Website Promotion Explained
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There are two things you should always be doing:
- Improving your content
- Improving your traffic
These two are similar, as your content is what brings your visitors back for
more, but you will also have to focus on promotion methods - otherwise you will
have a great site with very few visitors.
How to improve web content:
You might already have perfectly optimized, search engine friendly content.
If that is the case, move on to the section on web promotion. But if you are
like most webmasters, you will be continuously trying to improve your content -
not just for the search engines, but for your visitors.
The content of your site depends on many factors, and some of the ideas I
will present are not necessarily appropriate for your site - decide what
improvements to your content will be most appreciated by your visitors, and
begin applying those changes today.
If you have a content page (as opposed to a 'mini-site' or a sales page), an
up-to-date article or two related to your keywords can go a long way. Your users
will appreciate useful information, and the search engines love keyword-rich
articles. There are two ways you can use articles on your page:
- Manually find 1-2 good articles several times a week, change your webpage,
and re-upload every few days with your new articles in place,
- Use an 'article-of-the-day' script. These are great for your users and
search engines - every day, you will have a new article related to your topic.
You can get free scripts (just search "article of the day script"
without the quotes), use a paid script with more features, or you may get
'content management' scripts with your hosting. You might pull articles from
other sites (make sure they allow this), collect articles into a database on
your site, or even build your own article directory filled with content.
This is very useful in improving your search engine rank, and will also have
your visitors coming back daily! Good results for 15 minutes of work (if you use
a script). Check your articles to make sure they are relevant to your topic, to
ensure that you will get better rankings, and so you get targeted visitors.
If you cannot find articles for your industry, you can try adding mainstream
news articles to your site (unless this would be entirely irrelevant). This
could bring some traffic, and ensures that your site is updated frequently.
Another way to improve your content is to continuously look for new products,
services, special deals, or anything else that will provide value to your
visitors. If you aren't sure who your visitors are, take a step back, search for
"finding your target market" and "free keyword analysis" to
find tools that will help you determine your target market (if you need advanced
information about your market, there are several paid tools available to help -
search "niche marketing" or "targeted advertising"). Example
- if you have a site about traffic generation techniques, you could add a
"free traffic tip of the day", a new daily marketing article, and a
new product to help generate traffic each week. That should give your page more
value to your visitors and search engines.
As you can see, improving your content will bring you more traffic, but you
probably know that content is not enough. If you have the best content on the
web, but do absolutely no advertising, you will not get any traffic (other than
your own visits).
So, how to advertise your site - this is not as difficult as most 'gurus'
would have you believe. If you have a marketing plan, and you know your target
market, you will not have a problem getting traffic. There are two ways to
advertise your site:
- Advertise for free
- Pay for advertising
Free hits to your site are great, because there is almost no way to lose
money this way (you can lose money if you get millions of 'hits' that have no
interest in what you offer - you might pay bandwidth overuse charges).
How to effectively advertise without spending a dime:
- Test your ads! This is the most important part of using free or paid
advertising. Some things will work for one of your sites; the same strategy may
fail to get one visitor for another site. Test and refine, figure out what
advertising strategy works best for each site, and watch the money start coming
- Use forums! Go to discussion boards related to your site. Post questions,
answers, special offers, or good information. Always read the rules of the
forums, and don't spam (post something useless just to get your link on the
site). If you have something useful to say, people will click your link to see
what other valuable things you offer.
- Post to classifieds! Especially if you are selling something. Post
classifieds in your category to get more free targeted advertising. There are
also programs that let you submit one ad to many sites. If you find that
classifieds work for you, consider getting a submitter to automate your
classified advertising and bring you more traffic!
- Use traffic exchanges! These are programs where you earn advertising credit
for viewing other member sites. You may have to view 2, 3, or 4 sites for each
visit to yours, or there may be a paid version that gives you more traffic.
Note: I would recommend that you do not use 'autosurf' exchanges - even though
you will build up credits quickly, you will rarely get conversions from this
traffic. For a list of good manual traffic exchanges, search 'manual traffic
exchange' or visit The Internet Income System website (see resource box). You
will earn credits when your referrals surf, so promote the exchanges as well. In
time, you may be able to stop surfing and still get plenty of traffic from
- Exchange links! This is important for your search engine rankings, but most
people forget that the links themselves will also bring you traffic. Don't
exchange links with irrelevant sites - make sure the links you ask your visitors
to follow will give them something of value. This will ensure that the
reciprocal link to you will also bring visitors that are interested in seeing
what you offer!
