3 Points To Ponder When Promoting Your Website

Image of PencilsIf you have a website or plan on building one soon then SEO is going to become a part of your vocabulary. SEO stands for search-engine optimization and it boils down to making your website search-engine friendly.

Aside from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, and other social bookmarking sites you’ll still want to attract free organic search traffic to your website. Especially if you aren’t very active on social media sites.

This isn’t a long-winded article on which search-engine to optimize for and cater to. It’s the “quick and dirty” version giving you some great tips to guide you where your time should be spent promoting your website or blog.

Website Backlinks

If you aren’t going to pay for traffic by way of Google Adwords or other methods then roll up your sleeves and get ready to work on some backlinking strategy.

Backlinks, in the context here, are clickable text links with your keywords, domain name, or phrases used as the anchor text. Whoa, boring and heavy at the same time.

To give an example, if you’re blogging about quilting tips for baby boomers then you’d want other websites linking to your site with relevant phrases or words like, “quilting tips,” “quilting tips for baby boomers,” or even, “quilting for seniors.”

Get it?

Say you have a dental practice in Topeka, Kansas. One of the easiest ways to gain some traction in Google search (for regional businesses) is to target local keywords. So you’d write articles on your site or submit them to article directories and use text like, “for more information about a great family dentist in Topeka, Kansas you should visit TopekaDentistry.com.”

The underlined words would be hyperlinked; see how you hyperlink the words you want search-engines to associate with your site? (yes, you’d have to be the owner of that domain name that I mentioned.)

Where To Promote

What you say about your own website within the pages of your articles, About page, and so forth matters. But it matters less than what other websites are saying about your site.

So to tie into the last section on backlinking, you need to make sure that you’re creating backlinks to your site on relevant and authoritative websites.

Let’s take a step back. You have your website set up and it looks amazing.  All the buttons are clickable and go where you want them, the pictures or portfolio is breath-taking, your contact form works and everything is blue skies and green fields.

You spent all week writing several articles on your site and nobody knows you even exist. Now what?

Start working on finding new places to promote your site! Great places to start getting the word out about your new website are:

A mix of interaction in all-of-the-above will greatly improve your search-engine ranking. One caveat: don’t enter a community simply for the extra “link juice” you get by slapping everyone over the head with your URL. Always, always add value wherever you go.

Joining a forum? Share your thoughts, engage in conversations, selflessly help someone out by answering a question or concern.

Leaving a comment on another blog in your industry? Expand on the article that you’re commenting on; reply to another person’s comment, or simply share your insight.

This is human business; you can’t simply show up at a site and plug your website. It’s like showing up at someone’s holiday party shouting: “hey, come check out my party down the street it’s amazing!” Then running out the door thinking a horde of people will follow.

It’s slimy.

People will dislike you.

Don’t do it.

Website Promotion Criteria

If you’re in the dog training industry, it makes more sense for you to be seen in doggy training or dog toy websites and forums than a site about FOREX trading.

It doesn’t hurt to be seen somewhere irrelevant; it’s just that not all backlinks are created equally. Invest your time promoting on sites that are relevant to yours.

Sites you use to for marketing your business or blog should be of an authoritative nature. That is, they should have a solid PR rank or “page rank” in SEO terminology. For example, a brand new site would either have an “n/a” PR or perhaps “0.” Whereas a site like Facebook (the second most trafficked site in the world) carries a PR of 10; extremely trusted.

The higher the PR number the better and I will elaborate more on this in future articles (e.g. how to determine a site’s PR, tools to use, etc).

Go Promote Your Website

So get out there and leave thoughtful, well-written comments on other articles and sites with high PR.

Remember to leave a link back to your site where allowed even from within your industry’s forums (and in your profile in the forum). Then keep checking back here at jonalford.com to find out where to post articles in directories to help spread your message and get some backlink lovin’.

Time is precious so invest it, don’t simply spend it, in marketing efforts with the highest positive impact.

Any questions?

Photo: horiavarlan

8 Responses to 3 Points To Ponder When Promoting Your Website
  1. Sarah Russell
    February 23, 2011 | 9:22 am

    I think the real power of this post is it’s simplicity – a lot of this really is common sense kind of stuff. You don’t need to know the latest black hat tricks to run a successful website – what you need to do is put up a quality site and then get the word out.

    Whether you do that with backlinks, with forum commenting, with guest blogging – whatever. The key is to keep working at promoting your site :)

    • Jon
      February 23, 2011 | 9:35 pm

      Amen, Sarah. Sometimes I enjoy reading an article that just deals with the fundamentals so I wrote this one. There is a new marketing ploy launched every day but a lot of the necessary, baseline efforts remain the same.

  2. Bryan Thompson
    February 23, 2011 | 9:34 am

    Jon, I enjoyed this post. A year ago I didn’t even know what SEO was, and now I’m learning a lot about it in a very quick period of time. It can be a little confusing to take it all in. I’ve gotten most of my traffic by comments I leave at other sites. I read a lot of blogs and like to stay as active as possible in there.

    Thanks for shedding some light on backlinking. I am working to do better at this. One issue I had a few weeks ago was when I posted a link on someone’s blog in the comment section (and it wasn’t even for my site, I was talking about a product I had used). Next thing I know, my comments are showing up in people’s spam folders. One comment with a link in it and I had been flagged by Akismet as spam. How do you handle this?

    • Jon
      February 23, 2011 | 9:33 pm

      Bryan – I haven’t honestly encountered that problem before with Akismet. I’m going to research that and I hope that if you find out before me you’ll share how to remedy the situation. You are certainly not a spammer (I know – I read your content).

  3. Allie
    February 23, 2011 | 1:32 pm

    I think many people forget to leave value behind. That is vital.

    If you are there to learn, ask relevant questions.
    If you are there to teach, answer questions professionally.
    if you are there to lurk, then lurk. But eventually join in.

    I think people forget to be human when they are online. Just because you cannot hear the person, it doesn’t mean they are not human.

    Nice post!

    • Jon
      February 23, 2011 | 9:32 pm

      Agreed! We aren’t IP addresses, we’re human. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Wilson Usman
    February 26, 2011 | 8:53 am

    Really interesting dude, every time I come to your site you really shock me with the amount of knowledge you have about building a business online.

    When I just getting started I complicated myself to much with backlinking and all that good stuff. Once I just started being human and doing things naturally things started to change and I started to connect.

    I would just say all those SEO tricks and tips are good but just building a relationship online with others in your niche and talking to those who need your information will spread the word of your site much bigger than getting a gazillion links. Just my thoughts.

    • Jon
      February 26, 2011 | 9:45 am

      Thank you for your words and I’m glad this resonated with you. Building relationships is definitely important because all the stale links in the world don’t add up to a real interactive community that cares. Cares about what you have to say, cares about the products you endorse, or even cares enough to comment. SEO best practices and backlinking are a very important part of the game but not a substitute for genuine engagement.

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