Web Site Advertising and Promotion
Almost anything can be promoted on the Internet. To be successful, whether
success is measured in sales, increased awareness, attendance, etc., you must
get people to your web site and provide them the information they want and need.
Search engines index sites using different criteria. Review the top search
engine's guidelines to help optimize your site for indexing.
Custom Domain Name
A custom domain name helps users remember your site. It also gets users to your
site if they guess the URL. For example, kittitascountyfair.com may be found
directly from a guessed name and is easy to remember than somepig.org.
Exchanging links with related sites is a way to channel target audiences to your
site. Google uses site popularity--the number of links to your site--as
a factor in returning search results. Search Google using your keywords and
then contact the top sites to exchange links.
Remind visitors to bookmark your web site to encourage repeat visits.
Publicize your URL
Publicize your site in all of your communications, advertisements and marketing
- Business cards, letterhead and envelopes
- Press releases
- Fax cover sheets
- Email messages
- Live presentations
- Newspaper and Radio ads
- Yellow Pages ads
Using these techniques can result in URL blocking, i.e., being banned from search engines,
or will turn users against your site.
- Do not SPAM with unsolicited email; it is illegal.
- Do not SPAM search engines with redundant URL submissions or
overloading keywords on pages.
- Do not flood newsgroups or forums with redundant
or irrelevant announcements.
Make Your Site Useful and Easy-to-Use
- If your site provides useful information, people will return.
- Make your site
usable and avoid usability doníts.
- Consider the questions or requests for
information you receive most and make sure those are addressed on your site;
maybe answer questions in FAQs.
- Keep your content current.
- Consider offering language translations or use a free
translation service such as
- Contests and games may entertain users, but remember the reason users
return to sites is because it is useful to them.
- Use of fluff such as animated images, advertisements, and other
non-relevant content should be kept to a minimum. Flying pigs may catch the user's
attention the first time they see it, but it will soon bother users and make
their visit less enjoyable.
Offer an opt-in/opt-out email subscription to users so you can send notifications of events,
promotions, and news. Make sure you let them know they receive email because
they registered and allow them the to opt-out of future email.
- Don't make it complicated. If users have to think about it
too much, they'll leave your site.
- Don't use frames; pages can't be bookmarked and linked to, and cause
problems for search engines.
- Don't change your design or navigation from page to page.
- Don't make users click through many pages to find information.
- Don't use Flash to provide information; it can't be searched and
can require larger bandwidth.
- Don't use too many images; search engines index text, images require
more bandwidth, and usually don't provide information people need.
- Don't use long blocks of text; people scan pages and want to quickly
- Don't allow a horizontal scroll.
- Don't use under construction pages.
- Don't use sound unless the user can turn it off.
- Don't over do it. Too many colors, images, font faces, etc. distract
- Don't nest tables. The more nesting the longer it takes the browser to
- Don't make pages (html and images) over 100KB. If the user would be
uncomfortable holding their breath while a page downloads, they won't like
- Don't forget to provide a print version of a page if it contains
information the user may want to print for later reference.
- Don't forget to perform a usability study.
- Don't build a site that requires special instructions, like best view
with, download this plug-in, or you must have Java.
- Don't forget to TEST TEST TEST! Broken links, missing images, misspelled
words, scrambled pages in other browsers, etc. make for poor usability.