Friday, November 24, 2006

Now that I have a website, how do I market my website?

I get asked this question often. How can I get more visitors to my
website? What can I do to stimulate website traffic? Below are some
techniques I use, many of these you are probably doing already and others
you might have never heard of. You can find many of these ideas on the
internet already.

Search Engine Techniques

First understand how Search Engines index (include into their database)
websites. Search engines send robot “spiders” to index the
content of your webpage. You want to make sure your website is prepared
for the search engine. In doing this you need to look at the HTML the
title tag, meta tags, header tags, content, name of your link, and specialized
keyword pages. The plan is not to trick the search engines, but to leave
them abundant clues as to what your webpage is about, so you get indexed

Title Tag

This text will appear as the hyperlinked text on the search engines
when pulled up in the search. You can change the title tag by going
into the HTML. Don’t be scared, it is easy! Write a descriptive
title for each page of your website of 5 to 8 words. Use descriptive
keywords along with your business name and keywords. If you specialize
in chocolate chip cookies and that’s what people will be searching
for, don’t just use your company “Coco Creations, Inc.”
use “Chocolate Chip Cookies – Coco Creations, Inc.” The
words people are most likely to search on should appear in the title
(called “keyword prominence”). Remember the text in your title
tag is what shows up on the search engine hyperlink the more people
see text that interest them the more likely they are to click on the
link. So where to put this text in the HTML? Place this at the top of
the webpage between the <HEAD></HEAD> tags, in this format:
<TITLE>Chocolate Chip Cookies – Coco Creations, Inc.</TITLE>.

Meta Tags – Keywords, Descriptions


The description should be a sentence or two describing the content of
the webpage, using the main keywords and key phrases on the page. It
could hurt you if you include keywords that aren’t used on the


Place the Description META Tag at the top of the webpage, between the
<HEAD></HEAD> tags, use this format:

Note: Some search engines include this description below your hyperlinked

chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven. We are located in Longbeach,


The keywords should be no longer than 255 using the same content on
that webpage, using the main keywords and key phrases on the page.


Place the Keyword META Tag at the top of the webpage, between the <HEAD></HEAD>
tags, use this format:

Note: The keywords META tag is no longer used for ranking by Google,
but it is currently used by Yahoo.

<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="promotion e-mail marketing
web marketing e-commerce viral advertising search engine stratagies
META tags reciprocal links PPC buys e-zines newsletters PR public relations
e-mail marketing">

Header Tags

The sub heads and page headlines are considered to be important to the
page, so make sure your most relevant keywords and phrases appear in
on or two header tags per page.


<h1>Website Designer Coding Instructions</h1>


<h2>Designer Teaching HTML coding</h2>

Have your designer use CSS (cascading style sheet) to modify the colors
and size to match your sites design.

Website Content

Be sure to put your main keywords within your first paragraph. More
keywords are not better. Google might expect a keyword density in the
entire body text area of maybe 1.5% to 2% for a word that should rank
high, so don't overdo it. Other places you might consider including
keywords would be in ALT tags and perhaps COMMENT tags, though few search
engines give these much if any weight. Also, hyperlink your keywords
and key phrases, the search engines spiders are looking for clues to
focus on your page. When you name the pages you are linking to try to
name the page the same as the keyword such as Tambralyn_coding.html.

Website Navgation

If you have JavaScript or Flash navigation menus can be fun and look
good, but search engines don’t read JavaScript and Flash. Be sure
to have regular HTML links, and ensuring that a chain of hyperlinks
exists that take a search engine spider from your homepage to every
page within your website. Also have a site map with links to every page
in your site will also help.

Keyword Focus Pages

Create web pages on your site that focus on a different keyword or
key phase. So, don’t list all your services on a single page develop
separate pages for each service. These pages should be ranked higher
for their keywords since they are targeted for specific content.

Submit your website to Google.

I feel it is a waste of money to pay someone to submit your site to
hundreds of search engines, since most of the searches are done by the
major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN).

