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Internet Home Business course that will help and guide
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STARTING YOUR FIRST WEB PROJECT
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
In this final part of our example of
Donnaís recipe Website, we will address promoting the
completed Website. Now that Donna has her recipe site
completed, she now turns her attention to getting
traffic to her site. She does so with traditional search
engine submissions; accumulating inbound links from high
ranking, similar subject sites; discussion board
presence; press releases; traditional promotion; and
The topic of search engine submission has
previously been introduced in Lessons 10 through 14 of
this online course.
Donna has correctly determined that she should avoid
automated search engine submission services. She also
knows that it is not the number of search engines on
which she gets listed that is important, but rather the
quality of the search engines that include her site and
the ranking she receives on those search engines. Most
traffic comes from only a handful of the most popular
Using the information in Lessons 12 through 14 of this
course, respectively, Donna submits her site to Yahoo!,
Google, and ODP. Next, she selects approximately 10 of
the other popular search engines. After carefully
reading all submissions instructions given on each site,
she lists her site in these search engines one by one.
As an ongoing project, Donna will search for
subject-specific search engines and directories
dedicated to cooking for possible submission of her
site. For example, Donna goes to Google and searches for
"recipe search engines." There are several promising
results, many of which allow her to suggest her site for
Links to your site from high-ranking
Websites increases your siteís value with the search
engines and, of course, directly draws traffic to your
site. (Links to your site from low-value sites do not
improve your siteís ranking and draws no significant
traffic. Most experts believe that links to your site
from low-value sites does not reduce your site's ranking
with the search engines, however. It is believed that
such a penalty would make sites vulnerable to their
competition, who could submit sites to these low-value
pages as sabotage.) Thus, the objective is to persuade
the high-ranking sites to include links to your site.
It is important that the links to your site come from
pages on the same or a similar subject. It is also
important that the inbound links come from pages that do
not have a lot of other links on them (with the major
search engines being the obvious exception). While links
from FFA sites and other sites that are nothing more
than a list of links may not penalize your ranking, it
will do you no good and, thus, is not worth spending any
Donna searches for high-ranking Websites that deal with
cooking or recipes and contacts the Webmasters regarding
exchanging links. She negotiates for in-context links
rather than just inclusion on a "links page" that has
numerous links on it already. She starts with those
sites that she has already determined warrant outbound
links in her content. In the search engine ranking
world, you are measured by the company you keep, so to
speak. Since Donna has worked hard to create a valuable
site, she wants her outbound links to be to, and her
inbound links to come from, only top-notch sites.
There are services that assist you with exchanging links
for your Website. You are better off to handle this
matter yourself, however. It is a simple matter to find
high-ranking sites that pertain to your keywords. You
just type your keywords into the search engines and see
what sites come up in the first three pages of search
engine results. These sites, by definition, are the
high-ranking sites. Then, you simply look for contact
information for the Webmaster. Contact the Webmaster to
discuss exchanging links.
You will be at a disadvantage at first, because your
site has not yet obtained a good ranking. A link from
your as-yet unestablished site to an already
high-ranking site will not be much of carrot to them. As
you can see, it is a bit of a catch-22 for the new
Webmaster. High-ranking sites are not interested in
exchanging links with low-ranking sites. Yet, you need
high-ranking sites to link to you in order to gain a
high ranking. Whatís a new Webmaster to do?
Some enterprising new Webmasters have used this
strategy. Create an "Awards" page on your site and
bestow awards to a couple of the high-ranking sites in
your subject area. Create a graphic banner with a trophy
for them to put on their site to announce the award.
Require that this graphic link back to your awards page.
For example, Donna could review the top cooking sites
and pick a couple that she particularly likes. She could
then bestow them the "Donnaís Best Cooking Site Award"
or the "SouthernRecipes.com Best Cooking Site Award."
She would then notify the Webmaster of the award and
give instructions for how to place the trophy graphic
and link on their site. Webmasters of high-ranking sites
are more likely to go along with this because it gives
their site more perceived value to its audience. The
Webmaster may be so pleased with the award that she
creates other links to your site as well. (Obviously,
you have a good site because it recognizes the value in
Remember that the spirit of the Internet has always been
the free flow of information and cooperation, rather
than competition. Hopefully, other Webmasters will not
see your site as competition but as another source of
good information for their audience. You should become
very familiar with the high-ranking sites in your
subject area and even consider customizing areas of your
site to be complementary to them. Find out what
information they need to add value to what they already
offer and provide that information on your site.
Above all, be patient. It takes time to accumulate links
to your site. If your site has value, however, it will
happen over time.
