By following these steps, you should see a dramatic increase in your web traffic. The key is to always think about website promotion--if you spend a little time each day following one of these steps, you will be rewarded with more visitors and hopefully more customers. Good luck, and happy advertising!
Niche Directory Lists
Top Ten Places to List Your Business
Offer a freebie or a contest for your items: One of main reasons that people use the Internet is to find free (or cheaper) stuff. If you offer a freebie or contest for one of your items, then you are likely to attract potential customers. To get maximum exposure for your freebie or contest, you should register with as many “free stuff sites" as possible. Here are a couple of sites which would be a good starting point: http://www.thefreesitecom and http://www.realfreesite.com.
Link to similar websites: A popular method used by web masters to increase web traffic is to swap links with comparable websites. However, the trick to maximizing the effectiveness of linking is to find sites with a minimum Google PageRank, which is a system which Google uses to judge the importance of each webpage, of 3 or 4.
To find out more information about PageRank, click here: http://toolbar.google.com/ . To find good linking partners, check out these two link partner directories: http://www.links-pal.com/ and http://www.gotop.com/.
Join an internet discussion group: People also frequently use the Internet to find places where they share common interests with other individuals, which has led to the creation of Internet discussion groups. You can use discussion groups to introduce yourself and your product. Find a group that is related to your store or personal interest, and make sure any topic that you post is tied into a current discussion. Don’t SPAM any discussion group with an obvious sales pitch. Simply write comments applicable to both the group and your product; people will naturally want to know more about you! Two great listings of potential starting points for discussion groups are: http://groups.yahoo.com/ and http://topica.com/.
Post your product or service on a free classified ad page: Although many websites only have paid inclusion into their classified ads, many offer a free place where you are allowed to advertise your merchandise. If you spend time developing an interesting headline or ad, you can bring in a steady amount of traffic from these sites. To get started on free classifieds, you can use my own free service http://www.mizambar.com/classified.html . In addition, the following link has a directory of tons of free classified services: http://www.ecki.com/links/.
Write an article related to your website and submit it to ezines: By writing an article about your service or a topic related to your website, you instantly become an authority on your issue. Although you might have some apprehension about writing, if you have a website, then you probably have something to talk about. Two great directories on ezines are: http://freezineweb.com/ and http://www.ezinelocater.com.
Submit your online store to search engines. Example: Dmoz, Google, MSN, Yahoo and many more. Use Google Webmaster Tools and Google Base. Submit your site to free, search engine friendly directories. An excellent list can be found here. Don't pay people to submit your site to search engines. It's a waste of money. Don't buy traffic. It's un-targeted and won't convert. Deep link directories are an excellent way to promote inner pages of your site. Google Analytics is free and will tell you all you need to know about who's visiting your site. Mat tags might carry less weight than previously, but you should still have them on every page.
If you plan to submit your site to lots of directory or article sites - create an email especially for this. Delete it when you're finished to avoid spam. Google receives roughly 50% of all search requests, Yahoo 25% and MSN just 10%. That's a good rule of thumb of how much of your time should be spent on each. Yahoo are catching up with Google with an excellent set of webmaster tools called Site Explorer.
Social Submission Engine http://www.socialsubmissionengine.com/?gclid=CPXEkIOkvMECFStgMgodTRoAng
Put your URL on everything: Maximize your advertising efforts by listing your Web site address on everything you do. Print the URL on your company’s letterhead, on your business cards, on the front of your building or the door to your office suite.
Use the URL in your e-mail signature. List the URL on any print advertising that you do, including phone books, brochures, flyers, and direct mail pieces.
Submit your site to every directory, specialty listing, industry organization, and yellow pages you can find: No matter what industry your business is in, there are online directories, such as Yahoo! Yellow Pages, that you should register with.
Many business and industry associations allow you to list your business on their Web site. In addition, there are individuals who maintain popular lists of resources; use Web search engines to find these lists, and then create an entry for your business.
Utilize evangelists: Channel the energy of your most enthusiastic staff and encourage them to promote your company’s product as they surf the Web.
Blogs: A Weblog, or blog, is a collection of short articles, essays, or loosely-formatted thoughts, usually written by one individual. Since the 2004 U.S. presidential election, blogs have become extremely popular as both a medium to get your message out and a vehicle for paid advertising. Blogs also encourage reader comments, making them a valuable tool for gathering customer feedback
Companies such as Blogger (www.blogger.com) will host your blog for free. You can also install a blog on your own Web site contact OCS Design at 248-841-5786 for your web sites blog installation.
Podcasting: Podcasts are audio files recorded in a radio talk show format. By posting podcasts on your Web site and other sites like Apple’s iTunes (www.itunes.com), customers can subscribe to your podcasts, download them as soon as they are available, and then listen to them on their computers or portable MP3 devices. The software to create podcasts is free; for more information visit www.podcastingnews.com.
Join online communities: No matter what the topic, there are thousands of people discussing it passionately on the Internet. By contributing to these discussion groups, you can inform your customers and advertise your business.
E-mail lists: Cultivate a list of your customers’ e-mail addresses and send them new product announcements, coupons, special offers, and useful information. See our article “Introduction to E-Mail Marketing” for more information.
Get the attention of the press: Pitch news ideas about your industry to local newspapers, radio stations, and television stations. Pitch ideas to Web news sites. Propose that one of your employees be the expert interviewed in the news piece.
Win awards: Research organizations that give awards for the products or services you provide. Apply for these awards and take the process seriously. When you win, make the most of the publicity.
Donate time or resources to a charity: Encourage charitable organizations to promote your business’ donations and involvement. Try to get media coverage for the organizations and community causes you champion.
Publish information and reports about your industry: Provide consumers with free information about your business’ industry. Invest in potential customers and they will invest in you. Reciprocal links: Companies such as LinkLeads (www.linkleads.com) help businesses by facilitating an exchange of hyperlinks. By allowing a company to insert links to their products on your site, a company will allow you to insert links to your products on its site.
Reciprocal banner ads: Companies such as 123Banners (www.123banners.com) help businesses by facilitating free banner advertisement swaps. By allowing a company to advertise on your site, they allow you to advertise on theirs. Be sure you retain control over what Web sites carry your ads, and what ads you post on your site.
Coupons: Make coupons available on your Web site and e-mail them to your customers. Encourage them to give the coupons to friends and family.
Free samples of your product or service:
Offer free samples of your product or service. Distribute these samples as widely as possible. Register your giveaways with Web sites such as A+ Free Stuff (www.aplusfreestuff.com) that act as a clearinghouse for free products. Before giving something away for free, ask customers to provide their e-mail address or fill out a short survey.
Free classified ads: Use services like Yahoo! Classifieds(http://classieds.yahoo.com) to post free ads for your products and services. Also consider posting offers for free samples of your products, sweepstakes, and other giveaways.
Excellent customer service: There’s no advertising like personal recommendations made between friends and family. The best way to encourage this type of “viral marketing” is to provide excellent customer service. Take the time to properly train and motivate your sales people and do what is necessary to satisfy your customers’ needs. Business alliances and partnerships: Build partnerships with businesses that offer complementary products and services, and then promote each other. Make joint press statements about your industry, your partnership, and your products and services. Make sure your partners provide links from their Web sites to yours. Ezine:
Write an e-mail newsletter, called an ezine, with articles about your industry, your products and services, and related news of interest to your customers. Check out sources such as goarticles.com and ezinearticles.com, which provide free articles you can use in your ezine. Advertise your ezine for free with directory sites such as www.ezine-dir.com.