VIII. Promoting Your Site to Increase Traffic
The main purpose of SEO is to make your site visible to search engines, thus leading to higher rankings in search results pages, which in turn brings more traffic to your site. And having more visitors (and above all buyers) is ultimately the goal in sites promotion. For truth’s sake, SEO is only one alternative to promote your site and increase traffic – there are many other online and offline ways to do accomplish the goal of getting high traffic and reaching your target audience. We are not going to explore them in this tutorial but just keep in mind that search engines are not the only way to get visitors to your site, although they seem to be a preferable choice and a relatively easy way to do it.
After you have finished optimizing your new site, time comes to submit it to search engines. Generally, with search engines you don’t have to do anything special in order to get your site included in their indices – they will come and find you. Well, it cannot be said exactly when they will visit your site for the first time and at what intervals they will visit it later but there is hardly anything that you can to do invite them. Sure, you can go to their Submit a Site pages in submit the URL of your new site but by doing this do not expect that they will hop to you right away. What is more, even if you submit your URL, most search engines reserve the right to judge whether to crawl your site or not. Anyway, here are the URLs for submitting pages in the three major search engines: Google, MSN, and Yahoo.
In addition to search engines, you may also want to have your site included in search directories as well. Although search directories also list sites that are relevant to a given topic, they are different from search engines in several aspects. First, search directories are usually maintained by humans and the sites in them are reviewed for relevancy after they have been submitted. Second, search directories do not use crawlers to get URLs, so you need to go to them and submit your site but once you do this, you can stay there forever and no more efforts on your side are necessary. Some of the most popular search directories are DMOZ and Yahoo! (the directory, not the search engine itself) and here are the URLs of their submissions pages: DMOZand Yahoo! and Jasmine Directory
Sometimes posting a link to your site in the right forums or special sites can do miracles in terms of traffic. You need to find the forums and sites that are leaders in the fields of interest to you but generally even a simple search in Google or the other major search engines will retrieve their names. For instance, if you are a hardware freak, type “hardware forums” in the search box and in a second you will have a list of sites that are favorites to other hardware freaks. Then you need to check the sites one by one because some of them might not allow posting links to commercial sites. Posting into forums is more time-consuming than submitting to search engines but it could also be pretty rewarding.
Google, Yahoo!, and MSN are not the only search engines on Earth, nor even the only general-purpose ones. There are many other general-purpose and specialized search engines and some of them can be really helpful for reaching your target audience. You just can’t imagine for how many niches specialized search engines exist – from law, to radiostations, to educational one! Some of them are actually huge sites that gather Webwide resources on a particular topic but almost all of them have sections for submitting links to external sites of interest. So, after you find the specialized search engines in your niche, go to their site and submit your URL – this could prove more trafficworthy than striving to get to the top of Google.
We have already mentioned some other alternatives to search engines – forums, specialized sites and search engines, search directories – but if you need to make sure that your site will be noticed, you can always resort to paid ads and submissions. Yes, paid listings are a fast and guaranteed way to appear in search results and most of the major search engines accept payment to put your URL in the Paid Links section for keywords of interest to you but you also must have in mind that users generally do not trust paid links as much as they do with the normal ones – in a sense it looks like you are bribing the search engine to place you where you can’t get on your own, so think twice about the pros and cons of paying to get listed.