Those who wait for the world to surf in will eventually give up, or die waiting. Your internet efforts are only beginning with the launch of your perfect website. On the Net as in the traditional marketing world, if no one knows you exist they will not come to visit. Establishing a reputation takes as much effort in cyberspace as it does in real life. Strategies and techniques are different, but for both, it is an ongoing, evolving process. Here are some online promotion basics to get your web site noticed and keep it visible.
Your masterpiece web site is now online, the content is killer, the design is superb, it's the best on the internet. Prepared for a tidal wave of hungry visitors, you fantasize about snarling overloaded service providers. Mustering your renowned patience, you check your hit counter. In disbelief, you click reload to make sure the silly thing is working. Suppressing guilt, you reload a few more times to help it along.
They don't come automagically. You have to organize your tools and a plan for advertising your presence. Begin by constructing a promotional content folder. Prepare your advertising copy and collect resources. For accuracy, open this folder to cut and paste when you do site submissions and announcements. An incorrect URL can take longer to get changed than submitting a new one. You must get it right the first time. Put the following items in an easily accessible folder:
You have two choices. Do it yourself, or hire a submission service. Most established webmasters agree this job is better done yourself. You are the one who built the site, you know all the ins and outs. Making sure submission guidelines are followed greatly enhances your chances of having a quality listing. However, if you are new to the web, a submission service may be worth the initial boost it gives your site. Ask for recommendations or referrals from satisfied customers, study other resources. Start your online publicity efforts by registering with the following places.
Linked resources provide an excellent opportunity to network by trading links. They can be a popular feature.
Search Engines. For most surfers, this is the first place checked for anything on the Internet. Search engines and portal sites funnel the traffic flow of the web. Most established sites are listed. If you want to be found, you need to get listed too. Some engines index or spider your whole site from one URL. For others you need to submit each URL. Find out the basics of each. Search engines are part of internet life, check their guidelines before submitting. Begin with Google, AltaVista, Live, and Go. For outstanding advice about making the most of your listing, definitely research the resources at Search Engine Land.
Directories. Not to be confused with search engines, directories index and catalog. Getting listed in the right places can make a big difference. Start with major directories like Yahoo!, The Open Directory, and Lycos. Then look for directories that catalog sites in your field or subject matter. For example, if you run a bait shop, you might begin with hunting and fishing guides. And don't forget the global nature of the Internet. Look for directories from foreign countries and list your site there.
Link Exchanges and Partnerships. Good linked resources are a popular feature of many web sites. They frequently get bookmarked. Linked resources provide an excellent opportunity to network by trading links. The primary argument persists over whether or not to list competitive sites. For Helpware sites such as this one, or other information references, linking competitive sources may actually enhance your site because of the extension. But if you are selling on the Web, you may be better off linking complementary sites. Using the bait shop example, exchange links with rafting companies, not other bait shops.
Proceed to part 2 of the Web Site Promotion Basics tutorial.