Author: Vijayanand Yadla
The guide provides a step by step way of promoting a web site to search engines and directories.
1. Make sure you have visualized a web site with a theme, and work toward gathering more data forming a draft documentation centered around the web site theme. Try to prepare the products (or services) offered by the web site as well as the related documentation as much as possible. The time taken by this activity depends on the product/service being offered, and the preparation of draft documentation and references.
2. Choose appropriate web site name and register the same. Currently godaddy.com offers one of the lowest cost domains, yet reliable. A couple of points to note while choosing a domain name: If you are promoting a corporate web site, choose a name that aptly describes the Company name, ex. msn.com. If you have a separate corporate identity, and choosing a domain for the purpose of promoting a particular product range, choose a name that correctly describes the product being offered. In any case, make sure that the .com domain name does not exceed 2-3 words.
3. Start putting together the content that you have gathered earlier. Keep the following points in mind while constructing the web pages:
1. Keep the pages with in 50-60K. If you get a very long page, try to break it into two or more pages.
2. Keep the web pages free from script as much as possible. Search engines usually don’t like too much of script on a web page.
3. It is recommended to validate the web pages against HTML error, one source to validate web page is http://validator.w3.org
4. Use alternative test to graphic images.
5. Always use short “Title”, 6-8 words long, and “Description”, 16-20 words long on a web page. Some search engines use keywords also.
6. Do not use unnecessary formatting, such as tables, borders etc. In general, text content should overweigh HTML content.
7. Make sure sizable number of HTML pages are built before uploading the content. A reasonable number of pages is 40 – 100, to start with.
8. Avoid spam techniques such as hidden text, cloaking, stuffing too many key words etc.
4. Choosing a web host: Choosing a reliable, and economical web host is a difficult choice. This is particularly so with so many web hosts around promising everything for little. Check the following when choosing a web host:
1. How long the web host is in the business.
2. Whether there are any un-satisfied customers, try webhostingtalk.com for verification.
3. Whether he will be able to provide cgi-bin and support PHP. Though your web site doesn’t need script support (like PHP and MySQL), you may need it later.
4. The response times, and the committed up-time
5. Whether the host provides dedicated IP, if required and the cost for the same.
6. Technical support.
5. After choosing a web host, upload the content to the web address. Here you have options: HTTP and FTP upload. For a commercial strength web site, FTP is the most widely used protocol for uploading web sites due to various reasons. If possible, choose a dedicated IP, instead of a shared IP.
6. Now you have the web site in place, next thing is to verify that all the links are working as expected. Fix any bad links.
7. Promote to search engines and directories. Good way to start is submitting to google, and DMOZ. If the web site is a corporate web site, and sells goods or services, it is recommended to pay for inclusion in Yahoo directory. For non-commercial web sites, inclusion in Yahoo! is free.
8. Promote to other less known directories such as Zeal/LookSmart, Lycos, etc. and search engines like Fast, Altavista, DirectHit, WiseNut, Hotbot, and Teoma. Keep in mind that it takes anything from 1 month to 3 months for the site to get indexed. Do not submit repeatedly within a month. This may only delay your submission.
9. Exchange links with similar topic sites. Continue this until you get sufficient visitors to your web site.
10. Build new content: Add content to your web site continually. This will not only keep the web site content fresh, but also bring more visitors.
11. Use site statistics and keep track of the progress. View the visitors coming to your web site and the key phrases or referring web sites. This gives valuable information in improving and fine tuning your web site for more qualified traffic.
12. Here onwards, it is checking your position in search engines, and trying to improve the same. Refrain from using automated tools for checking your web site ranking. These tools may lead to banning your web site entirely. The best way is to identify some keywords relevant to your industry, and hand check the position in SERPs. If you follow these guidelines, your web site is likely to get several hundreds or even thousands (depends on the target customers) hits every day.
About the Author:
Vijayanand is a director of Anand Software and Training, a Bangalore based web design company that provides professional web design and development services. Anand Software and Training also provides software development, and certification practice tests. http://anandsoft.com