Horizon Web Development

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Promoting your new site

OK so you have your new website, but how do you guarantee that people will visit your site and that you'll get a return on your investment?

Firstly and this really is the most important thing, you must have good (or better yet great!) content. Content that people in your industry or particular field are going to want to read and tell others about and of course products that people want to buy.

Assuming you have that, the next step is to ensure that people can actually find your site using the major search engines, this may mean improving or optimising your site to get it higher in the rankings. One of the best ways to be well ranked is to have not only interesting content and products as mentioned above but to also have varying content. Your site will soon look stagnant, repetitive and boring to regular visitors if nothing ever changes on your pages and the search engines will also notice if your content doesn't change between visits. This can be achieved with something as simple as a News section, a special offers section or even a blog. If possible try and add something everyday, failing that at least once a week.

OK so you have great content and products and you're able to vary them regularly, so now you should look at how you expect visitors to reach your site. Think of the search terms that you would use to find your service on the Internet. Its simple to enter Horizon Web Development into a search engine and find the site but what if you are looking for a particular service or product rather than a company? By putting yourself in the position of a potential customer you should be able to come up with a list of at least 25 keywords or phrases that they would use to find your product or service. You should also look for things that would distinguish you from the competition. For example if you were a Chinese Restaurant you'd want to use your location as a keyword so people searching for "Chinese food Nottingham" or even "Chinese food Mapperley" would find your site and you wouldn't just end up as one of the many thousands of hits under "Chinese Food."

Once you have these keywords you should make sure that they are evenly distributed throughout your pages in sentences and paragraphs, remember that it is the text on your pages that will be used to find your site, no-one will find your site using a word or phrase that isn't on your pages. For example, searching for "haberdashery Nottingham" will never turn up the Horizon Web Development page as that phrase isn't mentioned anywhere on our site (until now!)

You should also look to have at least 300 words on your homepage with your keywords or phrases scattered in there, if you don't have enough information to put on the homepage try using it to summarise what's on the other pages or sections. Remember this is the only page people will see most of the time so you have to give visitors and search engines enough information about your company and services on this page.

Now that your site is complete you should make sure you submit it to the search engines. Don't bother with any promotions you see saying that they'll submit your site to 50,000 search engines etc, on the internet there are only really three search engines that count, Google, MSN and Yahoo. They account for around 96% of the searches on the internet each day and most likely those promotions are just collecting email addresses for spamming anyway. You can save yourself on spam email by submitting your site to the big three, completely free at these addresses, Google, MSN and Yahoo.

Of the big three search engines Google is the biggest, accounting for around 50% of the searches made each day, they also offer some tools that are invaluable to webmasters and can help you improve your site's ranking. Firstly I'd recommend you sign up for Google Sitemaps, this will give you great information on how Google sees your site and on how often it crawls it looking for new content. You can also use this to inform Google when you have added new content to your site.

Another great tool from Google is Google Analytics, which allows you to analyse your visitors, where they come from, the keywords that they used to find you and much more. A site that offers a similar service, also for free, is StatCounter.com, I've used this site many times myself and found it extremely useful for discovering what pages/sites are working well and which are not.

Finally, something else that may help with your search engine rankings is an RSS (or atom) Feed or a blog, search engines seem to love this kind of thing at the moment, they are easy to set up and free.


1 Comments:

  • Sitebases, the next protocol after Sitemaps
    It can save the time and press for the search engine, also for the websites.
    It can bring new search engine that named Search Engine 2.0.
    Using Sitebases protocol, will save 95% bandwidth above. It is another sample for long tail theory.
    In this protocol, I suggested that all search engine can share their Big Sitebases each other, so the webmaster just need to submit their Sitebases to one Search Engine.
    And I suggested that all search engines can open their search API for free and unlimited using.

    By Anonymous Sitebases Protocol, At 12:47 PM  

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