Once a website is done, tested, and running it’s easy to think that all the owner has to do is sit back and wait for people to come to it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. New websites are created everyday and competition is tough. If one just waits to be discovered, they are going to be waiting a long time. Here are some basic tips for getting a websites promotional plan on track.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is often the first thing that is looked at when promoting a website. Mastering SEO can seem overwhelming, but it basically comes down to making sure users can find the website.
At a minimum, this means that there should be content rich pages on the site with useful information. The more pages there are, the more likely that there will be pages that rank highly on the search engines.
Websites that sell products should ensure that they do not use the manufacturers standard descriptions for the products; instead product descriptions should be tailored to the audience to include key words that users are likely to search for.
The structure of the sites navigation can also impact how optimized the site is. Websites should not use a structure that is non-descriptive like /folder1/page1.html. Instead, each site folder and page name should use key terms that are relevant to what users will be searching for.
Determining what areas to target should not be left to chance. There are tools such as WordTracker and Keyword Intelligence that give insight into what terms are being searched for and how often it occurs.
Additionally the number of inbound links a site receives has some impact on how it is ranked. This is where having good, quality, content comes in because the better the content, the more likely it is that people will want to link to it.
Care should be taken not to implement strategies that will cause the site to be banned from search engines. These strategies are often referred to as blackhat techniques.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay per click advertising is not for beginners or for those who aren’t detailed oriented. A lot of money can be wasted very quickly if one does not have the knowledge and skills to create a successful campaign.
Running a successful pay per click campaign not only requires great copywriting skills, but it also requires a great deal of keyword research. It is not enough to simply pick the most general phrase that describes your website and bid the minimum amount to have the ad show up across search engines and related websites. In fact, that is the worst strategy anyone could implement.
Campaigns need to be thoroughly researched, ads need to be carefully written, and results need to be tracked. The more specific and targeted the ad is, the better.
It’s easy to feel stuck to the computer when promoting a website. However all promotion should not be online. Networking in the community is key to getting the word out about a website, especially if one does not have a large budget.
Networking doesn’t involve spamming people with hopes of getting results, instead it involves building meaningful relationships with people who are likely to care about and spread the word about the website.