Promoting your web site takes a lot of time and may involve waiting several weeks or even longer. In this article we’ll assume that your site is brand new and that you haven’t done any website promotion work on it yet.
This article is written because of the fact I finished last week the redesign of my corporate website; after hand-coding, designing, optimizing keywords and phrases and all the other stuff, the logical next step is to promote my website.
It’s no public secret that if you want to promote your website, you’ll need to work on your search engine listings and ranking. What is perhaps mentioned less, is that there are other ways and techniques of boosting traffic to your site that are sometimes missed by the newbies. Some of these can prove to be quite good at getting traffic to your site.
Note: – This article is about static, (X)HTML web sites, without any form of blog attached to it. This article isn’t about blog promotion too, we have written an earlier article about that: Free Blog Promotion to Boost Traffic.
Website promotion – Search Engine Optimalisation
The very first important thing for designing a (new) website is to code your web design according to the Google’s Webmasters Guidelines. Google is among the most popular search services of today, so it is wise to take its requirements into account. But there is more, loads more:
- First, try to make the design of your site as search engine friendly as possible (more information: SEO For Small & Medium Enterprises).
- Validate your website codes too, so your website is according the W3C webstandards (more information in: The Importance of Web Standards)
- Next, you’ll need to do some keyword optimization. This simply means how to choose the correct keywords for your pages. More about this topic you can read in this article from the gonzoblog: The Basics of Keyword Optimalization.
- Read the article about Meta Tags and Web Search and add them to all of your pages. The META keywords tag isn’t absolutely necessary, but the META description tag is very important (Change the description on each page to make it relate to that page’s content, because this is often what Google displays in its search result description).
- Learn what link-popularity is (also read an earlier article on the gonzoblog: Search Engine Optimization Tips & Tricks) and how search engines use it to rank your pages.
- Use all of this information to optimize your pages for the search engines.
As said, everything just doesn’t always work the way it should in the world of promotion, and I realize that the information given here is very brief, but there are more articles here on the gonzoblog.nl for specific more info on the mentioned topics.
Website promotion – Directories & SE’s
Start your website promotion efforts by listing your website at the most popular Internet directories (e.g. ODP, Yahoo, Lycos), this are human-compiled indexes of sites, which are categorised then. In fact your website has to get reviewed by an editor first, before even being listed the index. This means that getting submitted in a web directory can be quite difficult.
Consequently, having a listing in a directory will guarantee you a good amount of well-targeted visitors and will affect your ranking in various search engines, it is wise to make sure that your site is present in all of the major directories before doing anything else. Submitting to directories is easy and doesn’t require much effort.
The Open Directory Project & Yahoo
As your site has to have good and unique content to be accepted to the Open Directory Project (ODP – www.dmoz.org), its editors usually review sites quickly and submitting to the ODP is free of charge, what makes it a perfect starting point.
The next smart thing to do is to submit your website to Yahoo, let them know your site is online and is worth to list in their directory. This might cost you some money if you are have a commercial site (Yahoo! Directory Submit service costs US$299), but it’s usually worth it ..? Non-commercial sites can get listed for free, but might require several submissions and a lot of patience before they are accepted.
Search engines (SE’s)
Get to know search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, AltaVista, AllThe Web) and how to use them to bring even more people to your website. In order to gain good rankings, you’ll need to learn the basics of search engine algorithms (ranking systems) and adjust your pages to meet their criteria as well as possible. This will take some time and effort, but doing some work now will save you from a lot of trouble in the future. Fortunately, SE’s are quite good at finding your site on their own.
Note: including/submitting a sitemap.xls will help the SE’s to indexate your website much faster.
Website promotion – More techniques
After being submitted to the best web directories and having several pages of your site come up in the major search engines listings, the load of hours you’ve been promoting your website have finally begun to pay off and your monthly visitor count is starting to look great. But there is still plenty you can do to help your site attract even more traffic.
Lets look at some different web site promotion methods that you could to try, methods that are quite effective:
- A site cannot become truly popular unless it also appeals to these new users so much that they decide to come back again and again. Getting people to come back is the secret to why some sites get amazingly many hits per day, increase your traffic with return visitors.
- Set up your own (Reciprocal) Links page where you can put links to other sites. Reciprocal links will also increase your link popularity and help your site rank higher in the search engines.
- Start using E-mail signatures in your standard email-program. They might not produce thousands of visitors, but are a great way to promote your site a bit without having to actually do anything, don’t forget to get your Twitter-link there too.
- Start a blogging site! If you write your own original articles, you can actually make those articles available to (many) readers. You can also post your articles on certain blog promotion sites and mailing lists to get your post to a much bigger audience. Don’t forget to put in a link to your static HTML-website!
- Evaluate whether your site could benefit from joining business listings sites (e.g. start pages, Yellow Pages, Freelance Designer Directories) . These lists have their good and bad sides, but might be at least worth a try. Make sure it’s always a relevant category where you subscribe your website.
- Winning website awards can occasionally be useful, especially if the awards are well-known (see gallery-list), if it’s a prominent link on a busy site, it’s worth something. If it’s a tiny link on a low-traffic site, it won’t do the winner much good.
- Use the Social Media wisely, with the right message or articles you can build a network of followers and create a form of authority in your industry.
- Free Software or E-Books; If you are adept at writing your own software, you might consider offering free versions on your site to attract visitors. Essentially, having an e-book that is freely available has good promotional potential.
- Don’t underestimate the value of an advertisement. If you sell something on your site, you might want to try banner campaign, revenue sharing programs or advertising programs (CPC – Cost Per Click is the amount of money an advertiser pays search engines and other Internet publishers for a single click on its advertisement that brings one visitor to its website ~ resource: WikiPedia).
While there is more to website promotion than what we have discussed here, you now know quite a lot about the subject. If you still want more information, don’t forget to come back to this site every now and then. And remember, if you have achieved good results, it’s not because people showed you how to do it – it’s because you did it. After all, the secret to having a successful site is working hard in both promoting and creating it.
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If you want to tell us how website promotion works out for you, please feel free to comment .. I’ld love to hear your secrets ;-P