Another way to promote your site is to
make yourself known on discussion boards pertaining to
your siteís subject. Be very careful here, though. It is
a mistake and often considered spamming if you do this
incorrectly. Make sure you become familiar with the
rules of each board and read the board for several days
before posting anything. When you do post, do so to
answer someoneís question or provide useful information.
Do not hawk your site! If allowed, put your URL in the
signature line of your posts. Then do not mention your
site, but establish a reputation of being knowledgeable
in the subject area and people will begin to look at
your signature line and be curious about your site. If
you have been helpful on the discussion board, readers
will assume that your site is helpful also.
Over time, participants of the board will go to your
site and they will begin to talk about it. Some of those
high-ranking Webmasters may be there and if they like
you, they may link to your site. Your goal is not to
promote your site yourself on these discussion boards,
but to let others do it for you.
Note: SFI does not allow any of the SFI URLs to be
posted on Discussion Boards--even in signature lines.
The line between appropriate use of discussion boards
and inappropriate promotion is a fine line. Many spam
complaints result from postings on discussion boards. If
you decide to use discussion boards to promote your own
Website, be careful to do it appropriately. In fact, do
not think of it as promoting your site, but think of it
as providing a useful service that will allow you to
make friends who will eventually provide promotion for
Draft an interesting and catchy press
release for your site. Here is where the power words
(discussed in Lesson 18) come into play."Suburban Mom
Launches Hot and Spicy Website," for example.
The trick to writing an effective press release is to do
as much of the work as you can for the reporters. Write
like you were the reporter writing it. Quote yourself
and get quotes from others if you can to make it sound
like a professional news story. If you do a good job
writing the press release, it will be used by a lot of
media who have space to fill and no time left to write
anything. You have already done the work for them!
Send your press release to as many newspapers, radio
stations, TV stations, news Websites, and other media as
you can. You can submit your press release to many of
the media online. When stories are written about your
Website, get permission to reproduce them on your site.
It will make your site look professional to have news
stories about the site included on it. (In the meantime,
put your press release itself on your Website.)
START AN AFFILIATE
If your budget allows, you can start
your own affiliate program and pay for clicks to your
site generated by your affiliates. There are affiliates
services available on the Internet that will promote and
manage your affiliate program for you for a fee. With
the advent of the PPCs, however, it is a lot less
expensive and a lot less trouble to use the PPCís to
generate paid clicks to your site rather than managing
your own affiliate program.
You can also promote your new site with
all of the traditional online and offline techniques.
Put your URL in the signature line of your e-mail. Print
up business cards for your Website and leave them
everywhere. Stick your business card in every piece of
mail you send out. If your budget allows, consider
traditional media advertising (newspapers, magazines,
radio, TV, etc.). Classified ads in newspapers can be a
relatively inexpensive way to reach a target audience
for your subject.
PAY PER CLICK SEARCH
As we conclude our focus on the example
of our hypothetical friend Donnaís recipe Website, letís
return to the concept that we started with in Lesson 16.
Donna initially assessed the profitability of her
Website by determining the cost of her keywords and key
phrases on the PPCs and the amount of traffic she could
expect from those keywords. Most of the other promotion
techniques we have discussed in this lesson so far take
a while to work--especially traditional search engine
optimization. Donna can jumpstart her site promotion
within her budget by using the PPCs, however. With most
of the PPCs, you can set your own budget. We discussed
using the PPCs in Lesson 15. PPCs are very useful to get
traffic to your site while you are waiting for the
traditional search engines to rank you.
Donna is off to a good start in promoting
her site. She has submitted her site properly to the
major search engines. She has begun accumulating inbound
links from high-ranking sites. She is establishing her
presence on the major cooking discussion boards. She has
prepared a catchy press release and sent it to as many
media as she could. She has used all the traditional
promotion techniques that her budget would allow. She
has established an account with the major PPCs and set
her price-per-click for the primary keywords and key
phrases she is using. She is well on her way to having a
successful and profitable Website.
Over the last several lessons, we have followed Donna
through the entire process of planning, designing, and
promoting her recipe Website. We will conclude our focus
on this example now, and say goodbye to Donna, although
we will revisit her when examples are needed for
concepts discussed in later lessons.
If you have followed this course from the beginning, you
should now have a good grasp on the basics of Internet
Marketing. If you havenít started your own Website yet,
there is no reason why you should not start it right
now! I can picture Donna saying, "If I can do it, you
can do it too!"
WHATíS COMING NEXT
Stay tuned to upcoming lessons in the
Internet Income Course for detailed discussions of
timely and important topics in Internet Marketing.
by George Little
Copyright (year) Panhandle On-Line, Inc.
License granted to Carson Services, Inc. for
distribution to SFI affiliates. No part of this work may
be republished, redistributed, or sold without written
permission of the author.
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Course and other works and courses by George Little, see
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