123Webmaster.com : Onsite : Promotion
Promoting Your Site Page 1

by Ian McDonald

This tutorial is the first page of 3 on looking at ways of increasing traffic to your website and making sure you and your site is ready, and search engine ready.

This is the view of one person who has had some success with site promotion and may not be the view shared by others. For the purpose of these tutorials we will use a network site of Big Resources Inc. called A1 JavaScripts. This is an easy site to use as it exhibits and allows you to download stuff (javascripts) for free, and "free stuff sites" are always going to be very popular compared to a private site that sells pocket knives for example, however the basic principals apply for both and infact all sites. 

So lets begin and look at the work involved and the long road to getting more traffic to your site...

Ask yourself these questions..
"What sort of site do I have?"
"Who is going to be interested in it?"
"How do I reach these people so they can find my site?"
"Am I ready?"

The answer to the first 2 questions is easy, we have a site that displays javascript examples that you can view and download an put on your site if you are a webmaster, therefore the site would be suitable for webmasters and it would be webmasters who would be interested in it. If you have a site displaying the latest movie releases and short movie previews, then the type of visitor you will be targeting will be movie buffs and people looking for info on the latest movies etc. out.

The answer to the last 2 questions is the crunch, and this is the main topic of these tutorials.

How do I reach these people so they can find my site..

1). We know already that webmasters will be interested in this type of site, so the first job is to go surfing the net looking for webmaster sites that you can add your link to such as Reallybig.com and Webmastersland, and webmaster portal sites such as 123Webmaster.com and Howamazing.com. We are also very lucky for the fact that what we have is also free, that means we can also make use of free sites such as the mega traffic site TheFreeSite and hundreds of other free sites. Get your link out there on as many sites as you are able, this can take weeks, even months, you may have to go around these places again and submit your link again if you have not seen it in the appropriate category within about 1 month. (Give them time, some get hundreds of submissions daily, others are just plain lazy and some are just not even interested).
2). Write to the webmaster of some closely related sites and inquire about reciprocal links(1) and state your interest, be respectful as these established sites are probably receiving more traffic than you and in the beginning are really doing you a favor by sending some of their traffic your way.
3). You may also consider becoming part of a network of sites where you can draw on each others traffic.(2)
4). Remember that in the end, "A link is a link" and every link will bring you traffic.

Am I ready..

Write yourself a check list or make a mental note of some of the things you will need to do the above. Some of the things you may like to consider.

1). Is my site finished enough to present it to the public?
2). Do I have the content to make people continue past my front page?
3). Do I have a suitable name for my site?
Be clever and creative, but don't "over-do" it.
Consider things like:

a). A lot of sites list in alphabetical order, sites near the top of a list are likely to get more hits than the ones towards the bottom or on the next page of links, therefore I should think about a name between A and M above a name from N to Z.
b). A "catchy" name is more likely to remain in your visitors mind longer.

4). Am I ready to exchange links, do i have a suitable button or banner to trade?
Arm yourself with a good graphics program and spend a few hours making one, or there are plenty of graphic sites around that will make you one for the small price of adding their link to your site in return.
5). Most sites you submit to, require a brief description of your site, this should be written in 3rd person form, IE: "This site is about".... not, "My site is about"... and should be an accurate description. While it is advertising your site, it should not be written as an advertisement, so pick your words carefully.

The Wrong Way.
  This is the greatest site on the internet for free javascripts, cool online tools, tutorials and some really excellent dhtml scripts. 
( What a load of rubbish!!), and most people who would read that would think that as well.

A More Correct Way.
  This site features a large amount of high quality free javascripts, also a dhtml section, tutorials, forum and online tools. It exhibits full working examples of each script, is well presented and updated regularly.
(Hmmm...now this site might be worth looking at...), CLICK !!

Practice writing a description until you are happy with it, remember it will remain unchanged on some sites for years, so try and use variables if you have to mention numbers. Don't say, "This site has "125" pocket knives", because in about 3 weeks it will probably be out of date, think about using "This site has "many" pocket knives", because in 6 months time, you will still have "many". Also think about if you would click on the link or not if you read the description, because if you wouldn't, that is a good indication that a lot of others won't also.

OK, you're prepared and ready to submit your site to link sites, now the next hurdle is to submit your site to search engines. (Read Part 2 - Preparation for search engines.)

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