Once you have published your site, it becomes visible to millions of Internet users, BUT they must be able to find it first. Here are few tips on how make your new web site visible to your potential visitors and customers.
STEP 1: PREPARE YOUR SITE FOR SEARCH ENGINE INDEXING
The easiest way for users to find your site is to use search engines. Search engine robots scan your pages and extract information for indexing. Most of them use page titles, some use meta tags (description and keywords), some use both, others actually "read" your pages and weigh the content for further indexing. Major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, AOL and others have directions on how to prepare your pages for submission published on their sites. In the past, Yahoo! did not use robots - a human representative would have to follow-up on your submission prior to listing your site on Yahoo!, which used to take months. We recommend trying a simple SEO software package called WebPosition available from FirstPlace Software. Also, Google offers a very good set of free services that will help you diagnose and optimize your new website - Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. These services will not only provide you with guidelines on your site preparation for search engines, but also track your site's listings with all major search engines and advise on possible improvements.
STEP 2: SUBMIT YOUR SITE TO SEARCH ENGINES
After you've prepared your site for submission to search engines, you can do so by manually submitting your URL to each one of them, or by using special software or service that will do it for you. !RegisterIt! offers several options, including free submission to 11 search engines and basic tools to "tune" your website up. Google (Web Master Tools and AdWords) and MSN (Microsoft AdCenter) offer online tools for site advertising, promotion, optimization and submission to as many search engines as you like for a very minimal fee. To review this and other options, simply follow the banner links at the end of this page.
STEP 3: ADVERTISE YOUR WEB SITE
There are numerous opportunities for advertising on the Internet. We suggest starting with a free banner exchange program. These will help your site start getting some exposure immediately. Be careful and do not put too many banners on your pages - this will slow down page downloads, "dissolve" your own contents and disrupt your visitors attention. One banner per page is more than enough, pages you consider critical for your visitors to read should not have any at all.
Later, you can decide if you want to invest money in advertising within these programs or somewhere else. Unfortunately, the days when submitting your site's URL to a few search engines was enough to generate millions of visitors, are long gone. The Internet has become an endless world-wide market - and an extremely competitive one. Investing in your site's advertising campaign is definitely something you should consider and plan for.