- Here's one the masters never mention: Newsgroups. Yes, good old Usenet.
Post articles, questions, or answers related to your website topic. You can't
use HTML, so no live links, but there's no reason you can't put your URL in your
post (again, don't spam). You can also get responses via e-mail, and build
valuable relationships with other members who frequent your topics. This is a
great way to get customers, business partners, link partners, and even free
advertising! Your Usenet posts can remain on the 'Net for years, so make sure
your post is useful - read any posting guidelines and tips for the newsgroup
- Submit to directories! Directories list sites by category, so you will get
targeted traffic this way. Some directories are free, including dmoz.org - The
Open Directory project. It will likely take a few weeks before your site is
included (if at all) but you should still submit it for free. Some sites charge
a fee to be included in their directory. You may decide to buy a paid submission
if you want a one-way link from a high-traffic page, or if you feel that you
will get a lot of quality traffic. The main advantage of paid inclusion is that
your site can be active in the directory within hours, so you may start
receiving traffic immediately.
- Other free techniques: submit to smaller search engines, write articles,
use viral pages, give away free reports with your links (make sure the report is
useful and has value), give away free software, build your mailing list, and
If you spend 2 hours per day focusing on the of the above techniques, you
- Quickly get indexed in the search engines - Begin seeing more traffic -
Improve your search engine rankings - Get quality backlinks
I would suggest splitting up your time as follows:
Each day, spend 1 hour surfing for traffic credits on at least 2 or 3
exchanges at once (if you want to learn how to maximize your surfing credits,
check out my site in the resource box and sign up for my newsletter). This alone
should get you at least 20 hits per day (usually much more).
Spend at least 1 hour on only one of the above techniques. Example - Post to
50 newsgroups on Monday, submit to 20 directories on Tuesday, make 10 forum
posts on Wednesday, etc.
If you keep up this technique, within one week you should see significant
results, and within several months your traffic should be through the roof!
Sometimes, you need to get visitors to your site immediately after it goes
live (maybe you have a limited time offer, or cutting edge information that
won't be relevant in a month). If this is the case, consider adding paid ads to
your marketing arsenal. There are many ways you can buy traffic to your site:
- Pay-per-click advertising! This has become one of the most popular ways to
advertise on the 'net. You have seen PPC ads everywhere (they are probably all
around this article). Why? Because they work - context targeted ads ensure that
visitors are offered sites related to the one they are on, so you get targeted
visitors. Unfortunately, PPC ads are based on bidding on keywords, and there are
ways you can lose thousands of dollars a month if you are not careful. If you
wish to use PPC ads, make sure you do the research - know how much it will cost
and how much you will gain. It is important to test frequently with PPC ads. Use
the free keyword tools available to optimize your ad campaigns, try to buy
keywords that are frequently searched and seldom advertised. Set your limits
carefully, and know how much you can realistically afford to spend each day on
- Expired domains! Amazing idea, here's how it works: You either buy up
domains as soon as they expire and redirect their traffic to your site, or you
can pay companies that resell expired domain traffic as a number of hits per
month. Either way works great, here's the difference:
- If you buy your own domains, it will only cost about $6/year per domain.
But, if you pay for monthly traffic, you will not have to do all of the research
to ensure that the domains you get will bring you quality, targeted traffic.
Also, most of these companies bring you traffic from hundreds of related
domains, so you are more likely to get interested visitors.
- Other paid advertising options: solo e-mail ads, newsletter/eZine ads,
banners, text, image, and video ads. These have varied costs, and it would be
difficult to tell you how to use these methods for your website, so if you would
like to try some of these forms of advertising, make sure you research how to
write ads for that tool.
Always analyze your spending when you use paid advertising. Improve your ad
copy, ad placement, and visitor targeting - you are spending the money, make
sure you get the best possible ROI.
That should get you well on your way to a profitable, valuable website.
Remember to stick with it, but don't put all your eggs in one basket. If an
advertisement is not working for you, stop using it. If something is working
well, keep doing it. Try to improve your overall marketing strategy slightly
every single day, and you will soon have a wonderful website generating tons of