Taking your business or favorite interest online can take a lot of work. You’ve already put countless working hours into developing your site architecture, web copy and creating graphics, but your work has just begun. After launching your site, how can you help people find your business, blog or special interest site?
There are several ways to promote your website, some require a lot of work, others take just a few minutes (1):
- Submit your site to Google & Yahoo! The search engines allow you to suggest a URL to be spydered/searched. You can find Google’s form to submit a site here: http://www.google.com/addurl/ and Yahoo! has their submit a site options here: http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html
- Link Exchange: You can start visiting communities with like interests that compliment your website or blog. Asking these people for a link exchange builds your visibility and helps build your relevancy in Search Engines. Avoid trading links with sites who aren’t related or are contrary to your business or website’s philosophy. Listing on sites who are unrelated hurts your search engine relevancy — and knocks you further down the search result pages.
- Write Articles: Writing articles and publishing them on content sites allows readers to see how passionate you are about your field, business or special interest. Article publishing sites also offer your expert insight to people looking to put written content on their websites. These republished articles offer spaces for author biographies where you can place links to your own business site or blog, further building your link relevancy.
Talk to People – Comment and Blog:
- Blogging: What’s the big deal about blogs? If you have one, they’re a great way to create lots of written content in a fairly short period of time. Blogging software like WordPress is easy to install, has a number of customization options and provides a secondary conduit for people to find you online.
- Commenting: If you don’t have a blog, creating conversations online can help spread your credibility as an expert. As you place comments on blogs owned by others, most allow you to place your Name and URL/URI with your posted comments. As you talk to other bloggers, this creates a great way to make new connections online.
- Online Networking: New professional sites have taken a page from the music community, who heavily use MySpace as their preferred tool to make connections on the web. New social networking sites have been developed with businesses specifically in mind. Professional sites like LinkedIn, Zoodango and BizNik allow professionals to make new connections online, and getting involved in these spaces can gain you and your company great exposure. Some, like Zoodango and BizNik allow companies to join as groups and even sponsor hosted in-person networking or lecture events.
Word of mouth marketing and promoting your business or blog online can take many forms. Using these five tips and implementing them systematically will help people find your site in the wide flotsam and jetsam on the world wide web.
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I’ve been part of the PCMag Discussion community for some time, and came across a new person, Mike on the discussion boards. He asked “I have just developed my own website and need advice on how to promote it?” This article originated as a comment to that post – http://discuss.pcmag.com/forums/1004372562/ShowPost.aspx
- Many of my suggestions require a lot of writing. If you feel like you need to refine your online writing skills, I suggest taking a look at these articles on writing for the web by Mila Levkovsky & Veronica Mun “Tips & Tricks to Writing Great Web Copy” and “Prepare for Landing: Creating Landing Page Copy and Design.”