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Com and Get It Answering the new "age-old" question, How do you get surfers to visit your Web site?

By Robert J. McGarvey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Here's the bad news: Search engine Inktomi recently surveyedthe Web and counted a mind-numbing 1 billion Web pages. Wow. Just adecade ago, the Web didn't exist. And even five years ago, itwas just a playpen for supernerds. No more. Now every businessneeds a Web site-but just because you build it doesn't mean asoul will ever visit. "Putting up a Web site can be likeopening a store in a back alley," says Jim Datovech, presidentof Gaithersburg, Maryland-based IT consulting firm Operon Partners."You've got to work to win visitors."

What's more, traditional marketing campaigns don'tnecessarily produce results for Web sites, warns Mark DiMassimo,president and creative director of DiMassimo Brand Advertising, aNew York City-based agency that handles many dotcom clients. A casein point: "Generally, television advertising for dotcoms hasbeen very ineffective," says DiMassimo, whose agency surveyedconsumers and discovered that only 6 percent of heavy Web userssaid they had ever visited a site due to a TV ad.

"Put your dollars where your customers will be," urgesDiMassimo. Seem basic? Not to the dotcom companies that plunkeddown tens of millions of dollars to buy Super Bowl ads."Having money is no excuse for spending like a drunkensailor," says DiMassimo, who adds that the critical testalways has to be, Will my potential customers see the material?

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