Did you know that there are over 650 million webpages on the Internet today? That's what makes finding your webpage like the proverbial needle in a haystack. If you don't promote your webpage properly, the only visitors you'll have to show on your counter would be that of your Mum and you! So let's take a look at some ways to promote your webpage so that people can easily find it.
Firstly, go back to the HTML source of your page - and look out for Title, and MetaTags. The title is what you see in the title bar of your browser and is usually descriptive of your webpage or site. For companies, it makes sense to put their organization and/or product name along with a descriptive phrase.
MetaTags are what a lot of search engines use to add your page to their databases. And since over 80% of people use search engines to find what they're looking for, you should not ignore MetaTags. MetaTags are hidden code in your page (invisible to the browser, but visible to the search engine), and have two main components: Keywords and Description.
Keywords should contain a list of words that describe your site - and they should match the words that someone would enter in a search to find your site. Keywords usually include the company name, products, your product category, the plural of those words, and possible misspellings. On a more personal level, you could use your name, hobbies, interests, residence, field of study etc. as keywords on your personal homepage.
Description is the MetaTag that will show with your listing in the
search engine. Since the description is the first impression that will be created on your visitors, make it interesting, descriptive so that the person will want to click there to visit your page.
If you think doing the above is going to be a difficult task, use free online tools like the Meta Tag Builder at SiteOwner to the the work for you, and give you the code to copy and paste into your pages. There are numerous utilities and software tools available on the Net for free to help you do the same.
Besides a Meta Tag Builder, SiteOwner has 5 other online utilities for you to use for free: Submit It!, Inspect Your Site, PositionAgent,
Link Finder, & GifWizard Site Survey.
The Submit It! feature allows a user to submit his webpage
to seven search engines : Excite, HotBot, Lycos, AltaVista, InfoSeek,
NetFind, and WebCrawler, by just keying in the URL (homepage address),
and email address.
PositionAgent allows a user to find out where his site
ranks in the search engines. This serves as an indicator of how
much more work need be done to boost the site's ranking with search
engines. I strongly recommend regularly using this feature to
find keep tabs on your site.
Link Finder shows how many other sites link to your site.
If you don't score too well in this test, it's high time you get
those emails going out to all your friends to include a link to
your homepage from theirs. (Chances are, they'll ask you to reciprocate
Finally, the GifWizard Site Survey analyses the efficiency
of the graphics on your site. One of the cardinal sins of homepage
building is to put large image files on the page - which converts
the surfing experience into a test of patience, and often causes
users to surf to another site instead. Keep those images small,
and you'll have so many less people cursing your design sense.
Now that you're done with SiteOwner, take a look at some other avenues available for you to promote your website online and offline. Use Submit-It to mass-announce your site to many search engines and directories.
Websites with a particular theme often link up, forming a webring.
This way visitors to one site can find similar pages by surfing around
the webring. Free homepage services usually have a member directory, so if you've signed up for one of these services, don't forget to register yourself there if you have a free homepage on these sites.
You could also write in to your local Internet column, telling
the writer why your site would interest his readers. One student who was
planning to study abroad had, in the course of his search, collected a
comprehensive list of post-graduate colleges abroad. He put all this information on his homepage, sorting colleges by the streams offered, complete with hyperlinks to the individual homepages of the colleges. His homepage got a mention in the weekly Internet column, simply because readers would benefit tremendously.
Email signatures are a must have, or you've lost a captive audience.
Don't make it too big - just a line with your URL and your email address
usually suffices. For example, after every email I put:
Symbiosis has got a whole new meaning with various sites on the
Internet co-ordinating banner linking for individual users. Visit LinkExchange
or Bannerswap to find out how you too can place banner advertisements for free.
Finally, don't discount the power of word-of-mouth - find a way to squeeze your URL into normal conversation. These days whenever anyone
asks me, "So what's new ?", my standard reply used to be "Thats.nu" - my URL (now replaced by Strategist.Net)!
Jazz It Up
Use this free online service to inspect, analyse, modify and popularise your site with search engines.
Another online webpage submission utility.
Meta Tag Generator
Quickly and easily create meta tags
for your Web site. This 535Kb program includes save and open features for easily returning to your
tags to make changes.
A full-featured meta tag generator for Windows 95/98/NT (230Kb). This version adds template support, support for Author and Rating tags,
and full drag-and-drop between text boxes, as well as various bug fixes and
Search Engine Tactics
An electronic tutorial by the Internet Marketing Library, showing you how to submit your site and rank on top in search engine results. Covers the basics, meta-tags, search engines, submission and tracking.
A banner exchange programme
Another banner exchange programme