WebRef Update: Featured Article: Newbies - Don't Let Anyone Kick Sand in Your Face! | WebReference

WebRef Update: Featured Article: Newbies - Don't Let Anyone Kick Sand in Your Face!

Newbies - Don't Let Anyone Kick Sand in Your Face!

No, you're right. I am no Charles Atlas but many people are new to the Web and there doesn't seem to be much help out there for you. Most articles and advice columns seem to be aimed at the experienced net user and not much use if you are just starting out with your brand new business Web site.

We all know that site promotion is the key to successfully building up your business on the Internet so here are ten tips for newcomers that don't cost any money and which I wish someone had told me when I started.

1. Submit your site to search engines

Here I have learned to avoid autosubmit software programs and that the best results are obtained by submitting *manually* to the top 10 engines. This way you can accommodate each one's quirks and foibles. Some engines, for instance, will only allow you a certain amount of characters when listing your site description and/or key words. If you had gone over this limit using an autosubmitter, your site would have been rejected out of hand. Even worse, you would not know it had been rejected and may wait in frustration for your listing to appear. Worse still, you might not feel comfortable resubmitting your site as some search engines consider multiple applications to be 'spam' which may lead to your site being permanently rejected from that engine's database. Manual submission is time consuming but definitely worth it.

2. Submit your site to Directories

These are different than search engines in that they have their own categories within which inquirers can find a listing of the sites that interest them without necessarily using a search button. In my view, this is the way Joe Public will look for his information in the future and, in my opinion, directories will soon outstrip engines in terms of usage. Pay attention to getting your site listed on as many directories as possible, especially the Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.org) as their database is used by many of the top search engines and directories.

3. Web Rings

These are associations of Web sites with a similar focus. If you join one, you will get a Web ring logo at the bottom of your site which will allow your visitor to move on to browse all other sites within the ring. Similarly, this will allow visitors to other sites within the ring to find your site and increase your traffic. Some of these rings are huge and others quite tiny. It depends on what sphere you are operating in but, either way, it is another good way to gain additional traffic for your site.

4. E-mail discussion lists

I started one for people interested in starting their own Web business (which is what my company does) and which can be joined from my site. This is rigorously kept spam free by me (anyone posting ads to it is ejected without trial) and allows venture capitalists, angels, incubators and entrepreneurs to find each other and discuss common experiences and solutions. Sig files are allowed on my list and I have had good hits from my own, especially as the members of the list are, by definition, my target audience. Sig files are signatures that your emailer can automatically add to the bottom of any email you send - this normally consists of your name, business name, one line description of product and Web site address but can be any size you want.

Next: Using the Press, Reciprocal Links, and more!

This article originally appeared in the June 1, 2000 edition of the WebReference Update Newsletter.


Comments are welcome
Written by Byron Hunte and

Revised: June 2, 2000

URL: http://webreference.com/new/sand.html