A fellow with a megaphone promotes his news to the world.

Promoting Your Web Site

Once your web site is born, you want as many people as possible to view the results. There are several ways to get people to visit your site:

Content

Your first goal is to describe what you have to offer in a compelling way. Beyond that, if you can offer information from your site that is of instrinsic value regardless of whether someone wants to buy something from you or not, people will be more likely to visit longer and more often. Articles posted on your site (and offered from other sites as well, if you can swing it) will help you become more prominent.

Search Engines

In order for people to find you from a search engine, you need to build the site to be SE-friendly.

There are many principles involved here, but in a nutshell it involves choosing keywords specific to the information on each page, and using these keywords in hidden tags in the html code as well as in the readable text. It is useful to research which keywords people are actually using through tools available on Overture.com or Wordtracker.com.

The most important influence on your search engine ranking is how many people are linking to your site, either directly or through directories and link pages on other sites.

Directories

Research online directories for your area of expertise and region. Submit your site address to relevant directories, judging each on its own merits (free or paid, quality listings or spam, etc.). Avoid sites that clearly have nothing to do with your field other than the willingness to list you (a.k.a. ‘link farms’).

Links

Get other people to add your URI to their links page. Seek links from popular sites that are complementary to yours but not competing with you. In some cases you may wish to seek permission to link to their site first and actually create the link from your site, then request that they link to yours.

Online Forums

If you exchange information on user forums, be sure to include a link to your site in all your postings. The large amount of traffic these sites get can help boost your own visibility.

Advertising

Advertise your web site at every opportunity: on your business card, brochure, all advertising, telephone message, etc.

Phone Message

Don’t forget to give your website address on your phone message.

Email

You can put a link to your site at the bottom of every email you send. Just type the full URI, including ‘http://’, and most users will be able to click on it and instantly open a browser to view your site.

Send a message to your email contact list announcing your site or updates to it.

Once in awhile, offer a bonus or sale, giving an excuse to publicize the site again. You can also devise a regular newsletter, and invite people to opt in using a form on your site.

Site Statistics

Most web hosts now offer comprehensive statistics at no additional cost. You just have to know where to look to find them, and think about what they mean when you review them. They can tell you how many people visited and when - so you can see if recent advertising has had any effect. You can see which are your most-visited pages, so that you can make sure your most important information is posted there. This information can guide site updates and even how you do business.