Further Steps to Website Promotion
This is the fourth in a series of article about optimizing and promoting your website, and getting it found by the search engines. Read the previous articles in the series.
Whew! Is it over?
So…you’ve researched your target keywords, written your text, made your site friendly to search engines & visitors. You’ve gotten some links to your site, and more are appearing on a regular basis. The search engines have begun to come around to see what your site’s about. A few more visitors are beginning to find your site.
Don’t relax for too long. I wish I could tell you you could put your feet up & never worry about promoting your site again. But to truly be successful, there are things you should do, on a continuing basis. (Like housework, websites & web promotion are never really finished.)
The Fruits of Your Labor – Analyzing Your Efforts
who’s linking to you?
Some directories will add your link right away; other within weeks, or months. (A few will never add it.)
Links to your site are called incoming links (IBL) or backlinks and there are several easy ways to find them.
- Use Google Webmaster Tools. They will list all the links they know about to your site. (This report is updated every few months.)
- Check your email; some directories notify you when your link is approved.
- Your website statistics will be able to show you how folks found your site. You can see what keywords they searched on, which search engines they used, and on which pages they found a link to your site.
how many visitors are you getting?
After a few weeks, or a few months, compare the number of visits your site is getting with the number it got before your optimization and promotion efforts. Your website statistics report (provided by your webhost, or even bettr, by a service such as Google Analytics) will give details about how many visitors you’re getting.
Be aware that you won’t get an enormous amount of visitors right away. Even with a lot of links, it takes time and effort to develop a popular site. (And, it often takes some experimentation with keywords and promotion techniques.) But links are critical and will definitely help. (Sites without links usually don’t get much traffic.)
compare yourself to the competion
Check out your competitors. What are they doing? Who links to them? What do they offer on their websites? Can you get links from some of the same places, or offer some of the same type of services or information that they do? What have they thought of that you haven’t?
further real-world promotion
- Have business cards made & leave them everywhere (friends, bulletin boards, etc.). Always carry some with you.
- Send out press releases to local newspapers & newsletters.
- Is there a local radio show that would like to interview you?
- See if the local newspaper will write an article about you. (The little local weeklies that are distributed for free are a good bet.)
- Put up flyers on bulletin boards at your school, church, grocery store, work, etc.
- Include your web address on any advertising material you produce for your business.
- Writers should include their web address in their books, musicians should put it on their CDs, and so forth.
- Promote your site with free merch. Give away stickers, guitar picks, pens, buttons, or other stuff with your name, logo & web address on them. Do periodic giveaways (e.g. a book or e-book, song download, gift card).
further free online promotion:
- Get accounts at the social networking sites. The major ones are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Use these accounts to connect with others who share your interests; tell people what’s new on your website, and about your services. Be friendly and interact with others. And don’t forget to link to your website! Social networking has become incredibly important over the past few years.
- Put your web address & brief description in your email signature.
- If you participate in online forums, newsgroups, or blogs, use your web address in your signature (if permitted).
- Add fresh material to your website regularly to keep visitors & search engines coming back.
- If you publish your work online (in online magazines, newspapers, music sites, etc.) make sure those webpages link back to your new website.
- You could also write articles or guest blog posts, for publications on other people’s websites. This can lead to many links and helps to establish you as someone knowledgeable in your field. (However, be very careful to pick only high-quality blog partners. If not, such blog posts can backfire.)
- When your site goes online, send an email announcement to your mailing list. (But don’t spam!)
- Start an email newsletter & send one out about once a month. This will keep your site fresh in people’s minds and lets them know about new content.
- Offer free stuff with a purchase from your website, or to your fans. (See “free merch” tip under “offline promotion” above.)
further online promotion:
- Buy pay-per-click (PPC) ads from Google, Yahoo, or other providers.
- Buy ads on websites that share a topical focus with yours.
- Submit your site to more free directories – these are a good place to get inexpensive links.
- Paid directory listings and paid links and on successful sites related to yours may be worthwhile. Choose very carefully. Paid links are often frowned upon – or discounted – by Google.
- Banner ads are often tuned-out by web surfers, but it’s something to consider.
Website Promotion Results…
How long does it take to get results, after your initial promotion campaign of your well-designed, well-written, optimized website?
In a few months – often 3 to 6, but perhaps a little sooner, depending upon the time and effort you put in – you will see more visitors to your site. And, the visitors will be better quality – by focusing on specific keywords/phrases, the visitors to your website will be more likely to be the ones looking for the information that you are providing.
You’ve made a strong start. But don’t expect thousands of visitors or hordes of paying customers overnight. You’ll need to make a continuous effort to drive traffic to your website – like housework, website promotion is never really done. Hang in there, keep going, and give it a little time, and you will see results.
Good luck with your site! Please let me know if you’d like to use my services, or if you have any questions!