The most important resource to make a website well known in the Internet are links, which lead from external websites to the own website. On the one hand they lead visitors directly to your page when they follow this links and on the other hand they increase your ranking in the result lists of search engines who are the most important source of new visitors.
Beside of setting links within the Internet it is often helpful to use external sources. If your offer is restricted to a smaller region external sources in most cases would be the option of choice.
"Quality please": The promotion of a website means a great investment of time and possibly money. Before you start considering methods of promoting make sure that your website has interesting content and is technically in good condition. Otherwise you would spoil the results of your efforts as the barrier for convincing other websites to set a link is much higher if your website is of low quality. Your link proposal would in many cases not be accepted or be deleted very soon. In addition the new visitors you have lead to your website would not use it and would leave it very quickly.
"Do no evil": You should not use unfair means to promote your website. Some promoters seem to have set themselves the goal to use any possibility to mention their websites. As long as you do so at locations where you have the accordance of the external website's owner and his users your promotion could be useful for all parties. But those who leave messages like "Well it has nothing to do at all with this discussion here but I want to notify you of my great website XYZ." in every forum abuses the website of another person and taxes the patience of his users. Furthermore this would even be no good deal for the "promoter" as the result of such spamming ususally have a bad ratio considering the invested efforts. Especially good and high ranked external websites would soon delete such advertisements so it would not have a long durability.
On the other way around it is possible to gain the interest and support of other websiteowners by a positive and fair-minded manner, which is paying a hundred times more than soiling other sites with useless information.
"Tit for tat": In many cases owners of other websites request a backlink as a quid pro quo for their setting a link to your website. On my personal opinion you should not make links on your site an article of trade but set them in the interest of your visitors. If the external website provides useful content for your visitors it should be no problem to set a backlink - be it on own accord or on request.
Setting a reciprocal link looks fair on a first view and in addition in many cases you would not get your link set on the external site when you are refusing to set a backlink. But if you do so you would have to live with the knowledge that you are "buyable" and are offering links you consider being of poor quality to your users. Above that some search engine optimizers consider it dangerous for the ranking in search engines as you might get into suspicion of manipulation.
External measures: Even though it is an Internet website you want to promote there are ways to do so out of the Internet. In most cases they have a minor reach than the Internet but they often have a very high relevance when addressing customers with a potential high interest. In case your offer is limited to a small region (such as a retail store) you should neglect advertising in the Internet but concentrate on external measures. An advertisement in the local weekly paper with some hundred readers would produce more interested visitors than one at a worldwide directory of companies even though it had several thousand visitors a day.
- You should not forget to inform your relatives, friends and customers of your website. As they have a strong
relation to you they are likely to have a much higher interest in your website than a normal visitor.
Use the word of mouth, business cards, the heads of your letters, advertisements in your shop or on your car.
- An advertisement in the local paper is available for small money or even free of charge. Maybe your offer
is interesting enough it would last for a small article about your enterprise - just find out by asking
the editorial staff.
- Visiting expositions or meetings of societies and clubs can be useful if they have a relation to your website. Maybe you can persuade others to make a bit of promotion for you.
My opinion: Useful to get a small amount of very worthy visitors. You should also use your personal relations to get feedback on the quality of your website. If your offer is locally restricted this is the only way to archive interested visitors.
An obvious location for getting a link to a website is at those you already own yourself or which are owned by helpful friends. Beeing so obvious it often ends with all such sites are linked with each other.
My opinion: A good method to swap visitors if the themes of the websites are related. If the linking is done in large quantities many search engines optimizers fear that this might lead to be suspected of manipulation by the search engine algorithms (you may search for "crosslinking" and "link farm"). Mainly you should set the links for your users than for other reasons.
External Websites (other than search spots):
This section deals with "normal" websites which where not designed for searching purposes. directories, search engines and other search spots are dealt with later on in a section of their own.
- Static Links
A staticically implemented link to your website could only be set by the administrator and programmer of the external website. If you believe that the theme of your website suits to the theme of some other website you might ask the provider of this site in a short email whether he would implement a link to your site. It would be helpful if along with your request you would give a short(!) explanation of why you think your website would be useful for the users of the external site.
In many cases the owner of guestbooks are providers of small websites who are happy when the get a feedback from other users. A link to your website is no adequate feedback and would not be of any value for you neither.
There are two ways to place a link to a website in a forum. One is that many forums allow their users to add a signature at the end of each of their posts, which in most cases allows to contain a link to a website. The other way is to include the link into the text of the forum post and by this making an explicit recommendation to visit that website.
Using any of these ways you should always post your message at the right location and always should have something meaningful to say. As your assessment of "meaningful" does not necessarily correlate with that of other users you are always at the border between giving useful information and unwanted spam.
Most blogs allow to name the own website when adding a comment to a topic (if so there will be an extra textfield for entering the website). This will provide a link to your own website if you are writing a comment. For posting a comment apply the same rules as named above for forums: spam and meaningless comments are unwanted. And again they are not very useful for you. Spam is likely to be deleted by the administrators and even if it is not there are few visitors interested to visit the website of someone who wrote stupid nonsense.
