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How to promote a site

Author: Joe Savelberg 06.09.2007   Print This Post   Email This Post

You’ve got a web site but nobody cares. Nobody knows where your site is and what’s you’ve got to offer. It’s about time to start promoting your content to the world. I’ll cover a few basic tactics in this article.

After the optimization of the site (see my previous article), it’s time to promote it more thouroughly to get more visitors to your site.

If you’ve got an online marketing budget to burn, then there are several options that I can recommend. This will bring in results quickly, however it requires you to run your campaign for a longer period as you’re basically paying for visitors to come to your site. However there are also some free alternatives.

First, you should get your company listed on the Yahoo Directory. This will improve your rankings on Yahoo and to some extend on Google as well.

Yahoo offers several small business services. The directory submission is the one you should look for. This costs $299 per year — that is, if you are accepted into the directory. There is no guarantee your site will be included, but so far, my sites have always been listed after I paid. This is an annual fee you have to pay and makes sure your site remains in Yahoo and it’s international sister sites.

Yahoo also lets you buy keywords on search queries. When somebody enters a query related to the keyword you bought, then your advertisement will be displayed along the other search results. This is a good way to get in front of many people.

However I prefer Google’s AdWords service for search related promotion. You can set the price you’re willing to pay for a click on your advertisement, set targeting options (only advertise in Europe, only in French or Dutch or English, etc.).

On AdWords, you set a fixed daily budget. When the budget is used up, the ad is disabled until the next day. So you’ll never get any bad surprises or use up your budget in just a single day. When you end a campaign, you are not charged any more.

We used an AdWords campaign to turn a $500 marketing budget into 8000 Euro (around $10,500) in revenues. This is a very good return on investment.

If you’ve got a bit of time on your hand, you should try to convince other (quality) sites to link to your site. This will give your site a higher reputation and therefore a better ranking on search engines.

Using the free promotion you can add your site to lots of directories and search engines. Say “Hi!” to Robert from us when you sign up for his service…

When you pay a small yearly contribution, you get access to the secret power tools. These will automatically re-submit your site to those search engines on a monthly basis. We’ve used for many years now and are very satisfied with the results. Once you’ve entered all the details about your site and run the first promotion, it’s basically on auto-pilot and does all the work for you month after month.

For the past 11 years, I’ve been subscribe to the commercial newsletter “Search Engine News“. This newsletter is updated monthly with latest tips and tricks of the trade. They also give you access to an e-book called “The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars!”. This book is updated every month and tells you everything you need to know how to optimize your site to get better search engine listings.

The subscription costs $97 a year and they also give you a money back guarantee.

By the way, I used a various copies of the UnFair Advantage Book for evidence and explanation during a court trial. A large, NASDAQ-listed company had copied contents from one of my websites and put it on all pages of their own site.

My web site was very popular at the time, having a #1 ranking on many search engines. That 800-pound gorilla from California thought that they could jump on my bandwagon and profit from my experience without permission.

They put my text in white letters on a white background on their pages. In the old times of the Net, search engines didn’t analyze the layout context of a site and for those robots, any text was just text, even if it was invisible to the human eye.

Well, using information from an early issue of the “UnFair Advantage Book”, I was able to show the court that using white content on a white background would help increase the search engine rankings. Using a later issue of the e-book, we could prove when that tactic became known as search engine spamming. So using both dates as a reference, we were able to estimate the damage caused by that large women network in California.

The judges agreed with us and during the first trial we were awarded 800,000 Euro. When the defendant filed for an appeal, we were award 250,000 Euro in the second trial. This lawsuit took several years, but in the end we won and it was the highest monetary damages awarded for copyright infringement in Belgium at the time.

All this was possible because I had the right information at the right time. So you might want to keep your copies of “The UnFair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars!” — you never know when they might come in handy.

As you can see, there are various ways to promote a site. There are many free tools out there on the web which you can use to submit your site to various directories and search engines.

However I do have a final word of advice: try to submit your site by hand. You know your site inside out and other companies will have some problems to find the right categories or keywords for your site. Only when you work with a real expert, you should out-source this work. It’s too important to let any outside person screw up your work!

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