Beginner's Guide To Site Promotion
by: Matt Colyer
Promoting a web site is no real easy task for anyone, including the Internet promotion experts. It's even harder for those of you with little or no experience with web site promotion. In an effort to help those of you that need help in this area I have wrote this article or guide (Call it whatever you like!). Although this is by no means a complete guide, this will show you the basics of promoting a web site.
Search engine optimization - When a Internet user searches for something that is somehow related to your web site, you want your web site to come up as near to the top of the search results in the search engines as possible, right? Of course, you do. But how do you get to the top of the search results? Well, it's easier said then done, but can be done if you follow the few simple tips below.
You need to take a close look at your site and decide which search terms people will use to find it. Example, your site is about dogs, you'll want to come up under keywords such as dog information, dog facts, etc. You need to pick your most important keyword and try to get a keyword density between 5 and 15%, this depends on which search engine you are targeting though. Important keywords should also appear in bold and be one of the first words on the web page
The most important thing is to get is backlinks. But not just from any web site, but from ones that are related to yours and those that look clean, or otherwise the ones that don't use Spam techniques. You also want the backlinks you get to look like they are natural to the search engines, so one-way links are best and increase your backlinks slowly and not get them all at once. Your anchor text should vary, using the same one too many times won't look natural to the search engines.
The web site's structure will decide how the spiders read your web site. You want there to be more text content then HTML content. Stay away from using Java or Flash heavily on your web site, the less you use on the site the better. Spiders (Also known as robots) cannot read Java or Flash. You should avoid programs such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver, they often add coding errors.
Links - As you now know getting links can help you in the search engines, but they can also bring in tons of traffic and not just any traffic, but some of the best traffic you can get. You should submit to directories such as Yahoo! and the ODP (Open Directory Project). Even better, try topic related directories, they send VERY targeted traffic compared to most other sources. Contact web sites that are related to yours and ask if they'll exchange links.
Award Programs - Although this can be a waste of time if you bother with all those web sites (Most won't send any traffic) that offer awards, but if you pick the right ones and have a web site that offers something useful, this could send you great deal of traffic for many years to come. Most of these award programs will link back to your web site if you are one of the award winners.
Paid Advertisement - Of course, you can pay another web site to display your advertisement. The cost depends on a number of things, such as amount of traffic they get and where your advertisement is placed at. PPC (Pay per click) search engines such as Google AdWords and Yahoo! Overture is an another posable option. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad and often the traffic they send is highly targeted. This may be the best option out there right now.
Offline Marketing - Most people don't even look into this and many think it's a waste of time, but they are very wrong. Use word of mouth by telling your friends and colleagues about your site, you can hand out cards and flyers to generate good word of mouth. Take your flyers and put them up at local stores, collages and Laundromats, but make sure they are OK with you adding your flyer first though.
Look into placing an ad in the local newspaper, this is often cheap, so you can't lose much money here, but then again you may not be able to lose much. Although Radio has died out because of CDs, Internet and paid radio, it's still one of the best places to advertise offline because it's cheap and can reach a number of people. You may have to look into AM radio depending on your web site's subject.
Don't even try it! - Of course, no promotion guide would be complete without pointing out things you shouldn't use to promote your web site. Do not send email Spam, unsolicited e-mail is not acceptable, it's likely the most hated part of the web. Spamming will make more people hate your web site than like it, thereby making you lose could have been customers.
Don't try to Spam the search engine, most web sites get caught right away, while some may not get caught right away, they will get caught sometime down the road. Remember that the search engines are always changing the ways they ranks web sites and are getting smarter (Although at times that seems hard to believe), so you will get caught if you try to Spam them.
Don't open your web site to the pubic before you have tested (Links, coding errors, etc.) it completely and know it's working correctly. Make sure every section of the web site is completed. Most Internet users will never return to a web site where they find a section of a web site that isn't completed or see an under construction sign.