The best pre-condition for getting a link to your website is that your website offers content of high quality which is related to the theme of the linking site. Fortunally such a website dealing with the same type of information is the best location to place a link as it can be assumed that the visitors of such a site have at least a basic interest in the contents of your website. Furthermore your profile for search engines gets more clear when the external links to your website are similiar in the linkname and the themes of the linking websites. The accolade is a well placed static link in which the owner of the linking site gives a statement that he thinks your website recommendable.
If you set a link in a forum or comparable place you are the only advocate for your website. You should make sure that you do not misuse the platforms offered at an external website and only make a post if you have something to say and if you are sure you are at the right topic.
Getting a link on a website dealing with related themes take some effort but you will be awarded with access to Internet users who should have a potential interest in visiting your website.
Usually you do not have to bother getting listed at a search engine. If there are other websites linking to you your website should be found automatically and be added to the index. Depending on the quantity and quality of the linking sources this may take from several days to several weeks. Most search engines allow to register a website explicitely but it is not sure how the indexing would gear up doing so.
The value of your website from the search engine's point of view is called the "ranking" and influences it's position in the result lists of search requests. The position would as well differ depending on the selected keywords. The exact algorithm that calculates the ranking of all websites is kept secret by almost any search engine. It is yet taken for granted that an analysis of the site's content und the quantity and quality of external links are taken into that calculation. Furthermore it is probable that the naming of the external links and the content of the linking source are investigated as well.
Search engines are important, most probable the most import search spots, which are likely to bring a large amount of visitors to your website. As the indexing is done automatically by the search engines search bots you could do without registering explicitely. Only in the case there is no external link to your website or even the search for the address of your website (search for "example.com" if your website is named "http://www.example.com") would produce no result after several weeks you should consider doing a registration manually.
In most cases listing your website in the index of an directory would be in the interest of it's provider as well, who is trying to build a large database of interesting websites for his users. Nevertheless it is possible to spam even here by insisting to get listed in an inappropriate folder or by offering a gruesome website which alone could be considered as spam. But normally you are at a right position to apply for a listing of your website. In worst case you would have to accept that your apply would be denied. As some directories charge a backlink or even payment for a listing you should read the conditions of a registration before doing so.
There are thousands of directories and many look quite artless in design on the first look. Such directories raise the question how many user would actually use that directory. So you should make a decision for yourself if you want to do the work and try to be listed in all directories or if you want to reduce the work load and concentrate on those directories which make a convincing impression in your eyes.
Directories are a good place the enter your website because the registration is easy. The number of visitors you get from a single directory is not exorbitant but you can measure it. Getting listed in good directories has a good ratio of gain to invested time. If you plan to get listed in all directories you could already assign the next months to do so. As many directories are not very important and of lower quality the ratio of gain and effort is much too low from my point of view. It is likely you will find many directories which demand a backlink for listing your website. You should make a decision of your own if you want to do so (See "Tit for tat" at the start of this site for more information). As well it is your decision if you would pay a fee for getting listed. I would recommend to try to do without until you find out that it would consume too much time or unless you have the money and the will to spend it.
If the main intention is that the listing in the directory should increase your Pagerank please keep two things in mind: on the one hand the recent pagerank of a directory might very quickly change in the future and on the other hand the Pagerank of the subpage that lists your link is normally by far minor (mostly PR 0) than the Pagerank on the main page of the directory. Above that some directory prohibit passing their Pagerank to the websites they are linking to.
In the very most cases you should simply forget the idea of being listed in a lexicon. Your website has to be extremely extraordinary (or the lexicon a very specific one) to get mentioned at an editorial lexicon.
User edited lexica usually have a higher diversity of opinion and more tolerance. Furthermore you could even add an article including you website yourself. But the control mechanisms of the communtity are so effective that your article will be deleted very soon if it is not really good and important.
A listing at an lexicon is one of the tops in website promotion. If you have a really good (a really very good) website dealing with a certain (special) theme, you might try to write a professional article on that theme (which includes a link to your website). If you manage to do so you can expect to get a large number of visitors who additionally tend to have a high interest in your content.
An archive stores files such as pictures and computer programs. If you want to spread (or to sell) such files you could in many cases use an archive as a platform to do so. The terms of usage of the archive of your choice would inform you about the conditions. Many archives allow the setting of a link to the homepage of the author of a file.
In social communities the members share their links to news or websites with each other. The participation in a social community is usally archived by a simple registration.
Beeing listed will bring a small but reasonable number of visitors to your website. In combination with the easy way of registration you should try to list your website there. Of course your listing should be suitable for this community. To get an idea if your entry is meeting the standards compare it with other links or news already listed there.
Some websites offer awards or certificates for other websites. To get such reward your website needs to fulfil certain criteria or be elected by a jury.
