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If you've spent any time in "cyberspace", you've probably learned that it's full of web site marketing and promotional offers. Why? Because everyone wants to promote his web site! Who wouldn't want to be in the top ten list of a major engine? Driving traffic to a web site is big business these days, which also makes it a prime target for bad advice, questionable deals, and just plain old rip-offs.

Not submitting your site to the major search engines is like not publishing your business phone number in the phone book. The way it's submitted is critically important and more complicated than you might think. A successful submission requires time, thought, and patience.

What about the ads claiming to submit my site to 200, 300, 400 or even 500 search engines?

In the first place, there aren't 500, or even 200, engines that are worth submitting to. The truth is, the top 6 search engines get 95% of the hits. Your time should be spent figuring out how to maximize your exposure in those engines. These "special deal" submitters aren't going to do that for $29.95. In fact, all they're going to do is type your domain name into an automated software program that submits it with the click of a button. The problem with this is that some engines deliberately exclude automated submissions, plus the category you end up in may be inappropriate for your target market.

What you should know

Unless you have some degree of web expertise, you may be better off turning to a consultant to do the submitting. Either way, make sure the following steps are taken:

  • Keywords should appear often in body text, headings, page titles, etc. while still appearing readable and sensible. Every page should contain <meta> tags with your keywords and site description. You don't see them because they're in your site code, but the engines do.
  • Never submit your site before it's live. The engines will reject it, and getting them to review it again can be pretty difficult.
  • Thoroughly test and proofread your completed site before it's submitted.
  • No matter who is doing your submitting, make sure the confirmation messages come to your Email. Some contain passwords that you'll need if you want to modify your listing at a later date.
  • Check back monthly with the major engines to be sure your site is still listed.
  • Update your content frequently. Small changes are fine, and will prompt the engine's spiders to read the site again.

What other ways can I promote my site?

Promoting your site to the major engines is only the first step. There are several other ways to bring traffic to your web site:

  • Put your URL on everything you print - business cards, stationary, brochures, t-shirts, magnets, etc. Not only will this get exposure for your site, it will make you seem more substantial to potential clients.
  • Take advantage of banner ad swaps and exchanges. While some of these fall into the "rip-off" category, there are some reputable and well-run services. The Internet Link Exchange (www.linkexchange.com) is one of the best known banner exchange services. It's also a good resource for useful tips and information about site promotion. The HyperBanner network (www.hyperbanner.com) is similar, except that it allows you to target a specific site category.
  • Exchange links with related sites, but make sure they have a logical connection to yours. It's much more useful to have a brief list of carefully selected links that are likely to be of interest to your site visitors. Check out other sites before you link to them. After all, your visitors are trusting you to make good recommendations.
  • Email marketing can be a valuable tool, if it's done right. Set your Email program so that your URL, and possible a short promo statement are part of your signature. Participating in a mailing list can also be a good way to promote your web site, but again, watch out for the scam artists. Two good lists of mailing lists are Liszt (www.litszt.com) and Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists (www.neosoft.com/internet/paml/). Mailing lists and newsgroups have widely varying policies. Pay close attention or you may get "banished". Assemble your own mailing list by allowing your web site visitors to sign up to receive news about special promotions, new products, or monthly (informative!) newsletters. You might do this manually at first. As your list grows, you can automate the process with software programs designed just for this purpose. Never, ever, ever, ever use spam (unsolicited Email) as a promotional tool. If you get branded as a spammer, you can be banned from sending Email (of ANY kind) to anyone with an Email address at the ISP that caught you. Can you imagine not being able to send Email to ANYONE with an address at AOL? Yahoo? SWBell?

Our placement package

We offer web site placement to Yahoo!, GoTo.com, Excite, What U Seek, Magellan, Lycos, WebCrawler, InfoSeek, Northern Light, MSN Search, Yellow Pages, HotBot, AOL NetFind, Netscape Search, Comfind, Snap, LookSmart, Northern Lights, Infomak, Planet Search, G.O.D., and Alta Vista. This list is constantly updated to include the best engines.

What you get:

  • All pages of your site <meta> tagged with keywords and a description, and re-titled (as needed).
  • Your URL individually propagated to all major search engines.
  • One check back 30 days later to verify the listing. One re-placement to any engine where listing cannot be verified.

What we expect from you:

  • A list of 25 words that you think potential visitors would be most likely to use to find a site of your type. *
  • A brief descriptive paragraph about what you offer *
  • Access to your web site (FTP hostname, user name, password)
  • An Email address of someone in your organization who will be monitoring your placement.

* We will edit these. They are used only as a point of reference.

Fees:
Submit up to 10 pages - $200
Submit additional pages - $20 per page

For more information regarding search engine placement contact sales@xpernet.com or call 281-392-5292.

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