There’s a plethora of ways to market your site, but here are four popular methods of getting the process started.
1. Search Engine Optimisation
Optimise your Web site to help search engines find, index and rank your Web site on their search results pages. Optimisation really isn’t rocket science or one of the dark arts (contrary to popular belief). It simply blends the principles of ‘search-engine-friendly’ Web design and development practice with writing and marketing savvy. Optimisation is best included in your Web design strategy BEFORE your Web site is finished, however most Web sites can be optimised post-build if necessary.
Pros and Cons: It is highly beneficial to publish an optimised Web site, as this effectively includes a long-term strategy to promote your Web site to search engine users. The downsides of optimisation include the time it can take to get rankings and the stiff competition from other Web pages competing for the same placements, but even then some improved rankings are better than none at all.
2. Search Engine Advertising
Pay for advertising space on search engines and place text or graphical adverts to get excellent exposure within a few minutes of an account being set up. The most popular (and easy to use) advertising programs on Google, Yahoo! and MSN feature short text ads placed on either the search results pages or affiliated Web sites.
The Pros and Cons: The great advantage of advertising on search engines rather than optimising your Web site for search engines is the quick pay-off. The downsides of search engine advertising can include the increasing and never-ending costs, instant invisibility when ads are taken down and industry competition. Also statistics show that most people are more likely to click on organic listings rather than paid search engine adverts.
3. Link Building
At the heart of this entity we call the World Wide Web is the notion of moving around Web pages by clicking on hypertext links (links). Consequently, the more links that lead to your Web site, the better. Increasing the number of these links can be done in several ways:
The Pros and Cons: One of the advantages of links going to your Web site is the potential for your site to be reached by more and more people. The downside is of course that getting those links to your Web site requires time and effort.
4. Offline Promotion
Don’t forget that promoting your Web site isn’t all about appealing to people already surfing around the Net. You can promote your Web site URL via a huge variety of non-Web based ‘advertising space’ including:
The Pros and Cons: Using offline promotion can be an excellent way to leverage off your existing real world presence and can often be an easy method of getting extra traffic. The downside is that people often aren’t on the Web when they see your offline message, so it can be a bit harder to inspire them to take action to visit your site.