Listed and Linked Is Important Too!
So now you have a web site and are ready to do business. Now the real work begins.
In order for your web site to be successful you have to market it by way of
advertising, promotion, joining newsgroups, mail lists & forums,
getting links to your site from other web sites and search engine registration.
The fact is, you have a company web site because you want to
attract visitors. Web site visitors are measured by "hits," the number of
times viewers receive information from your site's server. However, hits are a poor way to
measure site traffic. What counts are page views, like how long the visitor stayed
on your site, how many hot buttons he/she followed to the sections he/she read.
As we've stated before, your web site is one of literally
millions of pages of online information. And no one search engine or directory lists
every single page displayed on the the Internet's World Wide Web. And as we've
said, you must promote your site to attract visitors to it.
The majority of visits arrive from somewhere else on the web.
Search engines, which attempt to catalog web sites by topic, result in a good deal
of web site traffic. For example, a person can search for "books"
and get a list of several thousand sites that will in some fashion relate to
"books." However, you will also end up with a number of sites that don't
have anything to do with "books."
There are 13 major search engines/directories. These
are Yahoo! (the most popular directory), Google (the most popular
search engine), HotBot, LookSmart, MSN, AllTheWeb, Netfind (AOL), Lycos,
AltaVista, NorthernLight, Excite, WebCrawler, ScrubTheNet, and Open Directory.
For Canadians listing with www.canada.com,
www.msn.ca can be very
helpful. In the United Kingdom, we
recommend www.god.co.uk or any of
the major search engines and directories British equivalents.
There are new search engines popping up all the
time on the Internet. Since each
search engine organizes, acquires, stores and categorizes its information differently, the
same search on different search engines is likely to turn up different results.
To get listings, we strongly suggest you hire a reputable
expert to submit your site for you. You of course can submit your site yourself, but
you'll need to prepare several kinds of information. Your page titles are most important
to some search engines. Your home page title should convey the
essence of your site and each subsequent page title should explain what is on that page.
The next suggestion would is meta tags
- information that is placed in the
HTML document of your site. These tags will not be seen by the public, but are be accessed
by robots/spiders and other information retrievers of the search engines visiting your
site. Unfortunately, not all search engines recognize meta tags.
Actually, fewer and fewer search engines utilize meta tags as a way
of listing and ranking web sites. This is due primarily to
unscrupulous individuals abusing their use. Still, it's worth
adding them for the searchers that still are inclined to make use of
them. The tags with
which you should be most concerned are Titles and Keywords, which are the most likely to
be detected by search engines.
You need a minimum of 10 keyword phrases
that search engines can use to match queries to your site. To make this list, think of all
the possible words and phrases someone might use as search terms when trying to locate
your site. For example, if you're a full-service travel agency, your keyword list might
include: travel, travel agents, vacations, business travel, corporate travel, cruises,
tours, group travel, accommodations, hotels, resorts, car rentals, etc. Each of
these phrases represent a way that a potential customer might search for sites in your
It is also important to write at least four descriptions of
your site in the length of 25, 50, 75 and 100 words. For example:
We are a full service travel agency offering quality travel products, services and
customized tours at exceptional value on the web in real time online.
The longer versions must be beefed up and thoroughly thought
out. Write them. Write them again. Until you've got everything
efficiently and succinctly put.
Getting high rankings in search engines is part art and part
science. Few people ever look beyond the first 25 to 50 listings that come up in a search.
Therefore, your ranking in the hierarchy is crucially important, and difficult to achieve
We do not recommend trying this yourself! There are
many site submission services which can do the work for you. Most use software that
automatically submits your site to up to search engines, directories and indexes at
once. But be wary, these services, or the software that lets you do the job
yourself, can appear reasonably priced, but generally do not get the best results.
Get a real, quality professional expert to do it for you.
And stay away from those that claim they can submit your site to 50
or even hundreds of search engines. There aren't that many
popular or effect search engines and directories applicable to your
web site. In short, you'll be wasting your money.
To learn more about search engines and the submission process
we high recommend a visit to www.SearchEngineWatch.com.
To obtain tools and resources that can help get your web site top positions on some
of the major search engines, we suggest a visit to David Girandi's www.SearchPositioning.com.
Manual submission is the correct and most effective way to
register your web sites URL (or domain name). The best services hand-submit
customized listings to at least the top 12 search engines and machine submit the others.
However, search engine listings and methods (the algorithms) can change by the day
or week. Maintaining a high ranking is a tedious and necessarily ongoing job.
Make sure the service you use will keep checking and updating your ranking regularly to
see that you maintain high placement. And remember..."You Get
What You Pay For!" and "You'll Get Out O It, What You Put Into
One final note: More
and more of the search engines now request payment for listing your
site. Some don't even guarantee you'll get placement upon
paying the fee. Yahoo is a perfect example of
this. You'll pay $299.95 for the initial listing, but it
doesn't guarantee they'll add you into their data base. AND... if
you do get listed, you'll be required to pay that fee on an annual
basis. So pick and choose carefully the search
engines or directories that you choose to list with.
Finally, you can also
pay for keywords or pay for clicks. Again... the best advice
is determine your specific needs and do a little research to
determine the best course of action for your web site.
Getting other sites to provide links to your site is an important way to get visitors to
your site. If, for example, you have an online gardening store, you might benefit from
reciprocal links to sites about do-it-yourself projects, home restoration, etc.
Getting linked is not as simple as saying "I'll link to
yours if you link to mine." That is considered rude and selfish. Why
would a web site with a lot of traffic want to link to yours? You must first give
them a good reason. Send a personal e-mail message to the webmaster of the site to
which you want to be linked.
A phone call might be obtrusive and e-mail can be saved for
future reference and answered when she has time. Say you were visiting the site and
saw information that would be helpful to your visitors so you linked your site to theirs.
Politely suggest that the webmaster look at your site and see if she thinks it is
appropriate to provide a reciprocal link. Most site administrators and webmasters
will appreciate the fact that you know something about their site, will look at your site
and answer your personalized e-mail.
Consider creating a special promotion for visitors from a
high traffic site with which you want a link. Options to consider are offering a
discount to visitors from the site who buy your product or service; providing visitors
from that site with a special report on a topic relative to their interests; creating a
banner touting that site and offering to run it on your site for a week.
Don't bother with automatic link or free-for-all sites. They
tend to be disorganized, can be totally random and are highly unlikely to provide you with
any traffic worth having. Many spammers use these kinds of sites to get your e-mail
addresses and end up adding them to their cheap, non-targeted bulk e-mail packages, which
they attempt to sell online. Like everything else about building traffic, there are
Remember that remarkable thing that occurs if
you don't market and promote your products or services properly....."nothing!"
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