My Web site is ready to go online. Now what?
Shirley Kaiser, Editor
Vol. 1, No. 2
Copyright © 2000. Shirley E. Kaiser, M.A. All rights reserved.
Welcome to all the new subscribers!
Pick up tips on how to begin, build, promote, or improve your Web site. Get the latest Internet news that could impact your Web site, and answers to common questions.
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Once your Web site is online, it is nearly always necessary to do ongoing promotional work to bring in visitors, especially if you have a business site that includes purchasing products or services. Perhaps you want to build the unique visitors numbers to gain sponsors for your site. If it's a personal site, perhaps you'd like to let others know about your Web site and bring in increasing numbers of visitors.
Whether a personal or business site, if you'd like to bring in visitors, some promotion will need to be done. As I mentioned in my last newsletter about building reciprocal links, promoting your site is not such a daunting task when you learn a few helpful tips.
Must you promote your Web site?
If you want visitors to find your Web site, then you'll need to let others know it exists, of course. Some of these ways are through search engine registrations, reciprocal linking (see Newsletter Volume 1, Number 1), online and offline networking, and traditional forms of advertising, such as through newspapers, radio, TV, and magazine ads.
What if you have a limited budget and limited time? There is much that can be done even without a lot of money or a lot of time.
First of all, search engine registration is definitely important, but it is only one part of helping others find your Web site. When budgeting your Web site construction and ongoing maintenance, I recommend earmarking funds for search engine registrations and follow-up, adding fresh content, and promotion in a variety of ways.
Here are a few things that you can do yourself or for low cost:
- Keep content fresh with regular updates, current information.
- Add an eye-catching signature tag at the end of your email.
- Participate in online discussion lists regularly, also using your signature tag.
- Add your URL and email address to all written materials (business cards, letterhead, brochures, literature, publications, products, etc.), and include it in all advertising.
- Tell your friends about the Web site. Word of mouth is very powerful.
- Send out announcements about your Web site, and send out news and updates.
- Start a newsletter that will be of interest to your clients, customers or potential clients or customers.
Part of constructing your Web site ought to include a search-engine friendly approach with strategically located and keyword-rich content, the use of meta tags, using ALT attributes within images to describe the images, and carefully optimized layout and design.
I've provided annotated resources about optimizing your Web site at the Search Engine Information section at WebsiteTips.com, http://www.websitetips.com/search/. There you'll find descriptions and links to a wide range of information, including meta tags, site registration, optimizing your Web site, and more.
I regularly recommend joining discussion lists to help promote one's Web site and business; however, I am often met with, "Nice idea, but I don't have time." Discussion lists, though, are great ways to network with others online and to also make friends all over the world. If you think you could spare even 30 minutes a week, it would be more than worthwhile. You can also choose from thousands of lists on a wide range of topics.
If you might be interested in discussion lists about Web sites, such as search engine strategies or online promotion, check out the Discussion Lists and Newsletters section at WebsiteTips.com at
For other interests, run a search for “Internet (Email) Discussion Lists” at your favorite search engine.
Subscribe to Newsletters
Another great source of learning about promoting your Web site is via newsletters. They vary greatly in length, topic, and frequency. I wholeheartedly recommend a couple to you:
- RankWrite Newsletter Discussion List
- Search Engine Watch Newsletter
- Some of the best ones I've found so far are also listed at http://websitetips.com/lists/#news.
Handling Email with Filters
Another hesitation I hear from people about joining discussion lists and subscribing to newsletters is the potential volume of email. Most email programs have filtering features that allow you to set up a filter so that ABC Discussion List mail goes into your ABC folder, for example. This is a terrific way of handling your email and newsletters. I have mine set up this way so that the only mail to come into my Inbox is from clients and friends (and the spam I delete and add to my filters).
I've written two articles that will help, one about handling email and the other about getting the most from discussion lists:
- Tips for Wading Through Online Subscriptions . . . and Why Bother?!
- How to Handle All That Email
Promoting your Web site in a variety of ways doesn't have to cost a lot of money. With a little time and effort, you can increase your site visitors dramatically.
That's all for this edition. I hope you've found this information helpful. If you have questions, let me know. I'd also be happy to address them in future issues! I invite and encourage your feedback.
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