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Site Optimization And Promotion

After Submitting to Search Engines
Monitoring Your Site After Optimization And Submission:

We've touched on the basics of listing your site. Now we need to think for a moment about how to find out how well your optimization and submission efforts are performing. This encompasses two separate and distinct areas. Checking your rank in the search engines and developing information on the actual visitors to your site.

Tracking Your Visitors:

Before spending to much on submissions you might want to see what happens with your DMOZ / Zeal listing. In order to do this you need to be able to analyze your site traffic to find out where your visitors are coming from.  You may find that many directories you have never submitted to have picked up your site. Every RealWebCo hosting plan provides site statistics, using a program by wusage, that tracks the traffic to your site. Site statistics reported through wusage are delayed one day.

With the exception of the Value plan, each of the plans include referrer logs which allow you to track which individual search engines or other sites are sending you traffic. If you have the value plan you can add referrer logs for a small monthly fee.

FREE For All Links Pages

On thing to consider as you work at publicizing your site is the benefit of listing your site on as many "FREE FOR ALL" links pages .  After all, the more places you sit appears that grater than chance that someone will find you. You may be able to sign up for bulk submissions or you can search the web for links Pages and add your site individually. If you submit to FFA be ready for a lot of email, most of which start out with the line "THIS IS NOT SPAM"

Other Free Methods Of Promoting Your Site
Everybody thinks search engines when they think about promoting their sites but there are lots of other ways to promote a web site. The methods you choose are, to some degree, dependant on whether you are a commercial or noncommercial site. The following are some ideas to help promote your site. Keep in mind the ideas presented may not be appropriate for all sites.

Put Your Web Address On Everything:

This means everything, letterhead, business cards, the signature at the bottom of your emails, everything.  This lets everyone you correspond with know you have a web site. Don't forget print advertising. If you already do it make sure you get the web address in there. This goes the same for radio and TV ads.

Join Web Rings:

As a general rule membership in a web ring can generate traffic for your site.  The navigation bars that you must put on your site to be a member of each ring can slow page loading, particularly if you join more than one ring and try to put several nav bars on one page.  With more than one nav bar on a page you also increase the chance for a visitor to leave your site before they have taken a look at it. For these reasons you might want to consider creating a separate page for each web ring you join.

This also gives you the opportunity to publish a duplicate home pages optimized for different search engines since the content will be substantially different due to the nav bars. Just make sure you include a link back to the web ring page. Search engines don't like one way links. One way to do this is create a separate "Web Ring" menu directory on your home page. Click here for an example.

Join Links Pages:

There are literally thousands of these out there. You can spend the rest of your life searching them out and submitting.  Try looking for links page directories rather than seeking them individually. When you find one that is appropriate for your site link to it. Every little bit of traffic helps.  This means you need to set up a dedicated links page since many of these pages will want a reciprocal link back to your page.  You really don't want a bunch of these cluttering up you home page and confusing visitors to your site. Just remember - the vast majority of FFA pages are email address collectors. If you submit to FFA be ready for a lot of email, most of which start out with the line "THIS IS NOT SPAM"

Banner Exchanges:

A two edged sword here.  The whole idea is to get visitors to your site, not give them a convenient way to leave. If you do subscribe to a banner exchange it is up to you to make your site sufficiently interesting to hold a visitors attention once they get there.

As with search engines there are free banner exchanges and ones that you will have to pay for. Unless your site is very general in appeal, like Amazon.com, or you have a lot of money to burn, we think the ones you have to pay for are just another quick way to empty your bank account. Look at it this way, if you had a brick and mortar store would you think it was money well spent to have to pay a nickel for each person that looked at your sign as they passed by. I don't think so.

For the banner exchanges you do join consider setting up separate pages for each banner just like with the web ring pages we talked about earlier.

More to come...........

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