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Boosting Your Hits

Web Page Marketing

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One of the most talked about subjects is how to get people to the Web page. With millions of Web pages there is sure to be another on your topic and probably lots. So how do you boost hits?

Some Common Ideas

With every good idea comes a price. When you're promoting your Web site, try to use the methods that work best for you, but remember the drawbacks.

  1. Submit your site to search engines.
    Search engines all have different methods of adding sites, but if you submit your site to them, a listing will help improve your site statistics.

    But... it can take a long time to submit your site to a lot of search engines. Also, you can't be sure that all search engines will accept your site.

  2. Use meta tags.
    Meta tags allow search engines to categorize your site based on the keywords and descriptions you place in your pages. They go in the head of your HTML document. Meta tags most often use the keywords and description meta tags. There are even several sites that will help you build your meta tags to increase your standing.

    But... not all search engines use meta tags. For example, About.com pages list sites that are relevant to topics, but the sites listed are chosen by the Guides. Submitting your site to be listed at a relevant About.com Web site is a good idea, but the listing will be decided upon by a person, not a machine reading meta tags.

  3. Talk to developers of sites that are relevant.
    Most sites have a "related sites" link and if your site is relevant, try to get it linked there. Remember that Web sites don't build themselves, and if you are nice to the owner of a Web site they may want to work more with you to promote your site as well as their own. Also make sure to submit your site to ratings organizations that are relevant to your subject matter.

    But... you can't force any Web developer to link to your site. They will do it if they want to. Reciprocal links will do a lot for getting people to link to you.

  4. Use a submission service.
    A simple way to get your site listed in a lot of places is to pay to have it listed in search engines. There are many services like this available, some are online and some you use a program on your computer.

    But... While this is easily the best way to increase your hits to your site, it can be expensive. Some services charge hundreds of dollars to list your site in many different engines. This may be worth it to you, but for someone just starting a Web business, it would be better to use the free ones or do it yourself.

  5. Word of mouth.
    This is a nice, community oriented way to get your site visited. There are services like Recommend-It that make it simple for your readers to tell their friends. Make sure that all your friends know about your site as well.

    But... there isn't a lot you can do to promote your site this way. Make sure that you have good customer rapport and encourage people you talk to to tell their friends about your site.

  6. Advertise other than just the Web.
    Keep your URL in your email messages and other correspondence. Direct mail (US Postal Service) can get you good exposure, as can billboards, newspaper and magazine advertisements, and posters. Your URL should be on your business card, and if you get promotional products such as pens, mugs, or t-shirts, make sure that your URL is on them too.

    But... this can be expensive. If you can, try to get your site featured in local news stories, possibly as a "local color" type interest story. This will get your URL in the paper, and get more people to your site.

  7. Get a Good URL.
    Many Marketing people will tell you that their page is a success because it has a good URL that is easy for their customers to remember. A good URL is short, "intuitive", and preferably has a domain name that reflects the content. For example:
    http://www.bookstore.com/

    is a better URL than

    http://www.isp.net/~bookstore/

    which is better than

    http://www.isp.net/~jenn/interesting/sites/links/bookstore.html

    But... some very popular pages are on GeoCities, which often have very long URLs, are not on their own domain name, and are not necessarily "intuitive". Clean URLs can be important, but remember that many people will get to your page via links, and URLs are not important to them.

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