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Published: March 1999.

Abstracts

Promoting a Museum Website on the Net

Giuliano Gaia , Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnica, Italy

http://www.museoscienza.org

Session: Building Traffic to Your Site

The National Museum of Science and Technology of Milan is the most important Science Museum in southern Europe. Its website (http://www.museoscienza.org/english), opened in January 1998, has rapidly achieved a good audience success. Key to this result was a promoting campaign based on three elements:

1. Diffusion of the URL: the website existence was pushed in three different ways: in the Museum, targeting the most natural audience, on the media (press and radio), trying to transform the Museum website into a news item interesting for the journalists, and on the Net, using search engines and directories not only to achieve visibility but also to identify websites most likely to be interested into linking the Museum.

2. Link - exchange campaign: we asked webmasters to support the Museum by adding our banner to their websites or personal home pages - our final goal was to create a sort of Virtual Community spread around the net, with the Museum website in the center of it.

3. Website stats analysis: every promoting operation was followed by detailed analysis of the access stats to verify the effect of the single move. Our main effort was to determine the "quality" of the audience, by a specially developed analyzing software.

The paper explains in detail these three elements, together with data and visual examples of our promoting moves - the good ones and the bad ones as well. The relationship between promotion and actual results in term of quantity and quality of site visits is thoroughly reported; the data gathered are a valuable source for other museums involved in similar actions.