If your site isn't getting indexed fully, make sure you submit a Google
Sitemap following directions on Google's site (
Greg Tarrant's Google Sitemap Generator and Editor (
is a free tool to build these. Be aware that some content management
systems and e-commerce catalogs produce dynamic, made-on-the-fly webpages.
You can sometimes recognize them by question marks in the URLs followed
by long strings of numbers or letters. Overworked search engines sometimes
stop at the question mark and refuse to go farther. If you find the
search engines aren't indexing your interior pages, you might consider
URL rewriting, a site map, and targeted content pages (see below). Commercial
solutions include Bruce Clay's Dynamic Site Mapping (
and's SpiderLinker (

The Title Bar

The Title Bar provides us with an opportunity to spell out the content
of our pages. It is also used by search engines to index pages. On search
sites such as Google, Yahoo, MSN etc. the title of the web page is displayed
as the link. This tip will show you how to write titles better, or rather,
in a more logical manner. I have adopted this style and it has helped
me in maintaining my web sites and in search engine optimization. Decide
on the keywords for the page and then build the TITLE tag around them.
Make sure you have all the keywords / key phrases in the TITLE tag.

Keep your website consistant

The Internet has unleashed the designer in many of us, but don't forget
to follow certain thumb rules. For example, try to keep a consistent theme
for your site so that a visitor on any page knows that he is still on
your site.Developing congruent pages should not restrain your creativity.
Uniformity can be achieved with coherent graphics, icons, font size, colors,
font face and general page layout. Make sure that you use compatible colors
across your pages. Using the same or similar background images can bring
consistency. Sites such as are mainly visited for
their content. Hence a simple layout was applied giving more emphasis
on the information content.

Website Colors

Use a contrasting color combination for the page background and the foreground
text. Avoid bright colors (they give me a headache... it takes me about
3 seconds to understand this and press the back button) as backgrounds
rather use subtle pastel shades. Also make it a point to test the colors
of links, visited links and active links. Try to test the clarity of your
foreground text. View your page from a distance of 3 feet. If the text
is readable use the color combination. Furthermore, test your color combinations
in monitors using lower color depths to make assurance doubly sure.

Website Headings

Headings are an important part of design. They provide a logical structure
to a document and have to be rendered in the same fashion as specified
by the designer.But how to you keep the consistent display of headings
when you don't know the fonts installed on the client? A straight solution
is to present headings in form of graphics rather than HTML text. You
can then have the freedom to choose the font and the typography, without
worrying about its final display.

Website Navigation

Web site navigation is the science and skill which you apply to a web
site that helps visitors move from one page to another.

Navigation on a web site is achieved by a collection of links (text/images/flash/java
applets) that form the Web Site Navigation Menu or the Web Site Navigation
Bar. This navigation menu or bar is usually placed vertically on the
left or horizontally near the top of the web page – check the images
below.Placing icons stacked neatly on the left side has become a kind
of standard on the web. A row of icons (usually at the top) is also
frequently used in web design, but, somehow, most web developers prefer
positioning icons to the left. What does this mean to you? Keep your
web site simple employing good navigational and visual guides for your
visitors. Do not try out new kind of design if your audience is not
ready to accept the changes. Yes, web site design and complexity, depends
a lot on the audience you expect. Design accordingly. Many developers
give an added emphasis to their left row of icons by embellishing them
with subtle lines, background colors etc. All this is fine as long as
the audience is kept in mind.

Submitting site to search engines

I cannot stress on this point more but you should strive to have good
web site content... content which is meaningful to the visitor and makes
their visit successful.

The free web site submission services are not perfect and you should
also manually submit your web site to the Major Search Engines and Directories.
In fact, you need to submit to directories only manually. I know its
a long and tedious process of submitting your web site to tons of search
engines and directories and if you do get a nice deal from a service
provider, go ahead. Just remember to ask them a copy of the submission
results and be sure to test your site on each of the engines they submitted
to after about a month or so.