How to get traffic to your new Web site - the basics of Internet marketing & website promotion
by Christine Collie Rowland, Blue Cat Design
Okay so you went out and got some professional-looking web pages with cleverly-written copy and snappy graphics, and even some useful, entertaining content. And these pages have just been loaded onto the Internet and can be seen at your new Web address.
You're feeling good about it, you've mastered this Web thing. And now you're going to watch the flood of customers to your new web site. Oops, did you invite them? How are they going to find it? They won't unless they have your exact URL (Web address) to type in. In a way it's similar to a phone number - unless someone knows your exact phone number, they can't reach you.
This is where online marketing comes in. In order for people who don't know your URL to find your Web site, it needs to be registered with all the major Web search engine sites and directories.
Your Web site itself is only one half of the equation. The other equally important ingredient is online marketing and promotion. Making sure your site is strategically registered in all the Internet directories and Web yellow pages with just the right keywords and power description, so that when someone does a keyword search your web site address will be returned near the top of the list. If someone interested in say, fashion, enters the keyword "fashion" and the search engine finds 75,000 sites that match, it's of little use if your site is number 287 on the list. It's unlikely the surfer will scan beyond the first 20 or 30 sites on the list. What you need is for your Web site to be returned near the top of the list.
Studies show that about 85% of internet users turn to search engines in order to find the websites they visit.
There are techniques to getting your site ahead of the pack - they're called Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short - but it takes time and expertise. Each of the major search engines operates in slightly different ways due to their proprietary algorithims which determine which web pages to return in the top positions.
For the broadest search engine coverage, it's important to optimize your HTML architecture to function well in as many different search engines as possible. Some search engines allow invisible "meta tags", some don't, some penalize you for repeating a word or keyword phrase more than a specific number of times, some weight the search results on how often your page is linked from other web sites, etc. To optimize search results in a range of search engines, many factors have to be taken into account and a successful search engine optimization process can become quite complex and time-consuming.
In addition to search engine sites, it is important to be listed in directory sites like Yahoo.com. Yahoo one of the most popular Web directories for finding sites, gets more thousands submissions each day for new Web sites to be included in its directory. Yahoo became so overloaded with submissions, they implemented a $199.US Pay-for-Consideration service in the spring of 1999, which has since climbed to an annual fee of $299.
Companies with a healthy marketing budget can purchase search engine positions in a number of pay-per-click search engines where you can buy a top 10 position listing. Overture.com (formerly GoTo.com) is the granddaddy of the pay-per-click search engines. Learn more about how pay-per-click search engines work.
Make sure search engine marketing is integrated into your marketing plan - and budget. Otherwise, your Web site development investment will have been wasted. Before hiring a SEO company to do your Web marketing, ask for client references and to see examples of SEO results. If they are reputable, they should be happy to show you search results printouts (from search engines) of results they've achieved for clients. If they hesitate or refuse to do so, be wary.
Here's a list of questions to ask a SEO Search Engine Optimization Company BEFORE hiring them.
(If you're not sure what we mean by search results printouts, contact us and we'd be happy to forward search engine printouts of results we've achieved putting many of our clients in the top 10 in search results.) View SEO case study results online.
We don't use gimmicks or unscrupulous search engine spam techniques that could get your site removed and "blacklisted" from search engines. Instead we perform legitimate optimized copy writing and programming that meets search engine rules and makes for top search engine positioning that lasts and continues to perform well for months and, in many cases, years. Find out about our Search Engine Optimization services.