Website Promotion

So you have a website for your business, but you donít do anything with it, you donít get a lot of visitors (or traffic) and it doesnít lead to much business, but at least you have a site, right? Well thatís a good start, but without visitors, the site isnít doing you any good.

Websites really need to be indexed by the search engines. Iíve had clients hire me to get them traffic, and Iíll discover that their sites have never been indexed, The easiest way to do this is to manually submit the website, i.e. register its presence under the correct category with the main Search Engines.

Submissions

Each search engine has its own method of submission, but generally the process is the same. There are services that will submit your site for free to most of the major search engines, but the best way is to do it manually. That way, you have more control over what gets submitted to each category within the search engines directory.

Google offers submissions here, and Yahoo offers submissions here, and MSN search engine offers their submissions here. It will take a few weeks to get picked up, and in the case of Google, 9 months or more is not unheard of.  Sites that get found "naturally" through incoming links can actually get picked up by the engines in a few days or less. That does not mean they will get ranked naturally in that time, so if you need to drive traffic to your website immediately, there is no faster way than with Pay Per Click advertising. More about PPC here

Donít get fooled by services that offer to submit your site monthly or even more frequently to all the search engines. Once is all it takes, and to do so any more risks severe penalties from some search engines.

The search engines really weigh heavily on relevant links from similar or related businesses. A better option than submission is to have the search engines "find" their website on their own, through the establishment of incoming links from another related website. You have a site about being a florist, the best way for your site to get found is to get an incoming link from another website serving similar interests, maybe your supplier or wholesaler, that is already indexed by the search engines. That's easier said than done though, and link building can be the subject of an entire article itself, or even an entire book! A brand new website, with no inbound links, will need submitting.

Do you have friends or associates who are in business with their own websites? The search engines have a complicated method of working out the value of any particular link, and at the time of writing there are strong indications that "exchanged links" or "link swaps" are a lot less valuable than one way links.

Donít get fooled by services that offer to give hundreds of links free. This is called link farming, and most of the links will be irrelevant to your business. Even worse you may get links from sites that are distatsefull. Link Farming can very easily lead to your website being "blackballed", which means your URL will be banned for up to 2 years.

Besides search engines there are other ways to get traffic. Make sure youíre using your email address with your own domain name. If you have a domain name hosted, I guarantee you can do this for free. However, I canít count the number of businesses Iíve seen that still use someoneís personal email address for their company email. Getting mail from a ďbusinessĒ whose email is poochi232@aol.com really does not send out the right business image.

By using your domain name, you are presenting a more professional image. Also, you should add a mail signature in your e-mail program with a link to your website. Then, every single email message you send out will be signed with your name, company name, phone number and website URL. Anyone that reads your email will be able to click right to your website.

Anywhere you advertise your phone number you should also have your website URL displayed. Your business cards and letterhead are just the beginning. Are you a retail business or a service operation? Do you use a cash register or printed receipts? Do you run advertisements in your local newspapers? Do you print flyers or handouts to distribute in your business and around town? All of these are great places to put your URL.

 

Remember, your website can ďanswerĒ an inquiry 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This is long after the last employee has gone home and nobody is answering the phone. By using your domain name in your email address and other places Iíve listed here, people will start to look at your site just out of curiosity.

This article has been reproduced with kind permission from Scott Hendison, who is a computer & internet consultant living in Portland Oregon and works with companies all over the world. His website is http://www.pdxtc.com

 

Copyright - Premier Internet - 2006