This page concentrates on website promotion on the Internet, including getting your site listed in search engines and web directories, getting other websites to link to your site, telling everyone you can about your site (without spamming), and generally increasing visibility of your website on the Internet.
Simply putting your website online and waiting for sales to come in will not work - you must promote your website. Website promotion is not a five minute job and shouldn't be trusted to automated search engine submission services - it's a job you should do manually and continuously. The more promotion you do and the better you do it, the greater your chances of success.
Most of your web visitors will come from the major search engines like Yahoo, MSN and Google. A smaller percentage may come from smaller search engines like Ask Jeeves. You don't need to submit to each of these search engines individually - they all run their own spiders (robots) which will find your site from links on other websites.
Just make sure another website (that is already listed in these engines) links to yours. It helps if there are several links to your website, just to make sure the major search engines find your website automatically.
It can take anything from days to months for your site to get listed in the major search engines. You have no control over how long it takes to get listed in the major search engines - be patient.
Paid / Frequent Spidering
Some search engines offer a frequent spidering service whereby they will spider your web pages at regular intervals,ie, every 48 hours. This generally costs a lot more, for example, £12 per month per page. This can be worthwhile if your website is updated regularly (especially daily). If not, it's probably not worth it.
Sponsored Listings (Pay Per Click Advertising)
The major search engines carry sponsored listings at the top of search engine listings. This is a quick and effective means of getting almost instant traffic to your website whereby you pay as little as a few pence every time someone clicks on your adverts. This is a very important method of website promotion giving instant traffic to your website. Use it!
Automated Search Engine Submission Services
Automated search engine submissions services are a waste of time and money. The major search engines, Google, MSN and Yahoo, will provide most of the visitors to your website. They, and most other well known engines, will automatically find your site by following links on other websites - no need to submit your site to them.
Automated search engine submission services tend to submit to thousands of small, automated links directories and Free For All (FFA) websites. These often have just one purpose - to gather email addresses to send junk mail (spam) - they are highly unlikely to send you any real visitors. Some search engines require users to enter a security code to prevent automated submissions.
Automated search engine submission services can't submit to the major web directories like the Open Directory, nor can they provide the security codes required for some submissions to genuine search engines and directories. Genuine web directories normally require you to provide a title and description for your site, and for you to submit your site to the most relevant category - automated search engine submission services cannot choose relevant categories for your site, nor can they write good titles and descriptions. The only way to submit to good, genuine web directories is to submit manually.
Getting your site listed in web directories is essential. Start with Yahoo
. Find the most relevant category - this should include sites that are similar to yours - then submit your site to that category. Follow the instructions carefully and submit only once - if you don't follow the rules, your site may take longer to be listed, or may not be listed at all.
Find more web directories
to submit to. Some of these will require payment or a reciprocal link. Sometimes paying for listings and links can be very worthwhile. Consider whether the directory / website is likely to bring you any visitors. Are your potential customers likely to visit that website? Are the links pages visible in search engines? Remember that a handful of good quality links in the right places is better than thousands of poor quality links in the wrong places.
There are thousands of other web directories that could be useful - search for them. Beware of Free For All (FFA) web directories - they are of very little use to anyone and full of junk listings - the best you're likely to get is loads of spam once you've registered your email address.
Link building is a continuation of what you started when you submitted your website to the web directories and is a job that can be done continuously. The general aim is to get as many good quality links to your site as possible. Lots of good quality inbound links can help with search engine rankings. Also, and just as important, is providing links to your potential customers - find out where they are and tell them where you are.
Find other sites that your target customers are likely to use, for example, shopping portals, sites selling complimentary products and services and so on. See if you can get a link from those sites to your site, but don't expect a link for nothing - you may have to reciprocate with a link back to that site or you may have to pay for a link.
As a tip, you can find out which sites are linking to your competitors by searching in Google for link:http://www.yourcompetitor.com
(where "yourcompetitor.com" is your competitor's URL) - if sites link to your competitor, they might be willing to link to your site as well.
The best way to get good quality links to your site is to write some good quality content. If other people find your content interesting and useful, they will link to it. Writing good quality content takes time, but it's very worthwhile.