An Action Plan For Marketing Your Web Site (Part 1)

Jan 1 22:00 2002 Joanne Glasspoole Print This Article

Build it and they will come. That might have worked in 1995 when the Web was new, but today that's a fallacy. With more than 3.2 billion Web pages ... against yours, if you don't promote it, no

Build it and they will come. That might have worked in 1995 when the Web was new,Guest Posting but today that's a fallacy. With more than 3.2 billion Web pages competing against yours, if you don't promote it, no one will come.

Outlined below are some tasks to add to your marketing checklist. I will begin with the most obvious--you wouldn't believe how many people don't think of these things!--and will finish with some more advanced techniques that really work.

DESIGNING SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY WEB SITES

Getting listed in the major search engines is important, but do not fool yourself--it is not the "be all." How many times have you conducted a search and ended up with over a million results? If your site is listed at 999,000, how many people do you think will visit? If you rely *only* on the search engines for your customers to find you, they probably won't.

That being said, there are some things you should do before you submit your Web site to the search engines. To make your site competitive, you need to "optimize" your Web pages. What does that mean? It means making your pages "search engine friendly."

Although meta tags do not weigh that heavily anymore in search engine rankings, they are still important. The two tags that *must* be included in each of your Web pages are:

Description Meta Tag--Summarize your Web page using lots of keywords. This tag is very important, because many of the engines will use it to summarize your site in search results. (Note: The recommended number of characters for the description meta tag is 150.)

Keywords Meta Tag--Because of abuse by unscrupulous Webmasters, the keyword tag doesn't play as big a role as it did in the past. To avoid being penalized (e.g., banned), there are some rules you must heed. For example, do not repeat keywords more than three times and avoid using the refresh tag as most engines view it as spam. (Note: The recommended number of characters for keywords is 874--of course, this number varies according to the search engine in question.)

I highly recommend taking the time to research the meta tags of your competition. Don't steal their tags; just look to see what they're doing to get ranked where they are. It is best to use phrases versus individual keywords. What phrases do you think your visitors will use to find you? I think this is an excellent activity for a brainstorming session with your peers, employees, and friends--better yet, your customers. Once you start showing up in the search engines, reexamine your tags to see if you can tweak them to rank higher.

For an excellent overview on meta tags, visit:

WebLecturer.com
http://www.weblecturer.com/lecturenotes/meta.html

For help choosing the right keywords, visit:

Wordtracker
http://our.affiliatetracking.net/wordtracker/af.cgi?2581

Title Tag--More important than meta tags is your title. The title tag displays your Web page's name. Be sure to include lots of keywords in your title tag, because most search engines consider these keywords in their relevancy calculations. (Note: The recommended number of characters for your title is 60.)

SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSIONS

Although there are automated services that promise to get you listed on thousands of Web directories and free-for-all (FFA) links pages, it is recommended that you manually submit your site to the top search engines. Be forewarned that it takes weeks (sometimes even months!) to get listed.

For a list of the top search engines and a link to their submission page, request my article, "Site Promotion 101," mailto:sitepromotion101@sendfree.com

In addition to the search engines, you should get your site listed in specialty directories--this also helps in link popularity. For a directory of thousands of specialty search engines, visit:

Search Engine Guide
http://www.searchengineguide.com/

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About Article Author

Joanne Glasspoole
Joanne Glasspoole

Copyright (c) 2001 by Joanne Glasspoole. Joanne Glasspoole is the editor/publisher of CYBER QUEST. Each issue is jam packed with original reports, news briefs, cool Webmaster tools, and more. To subscribe, send email to mailto:Majordomo@lists.kdv.com with "subscribe cyberquest" in the body of your message. Visit Joanne's web site at http://www.glasspoole.com

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