13. Promote

windupWhen you are happy with your website and want more people to visit, you will need web promotion,  also known as  SEO (search engine optimization).

You can start by doing some SEO yourself. But since it is a very specialized field, I recommend that you have an initial consultation with an SEO expert and use this person’s promotion services at least some of the time.

SEO services can be

  • ongoing for a consistent presence and steady traffic
  •  seasonal (for a winter ski resort or a summer camp)
  • only a few months leading up to an event (like a concert)
  • or just when you want to give your business a boost.

 

Contrary to popular belief, the internet didn’t change everything. As in the real world, integrity and the quality of your goods and services will separate you from competitors on the internet. The strength of your business is people: you, your staff, associates, and customers.

Don’t be fooled by SEO companies that promise increased traffic, millions of hits, and high page ranks from search engines.

Read about promoting your website. Knowing the concepts behind the ratings will help you understand how people find your website.

You’ll know how well your website is doing when staff and customers find it useful and when you receive comments and email inquiries.

List uses for a website other than getting hits: (think of Lee)

egg

egg image “Do not count your chickens before they are hatched.” ~ from The Milkmaid and Her Pail, a fable by Aesop, the Greek slave who lived from 620 to 560 BC

Will a website bring in more new customers? Maybe, maybe not. It’s today’s best way to communicate, an accepted part of doing business, and a handy place to store up-to-date, detailed information.

With a website as your headquarters, you’ll save in travel expenses, printing, and payment processing. Routine tasks will become easier, faster, and cheaper.

pocketwatchWebsite Statistics & Promotion

Looking at a website
There are ways to increase your site’s popularity on the internet. If you have cPanel available through your web-hosting company, you will find SEO tools and detailed statistical analysis of the traffic to your website. I like the Awstats provided by Canadian Web Hosting for graphs that are easy to read and understand.

WordPress has a built-in Google request because Google bots have a taste for WordPress sites. Google sends out little online “robots” all over the internet that scan the text on your site and report back to their mothership. Then the Google intelligent engine stores this info in a searchable index that we can all access when we “Google” something. The more content you have, and the more often you update and add to it, the better the robots like your website and will visit it more often. This, in turn, will rank your site higher on a Google search page, making it more likely that someone will seek out your site rather than a competitor’s.

If your site is brand new, Google might not know yet that you exist. To invite Google to visit your site, you can add your URL to Google’s request box here. It might help and it is free.

A note about repetition of SEO wording on your website: yes, it’s boring as heck to use the same word or phrase through the text too many times, but search engines love it. They use a “keyword density checker” to monitor this.

For example, if you sell cat food and your many paragraphs, quotes, headings, and lists use the exact words “cat food,” the bots will love your site. (Robots might or might not recognize “feline cuisine” and a variety of similar words as the same.  And any text as part of images doesn’t count — robots can’t see any pictures unless I label them with text.)

So, yes, the search engine robots notice the repetition in the text content and deduce by artificial intelligence what you’re doing. This repetition of words or phrases is supposed to be “natural,” not done purposely to mislead the search engines e.g. SEO companies used to trick the robots by pasting words in white text on a white background. But today, all of those old tactics can get you kicked off Google.

Therefore, if my site says “website” and “build,” “construct,” “develop,” “local,” “Vancouver,” and “Hanna” all over it, it might make for boring writing, but it’s very good for robots (and the ESL group too).

Google Webmaster Central has guidelines and tips on how to get better ranked in internet viewers search results: http://www.google.ca/webmasters/

These gadgets will give a glimpse into the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization.)
NOTE: Some gadgets need Java or Flash. If something is not running properly, please upgrade your computer.

Look for useful SEO type plugins and stats with nice graphs. Site map link.

Affiliate Programs

What is an affiliate program? How does it work?

 

(edit this text !!! not mine!) An affiliate program is a revenue sharing program where the affiliate (that’s you!) drives traffic to a merchant’s web site (that’s us!) in exchange for referral commissions. When a visitor to your site clicks on the affiliate link to our site and completes a purchase, you get a commission on every item they buy!

How does your Affiliate program work?

 

Our affiliate program allows you to make money by referring customers to our website. You can do this by placing links, banners, product reviews, or any of the other content we provide you with on your website and every time you refer a customer to us and that customer makes a purchase, you earn a commission.

Does it cost me anything to become an Affiliate?

 

It’s absolutely free to join our Affiliate Program. There’s no charge to apply and there’s no minimum sales requirement.

Where should I place affiliate links on my blog or website?

 

You should place your affiliate links where there is easy for your visitors to find: your website’s home page, navigation bar, and any other high-traffic areas. By placing the links on easily accessed locations visitors will be more likely to click on your links and make a purchase, but remember too that we also provide you with articles, reviews, blog posts, and many other marketing tools, to make converting your visitors into sales as easy for you as possible.

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Are you on Facebook?

Use social network sites to promote your website to your friends and family. Put an update on your timeline to launch your site. You can make a facebook page for your business, cause, or organization – don’t forget to ‘Like’ your own page and ask others to ‘Like’ it too! I will also promote your website launch with my Facebook account.

Canadian Web Hosting customers – ask our host about SEO services.

SEO isn’t my specialty, but my friends can help promote your website.
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