Getting your Website out there
So you've got a website, the best of the best. You have forums, and gadgets, and galleries. Widgets galore! But it's been online for a week and you've had all of 2 people visit so far, LAME!! It's time to get some heavy traffic! Tie this in with some marketing and get some money rolling in!! (Another hub)
The first thing to know is, what is your site about? Knowing your site is the number one step. If you have a website that is about 4 different topics, it will be harder to get people to your site than if it was specific. You wouldn't think so, but it's true. Think of it this way, If you are going for a quality steak dinner (money being no object), would you rather go to the red lobster, or the Ruth's Chris steakhouse?
While Red Lobster does sell steak that is good, it is known more for being a seafood restaurant and it doesn't advertise for its steak. Probably a bad analogy but hopefully it made some sense to you, it did in my head atleast.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When you are looking for something on the internet, where do you go? People use google and Yahoo! and various other search engines to find what it is they want on the internet. So the first thing you need to do is get your name on google. The, you want to make sure you are ranked high in google's list.
When google crawls the internet, it finds links to external sites and it counts those link backs. The more link backs you have, the higher your ranking in the search will be. That is one of the reasons that sites like HubPages is ranked so high on google, is because when HubPages is linked to another site, all the articles on HubPages get bumped in the search ranking.
Don't go crazy with link backs though, Google is very strict on their indexing and you can risk being reoved from google altogether! That would be really bad for business. So let's look at some of the best things you can do to get traffic to your site.
So we want some legit ways to tell search engines to find us, and also to get people to come to us from other sites.
Facebook: You use it all the time, why not let it work for you and your business. Try making a fanpage for your website or business, or making a new facebook account for your site. You can keep people updated with status updates and also see how many people are fans. Invite all your friends, and those that see it might invite their friends, who might invite their friends, and so on.
Twitter: Social networking is not for the loner telling the world about their life anymore! Getting a twitter site to post updates on your site, announce contests, or new blog posts is a great way to drive traffic back to your site. Remember that by posting links on both Facebook and twitter, you are telling web crawlers like google that you're out there.
Google Webmaster Tools: Google it! This will really help you out, as you can submit a sitemap to your site and google will tell you if it is having any problems viewing your site.
Google Analytics: This tool will give you some code to put on your website and it will tell you where all of your traffic is coming from, what sites they are coming from, what pages they are staying on and for how long. It will even tell you what countries are viewing your site. Use this to help target your content at people that want what you have to offer.
Feedburner: Google Feedburner will track your RSS feeds (if you have any) and post them on the google reader site for the world to see, and while we are at it:
RSS Feed: I posted a hub on how to make your own RSS feed. This will help to publish any news that you have and allow people to follow it. This way they can come back to your site whenever you have updates!
Digg it!: Digg is a great site to share any news articles that you want to share. Millions of people go to Digg everyday to see what is new on the internet, so by an article to your link on the site will drive traffic to you. And if it's good content, others might submit the article to Digg too!
Delicious: yahoo has a bookmarking site that will let you bookmark sites around the web that you want to come back to later. By putting your site as a public bookmark on this site, you are giving yet another valid link back to your site.
Commenting: Join forums related to the topic of your website and make valid, acceptable, posts or comments on blogs related to your topic and put a link back to your site in your signature. Not only is this a link back to your site, but it is a chance to get the readers from that site to come back to your site.
Anchor tags are one of the biggest things you can do to help index your site properly. When you put a link to your site, google will index the URL and us our anchor tag to determine what your website is about.
For example: (shameless display)
Google will just love that link as it gives it keywords to help index my tech blog that I run. A good way to help with knowing how to anchor your website is to do some keyword research. Find out which keywords are getting the most hits on google and yahoo.
Just keep in mind, the more hits a keyword has, the more competition you will have for that top spot, so sometimes it's better to actually get a not-so heavy hitting keyword.
Now that you have all of this done, and you think "Now I can sit back and relax and let the traffic just flow through", you can happily know that you are wrong...
Advertising for your site is a job that is never done, because new sites pop up all the time that are competiting for the top spots in google searches. Don't let yourself be lost in the fray! There are tons of other sites to help promote your own! If you have a blog, try guest posting on other blos, or using sites like blogged and blogcarnival. If you have a site on a certain topic, try searching for that topic and then "review" after it. Find some sites that review other sites on that topic and try and have that site review your site to get on their list.
Remember, even bad publicity is good publicity
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