In the Press
Getting visitors to come to your web site is not as easy as just having one. Site promotion and advertising is a necessity to having a successful web presence. Persistent monitoring of web traffic and site modification is essential for continual improvement of your site traffic. Here are a few important tips for gaining web site visitors:
Printed Materials and Advertising
Promote your website on all printed materials. This is the best way for people that know your business to see your website. Include your full web address in all of the following:
- Business Cards
- Telephone Books
- Promotional Materials
We recommend that you check out any trade associations, or certifications that your company is related to. These groups often maintain lists of companies on their own websites. Be sure that you update your information and have the group add your website to their list.
Look into link "trading" from other companies that you work in relationship with. Often times both companies are interested in having additional links to their site, and in return for offering to place a link to their site from yours, they should do the same.
Mass emailing is another good way to promote your site, you can purchase email lists on the internet and then email them with a promotion, or just an invitation to visit the site. Email list can also be purchased with specific groups of people as the target. These mass emailings can generate an enormous number of hits to your site! Using email also guarantees that your audience is already on the internet.
Depending on the nature of your business, search engines might be a major piece of your new internet client base. Most people on the internet use search engines to find websites with the information they desire. There are three major types of search engines, below are all three and a short definition of each one:
Human Powered Directories
Directories, such as Yahoo, depend on humans to create their listings. You submit your site to them with a short description and usually a list of categories that you would like to be listed in. Then a human reviews your site and decides whether it should be listed in the categories suggested.
Crawler Based Search Engines
Crawler based search engines, such as Google, "read" your site with computers called spiders or crawlers. These spiders copy all of the information from your site and also follow all of the links to the other pages on your site. All of the information on your site is then stored in their database for searching. When you search on Google, you are searching their huge database of site information.
Pay Per Click Listings
Search engines like Overture require payment to be placed in their listings. Payment methods vary from site to site, however the results are usually the same; pay more money to be listed higher. These sites can be very effective and can offer many benefits to your business. Overture, for example, can list your site in the top categories of many other major search engines (Yahoo, MSN, AOL, etc).
There are many other search engines available on the web. Others not listed here either use copies of information from the ones above or are "meta crawlers" (search engines that search other search engines). One example is http://www.excite.com; the majority of their search results come from Overture. Focusing your attention on the sites listed above will place your site in 95% of internet search engines.
Search Engine Rank
Although most engines have the same data, they all rank their results differently. Most search engines use the location and frequency of key words or search words as their basic ranking scheme. Pages with search terms in the HTML title are usually ranked higher. In addition to the title; pages with keywords or search words in the beginning of the page are ranked higher. This rank method assumes that if the keywords are at the beginning of the page, then the page is probably relevant. Engines also might analyze how often the search words exist on the page. Higher frequencies generally are ranked higher on the list.
Meta tags can also be used in search engine rank. Meta tags generally contain hidden key words and phrases that help define the contents of the pages. Each page can contain a separate list of keywords as well as a description. However, unlike common assumption, not all engines use meta tags as their most important criteria. The weight of meta tags varies between search engines.
How often other sites link to yours can also be included in search engine ranks. These links can help a search engine determine how many external sites think that your site is important. They can also use these links to help judge what your site is about.
Another factor is clickthroughs: Clickthrough is a measurement of how many times your site is selected in a list of search results. As more people chose your site in the results, your rank and importance will rise, while sites that are not selected from the search results are deemed less important, or less appealing.
It is important to remember that each search engine can and will rank their results however they chose to. You must research them and learn about their ranking methods, then tailor your site to their methods, if you want to continue to improve your rankings. Following the above guidelines will greatly improve your traffic.
Many books are available that discuss increasing your web traffic and search engine results:
Streetwise Maximize Web Site Traffic: Build Web Site Traffic Fast
Internet Marketing And Search Engine Positioning - A "Do It Yourself" Guide
Increase Your Web Traffic in a Weekend: 3rd Edition with CD-Rom