October 8, 2008
A few weeks ago I wrote about building your website from the ground up. This article did not dive into great detail on any specific topics, but rather touched on the key points you will want to address. In this article I will place most of the focus on the promotion aspect of this previous article.
While at times new websites can experience organic search rankings in a matter of months, for the most part, it can take well over a year before you start to see any progress, and that is if you start promoting right away!
If your new website has not been properly optimized for the search engines, then this is a necessary first step you must take. Ensure that your new site has integrated the appropriate keywords into all the fundamental areas of the site. Without this critical step of optimizing your site, in many cases no level of promotion will help you get those search rankings.
Note: Extreme numbers of inbound links can sometimes cause an un-optimized site to rank, but an optimized website will drastically reduce the number of links needed, and its associated cost. This varies from industry to industry, but is true as a general rule.
Ideally the optimization of your site occurred during the planning and building stages, but if it did not be sure to get this completed as soon as possible.
The first thing you should do when your site goes live is issue a press release. Be sure to include a link back to your website, preferably with your target phrase hyperlinked as well. Submit this press release to an aggregator such as PRWeb. This will help get the word out that your site is live, draw some attention from the public, and also get you that first valuable link to your website.
Search Engine Submission
These days search engines will find your site on their own, and submitting to them is not necessary. If you feel you must submit your site to the engines, submit it only once and shortly after the site goes live.
In order to help the search engines fully spider your new site, the best thing you can do in terms of submissions, is to create and submit an XML sitemap. Submit this sitemap to your Google Webmaster Tools account, and also be sure to include a call to it within your robots.txt file by adding the following line including a complete path to your sitemap:
There are many tools out there to help you build your xml sitemap. Google has placed a list of some of these tools on their “Third Party Programs” page.
Back in August I wrote about using Directory Submission to help build links. The general gist of it is to be sure that there is a high level of relevance in the directories you submit your site to, especially if it is a paid directory. Currently DMOZ still has a high level of value as it is seen as a strong authority at Google. Make the attempt to have your site listed here in the most relevant category possible.
There are a number of ways you can work to increase your back links. In July I wrote about 13 ways to help build links. Links are one of those strategic tools that will never be a bad investment. Today they play a significant role in search rankings for most industries, especially in Google. While the future will almost undoubtedly still see search value in links, even if that value declines, or disappears entirely, quality links can still help drive traffic as well, and a strong base of inbound links can deliver you customers well into the future.
Explore the different ways to build links to your site. A steady progressive increase in inbound links will help Google look positively in your direction. Do not be afraid of reciprocal links either. If you are trading with highly relevant websites to your industry, then you should have nothing to be afraid of.
Promotion largely consists of building links and becoming recognized by the search engines, but in order to help you build those links, getting your name and brand out there can really do wonders. By increasing awareness of your site and product, the public will often help create the buzz you need, and often, this can result in fresh links to your website.
To help get your site in the eyes of as many people as possible, take a look into Social Media and consider creating profiles on some of the popular platforms. This can include creating a YouTube account and uploading instructional, informational, or interesting product videos. You can set up a Facebook page, and work to build a community around your product. Create a profile page on Squidoo, MySpace, and Flickr, amongst many others.
These pages often act as backlinks to your site, and also help spread awareness. Be sure to keep your social endeavors updated regularly or any viewership you have will dwindle as people lose interest. If you are able to build a strong following, this can result in many individuals linking to your site and spreading the word, resulting in long term benefits for you and your site.
Your use of social media does not have to be exactly about your company. For instance, let’s say you sell cars. Your use of the social platform, while it may note your business, can focus on other car info including trivia, news, photos, etc. The key is to keep it relevant, not identical – you are not looking to create a mirror of your site.
Write articles about the subject of your website and submit them to various services such as EzineArticles. Consider also writing for your own blog to help grow your site content. By writing and distributing relevant articles you can create a nice cushion of relevant incoming links. By writing articles that closely match the topic of your site, and including a link back to relevant content within your site, you can help out not only with search engine rankings, but by creating an extra traffic stream for your site
Pay Per Click
While Pay Per Click (PPC) will not give you many long standing benefits, it can help you to start making sales immediately which in turn can give you the funds needed to promote your site via other means. If you need that immediate traffic, this is one way to get it, but at a cost, and as soon as you stop paying, your traffic stops, so it is far from a reliable long term means. In some industries however, it can pay off, so it is definitely worth considering.
In general, reference your website everywhere possible. Get links from every relevant source you can think of, issue a press release, and get your site listed the key directories for your industry. The more eyes you can put your URL in front of and the more relevant sites you can get to link back to yours, the sooner you will start to see progress in the search engines.
For many industries it can literally take years to get those coveted first page results – in some industries it may be near impossible, but if you want a chance, you need to start promoting that new site of yours immediately.
Scott Van Achte is the Senior SEO at StepForth Web Marketing Inc.; based in Victoria, BC, Canada and founded in 1997. You can read more of Scott’s articles and those of the veteran StepForth team at http://news.stepforth.com or contact us at http://www.stepforth.com/,