These days just about any business – large or small, or even an independent contractor, has a website. So, that means a lot of competition faces you as you try to find clients out on the Internet. As a result, you must look to ways to make your website stand out from the others. Here are some methods you can employ to do just that:
Search engines and SEO. First off, you need for people to know you exist. So, get your website listed on the most popular search engines out there – Yahoo, Google, MSN, and so forth. You can go to the site individually to do this, or you can go to SubmitExpress to do them all simultaneously. You want your site to be SEO – that is, search engine optimized. That way, if someone goes searching for whatever it is you do, your website will be among the listings they get. There are many components to having a properly SEO’d website, but the following basics will get you started.
Tags. Make sure that you include a META tag in your homepage header. The most important ones are Title, keywords, and description. These tags make it easier for the search engines to index and rank your site.
- Keywords. Along those same lines, put plenty of keywords in your header and in the first paragraph of your body text. Also include plenty of your keywords in your hyperlinks.
- Links. Linking your site with other similar sites helps with search engines a lot. Contact the webmasters of similar sites and ask them if they are interested in swapping links with you. Since they want their site to be optimized as well, they’ll probably agree. For example, if you’re a realtor, see about linking your site with the website for the cities and towns in your area as well as with the sites of other realtors.
Website directories. There are also all kinds of directories on the Internet including search engines directories (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) and more specialized ones. Submit your website to as many as possible. Most are free to list with, but others charge a small fee. Many of the paid directories tend to be of higher quality, thus search engines value their links more, thus it’s a good idea to list with them. Some of the better directories include GoGuides, maxlinks, and RankDir.
Blog. One of the more effective means of attracting visitors to your website is to start and maintain a blog. Blog about what it is you do, and be sure to post to it regularly. A simple thing like that can generate a lot of hits to your site. You can start a free blog at Blogger.
Article marketing. Another great way to spread the word about your site is to write and distribute articles related to your industry. Are you a writer? Try writing some articles or short stories or even movie reviews and get them posted on other websites. Are you an architect or engineer? Try getting some jobs you’ve done listed on professional websites that talk about recent projects of note. Or, maybe write some articles about projects in your area. Even if they’re not about projects you’ve done, it’ll get your name out there. You’ll also get yourself known as an expert in your field, so people will be more likely to come looking for your services because they trust you. You can provide a direct link back to your site in author boxes at the end of your articles. A very cost effective means of widely distributing your articles is by using Isnare, which send your articles to hundreds of directory site for about $2.
Videos. Also, think about making a promotional video. You can either do one yourself, or hire a firm to create one. Simply by posting it on some of the free sites like YouTube, you can generate enormous interest in you and your business. You can also create a viral video, which is a brief video that you can attach to an e-mail and send out to prospective clients. It’s called a viral video because it can be easily spread by forwarding it on to others.
Offline promotion. There are also things you can do in the real world to promote your site. For example, you can print up flyers about your site and give them out or post them at the library, bookstore, coffee houses, and other public locations. You should definitely get some business cards made as well because they’re such an easy way of spreading the word about what you do (as well as your contact information.) You never know when you’ll run into a potential client or customer, so have a business card with you at all times.
With plenty of patience and persistence, your website will be ranked by the major search engines and people will begin to visit your site. Now be sure to give them a meaningful experience and deliver quality service and they’ll return. They’ll also gain more customers for you by telling their friends about your great website.
Jason Kay has been a professional website marketer for over five years. He recommends listing your website on high quality directories such as RankDir. You may also want to consider getting help from a professional SEO company such as Rankpay. Use the promo code COSMOS for a $50 savings off their service.