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Stopping Traffic Advertise your site with banner exchange programs-for free.

By Julia Miller

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you want to stop traffic in cyberspace, you've got to putyour best face forward. And this means creating not only adistinctive Web site, but also an eye-catching way to lure visitorsthere. That's where a banner exchange program can come inhandy. Like those big "Shop here, buy this" ads youcan't miss at the top of many Web sites, you, too, can createan affordable virtual ad campaign with the help of companies likeFlycast and Microsoft's bCentral Banner Network.

Both companies allow small businesses to build exposure byplacing free ads on their networks in exchange for accepting memberads on their own site. For example, for every two ads you displayon your site, your own ad gets shown on another site if you'repart of the bCentral BannerNetwork . You can also choose site categories to reach atargeted audience and enlist the expertise of online designers tohelp create your ad.

According to Skye Ketonen, group marketing manager at MicrosoftbCentral, there are currently more than 400,000 Web sites tradingon the network, from big corporations to dotcoms to a homebasedwildflower seed business that recently attributed 10 percent of itssales to the bCentral network. bCentral also offers ad space for aslittle as $100 on hot sites like Yahoo! and Excite.

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