Website Promotion: Choose the
Promotion methods that are best for YOUR site
Donald Nelson, copyright 2005
Website Promotion is a varied enterprise. There are several
methods of online promotion, and each website owner has to
choose the mix of methods that is best for his or her
The field of Internet promotion n can be divided into two
major categories: free promotion and paid advertising. The
first category is similar to what is called public relations
in the off-line world, but has its own particular style in the
world of the Internet.
Free Internet Website Promotion
The common forms of “free” Internet Website Promotion includes
search engine submission, search engine optimization,
reciprocal linking and placing content on other websites. I
put the word free in quotation marks because it is common to
pay others to do this work for you, and even if you do it
yourself, some of it can be time consuming and thus, costly.
Search engine submission is important. Even if you eventually
opt for paid forms of promotion, it never hurts to be included
in search engines. A little known fact is that you hardly have
to do anything to be listed in search engines. Establish some
links to your website from a few other websites that are
already listed in search engines. When the search engine
robots come to visit those sites they will follow the links,
find your website and put your website in their respective
indices. Of course you should also submit your site to the big
search engines just to make sure.
Submission alone doesn’t guarantee traffic. If your site is
buried on page 25 of search results for a query then you will
not get visitors. If you implement search engine optimization
on your site it will appear higher in the listings, bringing
you traffic, and hopefully business.
Another form of free promotion is to get links to your website
from other sites around the Internet. Find directories related
to your website and look for an “add url” button. Add your
website information wherever possible. You may be required to
offer a reciprocal link in return for your listing. Speaking
of reciprocal links, reciprocal linking is now one of the most
vigorously applied promotion methods on the Internet.
The practice of reciprocal linking started at the very
beginning of the modern Internet, with website owners casually
trading links with other “cool” sites. Now it is no longer
casual because link popularity is a huge factor in the
algorithms that search engines use to prioritize websites. In
theory reciprocal linking is free, but its cost in time is
very great, and there are professional companies that handle
this function for website owners.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Paid advertising is another area of Internet website
Promotion. Banner advertising was the first form of paid
advertising that appeared on the early sites, and it is still
around. However, click-through-rates for banners are not very
high and in recent years there has been a shift to more
effective forms of paid promotion.
Pay per click advertising is perhaps the most widely used form
of paid advertising. In this model you get a priority text
listing on search engines results pages. These are usually
labeled as sponsored listings and they appear at the top of
the page before the other listings.
In another form of pay per click advertising, such as Google
adwords, your add appears as a text box on the side of the
search results pages, near the top. What is common to both
forms is that you have to pay for every visitor that comes to
your website by clicking on the links from these listings. The
fee is based on the target keywords that you select. In some
programs very competitive keywords cost $12.00 per
click-through, but the fees are typically much lower and start
from as little as .05 per visit.
Pay Per Click advertising is excellent for a well focused
sales oriented site that has a good conversion ratio. If your
selling message has been well presented, then your costs for
advertising will be compensated by the sales from the steady
stream of traffic that will come to your site.
Choose the methods of Website Promotion that are best for your
particular website. If you would like some help in choosing
your promotion methods, contact a promotion specialist and get
a professional opinion.
Nelson is a web developer, editor and social worker. He has
been working on the Internet since 1995, and is currently the
director of A1-Optimization (http://www.a1-optimization.com),
a firm providing low cost search engine optimization,
submission and web promotion services.