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Web Site Promotion Tips

Web Promotion

Getting visitors to come to your web site is unquestionably more difficult than creating the site itself. There are millions of web sites out there, and thousands more added everyday. How will people find yours? Below are some tips. These are our honest opinions, which may go against what you read elsewhere. Use common sense to choose who to believe.

Yahoo!

Getting listed at Yahoo! will help a lot. But it takes weeks, if not months, for some web sites to get listed. For instance, HitExchange is still not listed after six months! Making changes to a listing that already exist may take even longer. So carefully compose a good description for your site, ask someone else to read it for feedback, then submit it to the most relevant category at Yahoo! by following their instructions exactly. Then move on with your life. A couple weeks later, you may follow up with an inquiry through e-mail. Some people believe it's easier to get listed in the regional directory of Yahoo!, but your site needs to contain local interests.

Search Engines

Submitting your site to search engines is a must-do, especially to the major ones listed below. However, getting found within a search engine is another story. A typical search will yield 5,000+ results, of which most people won't look beyond the first 50. Therefore, search engines should be viewed as necessary long shots.

(We are working on some tips for improving search rankings.)

Banner Exchanges

It may seem self-serving for us to talk about this, but banner exchanges are truly the most realistic and reliable means for web sites to increase their traffic. Its popularity clearly proves this. However, not all banner exchanges are the same - far from it! Please refer to these two articles: The Truth about banner exchanges and compare us to others.

Don't rely on banner exchanges alone to bring visitors to your site. You need other revenues to complement it. Banner exchanges will help your site grow at a faster rate than without. But if the growth rate is zero, multiply it by 2, 5, or 10 is still zero.

Web Rings

A web ring is another potentially effective promotional tool, but it will only work for sites that have specialized content. For example, if you are a serious coin collector with a web site filled with information about early nineteenth century coins, then you will be a good web-ring candidate. On the other hand, if you have a trivial homepage that talks about your trivial habits and hobbies, then it probably won't find a good web ring to join. See Webring.org to find or setup your own web ring.

We must emphasize that web rings do not work for everyone. A good web ring has at least 5 members and a common interest that is specific, well-defined, and well-understood. A web ring about classic cars will work much better than a web ring about car owners in general. The former attracts people who are interested in classic cars. The latter doesn't have a clearly distinguishable audience.

When joining a web ring, consider its quality control. Some web rings contain many dead members (expired web pages or members who are no longer in the ring). Some rings neglect to check whether its web ring icon is displayed properly by members. Joining those web rings will bring you little benefit, if at all. Take the time to visit at least 5 members when considering any web ring.

Awards

Don't waste your time! 99% of the awards are gimmicks to promote the award givers themselves. Very few awards, like the ones listed below, will bring visitors back to your site. But if you can't resist, at least stay away from the awards without a winners' page that links back to your site.

FFA (Free-For-All)

Free-For-All pages contain long lists of links that are submitted by visitors. Each new entry replaces the oldest entry on the list, which typically holds 250 entries. The FFA inventor claims that by submitting your site to the list, the link will convince major search engines to rank your site higher during a search. No way! Search engines are much smarter than that.

Don't count on people finding you on the FFA list either. A cursory look at the list will reveal that it contains mostly shady Get-Rich-Quick schemes. Who in their right mind will read such a list?

FFA is popular because the owner of the lists could send email solicitation to those who submit to the lists. Try it yourself. Use FFA's easy-submit program to add your site to ten FFA lists, then watch your mailbox begin to fill up with "Thanks for submitting, please visit our site..." emails.

Web Site Promoters

Most so-called Web Site Promoters won't do more than what you can already do for yourself. In fact, often they will do worse. Their tactics and methods may cause you to slip in search positions. But generally speaking, they will submit your site to search engines and directories that nobody ever visits. So our advice is to save your money, and do it yourself. If you absolutely must, choose a reputable promoter and keep a close eye on its promises and progress.

"Thousands of Hits"

We are compelled to add this section because there are more scams popping up everyday on the Internet. Whenever you see a site promising "thousands of hits," just hit the Go Back button or close the window. It is either a scam, a pyramid scheme, or someone who doesn't know what they are talking about. Thousands of hits? Come on, think about it!

Other Tips Pages

Here are some other promotion tips pages. We don't agree with everything they say, but we list them in the interest of full disclosure. Just keep in mind that web site promotion is a long and difficult process if you don't have a big advertising budget. So be wary of anyone promising instant traffic boost. Most likely, they are promising much more than they are able to deliver.

Web Traffic Digest - Promote your site with web traffic plans and other helpful tips.

Internet Solutions - Free weekly publication featuring online marketing tips, secrets and techniques to increase your site's traffic.

Web Digest for Marketers - Free email subscription that focuses on promoting business sites.

Virtual Promote - Features include helpful articles, links of places to submit your site, a directory, and other tools.

Free Promotion - Information on search engines, web rings, banner exchanges, free counters, and much more!

Internet Workshop - Web promotion articles, marketing services and tools, helps you register for search engines.

Auto Submit - This page allows you to enter your site information once, and then submit it to the biggest search engines on the net.

List Bot - Get visitors returning to your Web site by sending them news with a free ListBot mailing list.


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