotional method is appropriate for your site. If you can not find a webring applicable to your website, that may be an indicator that your product/service/subject matter, is not popular enough to warrant a webring. Check out all of your competition on the Internet. There is a good chance one or more of them have joined a webring. If your competition has joined a webring, you might consider joining it too. Also think more generally. Perhaps your product offering is a subset of a larger topic. For example, if you sell aromatherapy supplies, and there are no aromatherapy webrings, you might look at alternative medicine webrings, etc.
There are webrings for almost every topic; you should be able to easily identify one or more webrings that you can join. One of the best places to go to find what webrings are available is www.alt-webring.com. www.alt-webring.com and other similar sites, "anchor" thousands of webrings. They have an easy-to-navigate directory where you can browse (or search) available webrings by topic.
Once you find a webring you think is appropriate, you should spend some time navigating the webring itself, so you can get a good feel about what kind of sites are in the ring. If you think it is a good match, you then apply for membership in the ring. If your site is considered a good fit for the webring, it will be approved. If it is not approved, you won't be allowed to join the ring, and you should look for another option.
There are some webrings that are independently operated. Those webrings are not anchored by www.alt-webring.com or other webring groups, but are independent entities. You should also try using the search engines to find these other webrings.
The process for joining a webring varies from ring to ring. However the process is usually very simple. After you have chosen the ring you want to join, you fill out an online application form. Your application will be reviewed to make sure that your site is appropriate to the ring. You will then receive some source code that represents the navigator for the webring, which you need to add to your website. As a merchant, once you receive the source code from the webring administer, simply contact Customer Service if you need assistance getting the code placed on your site. All you need to do is copy and paste the code into a new Text element. Once done, the webring navigation bar will display on your site.
Sites such as www.alt-webring.com and www.ringsurf.com have easy to follow directions to help you through the registration process. You will fill out the online form they provide and will be issued a "master code" to copy and paste into a Text element on your site. After you have done this and published your account files, you can browse through the webrings and ask to join the rings you find most interesting and relative to your site. If accepted, you will be notified by email and your site will automatically be added to the webring.
To remove your website from a webring, simple delete the code pasted into your Text element.
Though webrings can be a powerful marketing tool they are not for everyone. Browse some and see if they fit with your marketing plans. There are several ways to find webrings including sites that host and list them to using search engines. Once you find the webrings that fit, the process of adding them to your site is not difficult.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q - What if more than one webring seems to apply to my site?
A - You can join all the webrings that are appropriate for your site. As you navigate through other webrings, you will see examples of websites that have joined several webrings. However, since joining a webring requires you to dedicate valuable real estate on your site to the navigation bar, there is a practical limit to how many webrings you want to join. Typically more than three makes an overly cluttered site.
Q - What kind of traffic can I expect from a webring?
A - Webrings are built for generating traffic. The size of the webring, the relative popularity of the subject matter, and other variables affect the amount of traffic you may receive. However, generally speaking, webrings will bring you traffic right away. Most sites in a webring can expect from as little as five unique visitors a week, up to several hundred unique visitors per day, depending again, on the above variables. When you join a webring, look for webrings with the most members. Q - What if I want to put the webring navigator on a page other than my Home page?
A - That depends on the webring. Some webrings are strict and insist that the navigator be on the front page. Other webrings will allow you to put the navigator on a "links" page.
Should you have any questions or comments about using or setting up your Webrings, please don't hesitate to contact customer support. As always, we can be reached via any of the following methods:
Telephone Support: (801) 434-8582 Monday - Friday 7am - 6pm Mountain Time
Electronic Support: www.myquickresponse.com. available 24x7.
See you next time!
Director of Customer Service
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