Getting an award of course is good for the ego of the owner of a website and might impress his visitors as well when they see the list of gained awards and certifications. The significance of awards and certificates is covering a wide range of quality. On the one end there are certificates which are essential for an offer in the Internet (e.g. guaranteeing the security of the data transfer). On the other end anyone running a website might start a reward, often hoping the proud winner would make some promotion for him by presenting the trophy he gained on his website.
Even though an award is seldom connected with a physical prize it nevertheless earns a link from the winner's ranks to the awarded websites.
As in real life it is possible to buy advertising in the Internet - in fact many websites earn some money by displaying advertises. Due to the minor effort of stting it up advertising in the Internet is often much cheaper than in real life and in addition there would be no switching in the media: it takes nothing but a mouseclick to the advertisement to visit the advertized website.
If you want a selective advertisement on a certain website you will find concrete offers on some websites. If there are no offers you would need to contact the owner of the website (best via email) if and under what conditions he would place your advertisemnet on his website.
If you are not that selective there are professional advertising services which cooperate with a large number of other website owners. Their marketing models offer variable options on which kind of websites and how often you want your advertisemnet displayed.
There are several systems of payment which are common, even though there is no guarantee that one provider will offer all of them:
- Fixed price
When appointing a fixed price the payment is independent from the archived success (which is not necessarily bad because that also means that in case of great success you do not have to pay extra). In many cases you rent a defined space on the target website and the payment would be nonrecurring or in regular intervalls.
- Pay per view
The customer pays a certain amount each time his advertisement is diplayed on the target website. As the price for a single impression would usually be a fraction of a cent the price is usually given for a thousand impressions. A very rough estimation is that thousand impressions would lead to ten clicks (meaning 10 visits). But this values varies to a very wide spread depending on the exact constellation.
- Pay per click
The presenting of your advertisement by the target website would be "free of charge" but any time a visitor clicks the advertisement (and by this being lead to the advertized site) a certain amount has to be paid.
- By conversion
Big customers pay the advertising website no money for the advertising itself but a provision if a customer aquired by the advertising website actually does a bargain. This mode of payment is no option for small customers as they lack of the necessary administration efforts and not least - trust.
Online advertisement is relative inexpensive and has flexible conditions. Another advantage is that you are advertising your customers where it is easy for them to immediately visit your website: in the Internet. You can minimize your risks by setting a maximum value for your expenditures and/or by choosing a payment option which only acquires payment for each succesful gain of a visitor. In most cases you will gather many new visitors in a quick and easy way.
A drawback is that these advertises are no durable effect and last only as long as you are paying for it. After stopping your payments all that would last are those visitors you gathered during your period of advertisement and which now became regular customers of your Internet offer.
Before you take any steps in promoting your website make sure that it is technically and in regards of content well-engineered. Check the functionality with all usual browsers. You should avoid any measures which are offending other Internet users. Especially you should never spam, which means that you never post a link were it is obvious that noone would need or fancy your posts. Keep in mind that your definition of "useful" might differ from other user's definition. As spam links have low relevance for other users and above that are often subject of deleting they are no effective way to promote a website. The following table lists the discussed locations, which might be used to promote a website. The evaluation made in this table of course is the subjective opinion of the author and would furthermore differ within each location as there are many different websites of different quality which all would belong to the same category. The marks given for a category are those for a "good" member of that category. A plus sign always means that this category is advantageous for the promoter, e.g. a plus in effort means that only little effort is needed for a promotion in that category.
Explanation of used terms
|Effort:||The time, work or money you have to invest|
|Spread:||The number of users who would see your link|
|Relevance:||The percentace of users who would click your link when they see it|
|External Source||Persons in your surrounding could much easier be addressed by the ways of communication you would normally use with them. People having a relation to you are often important and allegiant visitors of your website.||
|Friendly websites||Other websites you yourself or friends of yours own.||
•websites of friends
|External websites||A website of an unknown owner. Ideally one dealing with the same theme like your site.||
•other websites (dealing with the same theme)
|Search Engines||A search engine automatically scans the Internet for websites and adds them to it's index.||
|Directory||A directory evaluates the listed websites and sorts them in different theme folders. Websites of low quality are sorted out more or less strictly. Additionally there used to be a description and other extra information on the listed websites.||
|Lexicon||A lexicon gives definitions and explanations for a large number of words.||
|Archive||An archive stores files of a certain type, which might be downloaded from there.||
|Social communities||In a social community all members share their links to news and websites of which they think they are valuable for other members.||
|Awards||An award or a certification is provided for fulfilling certain criteria or by winning a vote or evaluation by a jury.||
|Online advertisement||The owner of a website presents the advertisement of his costumer on his website.||
1 Relevance depends on the theme of the linking website.
2 Even though the technical effort of setting a link might be small the requirements regarding the content make a succesful promotion almost impossible.
3 This site is run by the same author who runs this website.
4 Evaluation includes the efforts needed to create a file.
5Evaluation only contains the efforts for work. The financial efforts needed for payment are not included in the evaluation.
"They came to see and to be seen as well"