Part 1: Building A Strong Business Web Site
In 1998, promoting your business web site was a very easy process. You placed 3 lines of code called "meta tags" on the top of your home page and submitted the page to free search engines or directories. Fast forward to the present.
Web site promotion has become a time consuming project and a new position in the web design industry, Search Engine Consultants, has been created. Use the list below to find ways that your business web site will be found by your ideal client, is user friendly and is visited often.
1. Build a strong, solid business foundation. Design a business plan, marketing plan, ideal client profile and 30-second elevator speech.
2. Be consistent and “brand” your company. Use the same colors, logo, motto, etc. everywhere on your business web site!
3. Make your business web site trustable.
5. Ask your web master to name each of your pages using a keyword you have supplied them with.
6. Offer added values on your business web site that make sense to your business and ideal client. This can include affiliate programs, books, and recommended links to web sites.
7. Add a “favorites or bookmark this site” script to some of your business web site pages.
8. Add a "Recommend This Site" on your site. If someone visits your business Web site and knows someone else who may appreciate it, this feature will e-mail the page's link to a recipient.
9. If you have pages on your business web site that you update monthly (like an articles page or recommended links page) say so on the page.
10. Join a few Web rings. For additional information, visit WebRing and Bravenet.
11. Provide a subscription box, to your e-zine or business announcement list, on your most viewed business web site pages.
12. On large business web sites, create a "What's New Page" or even better, ask your web designer to design a "Site Map" for your visitors.
Coninue on to the next page to learn more ways to drive traffic to your business web site.
Part 2: Search Engine Submission Tips
Much of your business web site traffic will come from search engines. Here are some search engine submission tips to keep in mind.
13. Search engines look for certain things - titles, headings, meta tags - so it is crucial
to make sure your site is "search engine friendly". Visit the Search Engine Optimization and Submission page on this site for additional resources on search engines and search engine submission tips.
a. TITLE tags: Title tags should be 60 or so characters and include some keywords.
b. Header tags are numbered from 1 to 7: some search engines recognize Header tags. So make sure you use these tags for each of the titles on your page.
c. Keyword Meta tags: Add no more than 15 to 20 keywords to keep the search engines from flagging your site for keyword spamming. Prioritize your words. The best way to submit to search engines is to submit to each search engine individually.
d. Use keywords in the text area of each page. They are especially important at the beginning of sentences and higher up on the page.
e. To learn more about meta tags and choosing keywords, read "Effective Search Engine Optimization" (from About Small Business: Canada).
14. Search engines do not find your site unless you submit your site's information to them. Below are four ways to submit your Web site to search engines:
a. It is recommended that you submit to search engines individually (this is also the way I do it and it works great, but is time consuming)!
b. Since some people prefer to use a free service to submit their sites to search engines, I recommend that they open a free e-mail address to use when you do "anything" for free on the World Wide Web. Two good search engine submission services are Submit It!, and Scrub The Web. You can pay for a program that will assist you to submit and critique your site such as WebPosition Gold.
c. Hire a Search Engine Optimization Expert to handle your search engine submissions.
15. Visit these search engine information sites: Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Guide.
But search engine submission is only one way to drive traffic to your business web site. Continue on to the next page to read other tips for web site promotion.
Part 3: Web Site Promotion Tips
Making sure your business web site is search engine friendly is only one aspect of Web site promotion. Here are some other web site promotion tips:
16. Find easy and secure ways for your clients to pay you. A shopping cart and a secure way to accept checks and/or credit cards work very well.
17. Check your business web site's links regularly to make sure they all work. Use a free link checker such as Xenu's Link Sleuth.
18. Provide monthly chats or bulletin boards (forums) to build relationships and community.
19. Conduct periodic contests and announce the winners on your site.
20. Offer a free e-book or e-report on your site. Its size doesn’t matter if you’re providing it for free and it’s specifically for your ideal client. Provide permission for the e-book to be forwarded to others for their personal use.
21. Write articles, post them to your business Web site, and submit them to article banks.
22. Design some quizzes or surveys. Statistics show that visitors love quizzes and assessment tools.
23. Participate in online forums as an expert. You get to "quietly" promote your business in your three or four line signature.
24. Place your business web site address on all your printed literature -- business cards, brochures, newsletters, letterhead, e-mail signature, ads - everything!!
25. Promote your web address in your signature for e-mails (change it regularly to highlight something new you're promoting).
26. Teach classes or speak to groups about subjects relating to your products.
27. Network locally to bring people to your site.
28. “Permission Market” by gathering, in writing, the e-mail addresses of students, or an audience as part of your evaluation forms. Create index cards so that you can invite your friends, networking partners or associates to join your list. Keep any papers involved in this process for at least a year or two.
29. When your business web site is launched, updated, or you write a free e-book, send a Press Release to the media, your clients, and friends and associates, too.
30. Want to know more about Internet Marketing? Visit this Internet Marketing Index at Internet.com's Interactive Marketing Channel.
31. If this list of web site promotion ideas seems overwhelming, visit your favorite search engine to conduct a search for Search Engine Optimizers and Consultants or ask others who they use and would recommend.
Maria Marsala, business and life coach-consultant, works with daydream believers individually and in groups to custom-design systems and solutions that create professional and personal success. Visit http://coachmaria.com.
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