Website Visitors — How to Help Them Find You

By Chris King

We think that once our well developed and designed website is launched, magically a large number of people will visit immediately. With the millions of websites launched weekly and monthly, we have to do some extra work to make sure that those people we want to visit our website can find us.

TIP #1. Include the features and factors that help a site gain higher listings in the search engines.

 

  • Include a descriptive title in the title bar of every page. When you visit a website, look at the top blue bar, and you should see a title for the page. Besides letting visitors know where they are, this helps with search engines. 

     

  • Include keywords in your content, your titles and your meta tags.There was a time when keywords in the meta tags helped with search engine placement. Now, they very seldom do, but I still suggest adding them. They are, however, important in your content. Decide what words a visitor would use to find what you offer and include them throughout your site. 

     

  • Include a short (about 25 word) description of the site and its purpose in the meta tags. Search engines do check the description and often use it when adding a description to the link that they list for your website. Make it short, punchy and to the point. 

     

  • Make sure that your content is excellent, ever-changing and includes links to other sites. Finally, the search engines are aware of the many tricks that were initially used to get good placement, so they no longer work. Excellent and updated content wins today — and brings visitors back!

 

TIP #2. Avoid the pitfalls that will guarantee poor and/or no search engine placement.

 

  • Avoid using frames. Frames can make the navigation of a website easy and quick, but they almost guarantee that your website will never appear in a search engine. Technically, search engines will only see the navigation frame and no content or any important keywords. 

     

  • Avoid the use of databases for information you want the search engine spiders to find. Databases are a great tool for organizing data that networks need to access — for example, employee lists or manufactured items — but are not searchable by the spiders. They cannot get into your database. 

     

  • Avoid the under-handed tricks like cloaking and overloading a page with hidden keywords. Yes, some search engines can still be fooled, but they are all getting smarter, and if you are caught, you will be black-listed and no-one wants to face that.

 

TIP #3. Besides designing and developing with search engine placement in mind, use every other possible opportunity to plug your website.

 

  • Every piece of printed material that you give out or send should have your website listed. This should be obvious, but I still meet business people who fail to have the address of their website on their business card, their letterhead, their envelopes, their brochure and/or their printed newsletter. 

     

  • Include the address of your website in your e-mail signatures. Use it for all e-mail messages — new and replies — including those posted on forums, lists, newsgroups and other groups. 

     

  • Print your website address on T-shirts and your bumper stickers. That is, if you tend toward the fun and outrageous! You will get attention.

 

I have just scraped the surface of how to encourage traffic to your website. I strongly recommend the book 101 Ways to Promote Your Website by Susan Sweeney.

Chris King is a professional website creator / designer, storyteller, writer, free agent, and fitness instructor. You will find her business website at http://www.creativekeys.biz and her information website at http://www.creativekeys.net

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