Website Promotion

Discussion in 'Web Design & Coding' started by coathanger007, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    My website http://decentdownloads.x-istence.com began its life about a year ago. At that time it really was an eyesore and attracted barely a unique visitor a day! Times have really changed. Now, together with my interlinked wallpaper site http://qualitywallpapers.x-istence.com they generate over 6500 unique visitors each day with over 300,000 links across the search engines using http://www.checkyourlinkpopularity.com/ Note that I use unique visitors to measure traffic. Hits are an inaccurate and inflated measure (I get about 300,000 hits each day). Webopedia explains:
    “When tracking the amount of traffic on a Web site, a unique visitor refers to a person who visits a Web site more than once within a specified period of time. Software that tracks and counts Web site traffic can distinguish between visitors who only visit the site once and unique visitors who return to the site. Different from a site's hits or page views - which are measured by the number of files that are requested from a site - unique visitors are measured according to their unique IP addresses, which are like online fingerprints, and unique visitors are counted only once no matter how many times they visit the site.”

    So, for those of you who may be wondering how I did it…here are my tips. Of course there are Webmasters in this forum with more experience and larger sites generating more traffic so I am always open to suggestions. It is all about continuous learning

    Tags

    Firstly, Meta Description Tags. This is a really good article:
    http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2004/oct/25.html
    In summary, “The keywords and phrases you use in your Meta description tag do not affect your page's ranking in the search engines (for the most part), but this tag can still come in handy in your overall SEO campaigns” so throw them in for good measure.

    Title tags however are very important for high search engine rankings. I will not repeat the points in this useful article: http://www.highrankings.com/allabouttitles.htm but will quote “All search engines use title tags to gather information about your Web site. The words in the title tag are what appear in the clickable link on the search engine results page (SERP). What you put in this tag is a key factor in which search queries you will rank highly with in the major search engines. Title tags are definitely one of the "big three" as far as the algorithmic weight given to them; they are equally as important as your visible text copy and the links pointing to your pages.” It is also a good idea to have a site name that begins with one of the first letters of the alphabet. That is because, as you will see below, some Webmasters rank affiliates in alphabetical order. Therefore, “Decent Downloads” may have a higher rank and therefore more exposure than “Quality Freeware”. There are other factors that come into play however. My wallpaper site is called “Quality Wallpapers” because I believe that the popularity of those keywords with the search engines outweighs the cost of being ranked lower in affiliate lists.

    Also, I have loaded my image alt attribute tags with keywords:
    e.g. alt="Best Productivity Freeware to download".
    as well as my links:
    e.g. <a href="http://decentdownloads.x-istence.com/software/DesktopArchitect.exe">Download Desktop Architect freeware</a>

    Keywords

    You have to be careful in choosing keywords for the title tags, file, folder, domain and subdomain names and site content. What is the point having a number one ranking in google for the keyword “coathanger007” when no one ever searches for it? To determine keyword phrases that are commonly searched use http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/ For example, one phrase that my site is optimised for is “freeware downloads”. Do a google search for those keywords and you will see google picked up the keywords in the subdomain decentdownloads.x-istence.com, “Best Freeware Downloads” in the title tag and in site contents.

    Notice that I have a keyword rich paragraph at the top of each page. See how my main keywords freeware and software are scattered right throughout the text? However, the paragraph is still comprehensible. Do not use keywords so excessively that the composition starts to lose meaning. Search engine algorithms do not take too well to being smothered with excessive keywords. Here is a good article on finding the right keywords for your site: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2004/aug/20.html

    “The optimal approach when writing copy for a Web site is to think of the main phrases that best reflect your business, and then compose the text around them. When you write your title tag, you simply revisit these same phrases, and compose your keyword-rich title accordingly.”

    Speed and Appearance

    Keep animation to a minimum. I used to have an animated cartoon figure on every page! Not only did these slow down loading times and force people to scroll down to the real content but was aimed at the wrong target audience…children. My site made very limited use of flash (for navigation menus). Flash slows down loading times especially for those of us still stuck on dialup. This is a nice site to test out loading times http://www.numion.com/Stopwatch/index.html? Do not forget to clear the cache between each test. Also, most search engines cannot index flash (though google seems to be an exception http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2004/sept/1.html).

    Also, try not to use excessive popups as these are plain annoying and multiple instances may dissuade visitors from revisiting. The worst thing that could happen is that people are hit by a popup when visiting the front page. Then they get hit by a pop under when they exit the page and another popup when visiting the next page. When trying to exit the site altogether they get hit by a combination of popups and popunders! You can be assured they will not be returning any time soon. I do not have any popups on my site. Banner adverts (without sound) and google adverts with text links are non-intrusive as long as their appearance can be customised to blend in with the site’s theme. My google adverts use a “cut grass” theme and the waterfall screensaver advert and news reel are also a shade of green to blend in with the other buttons.

    Also, make the website aesthetically pleasing so people revisit. You have to balance pretty graphics with loading times. Also, there should always be more textual content than graphics as search engines can only see the text. Images should be reasonably small in size yet have a clean professional look and feel. Make sure that the page structure is neat and tidy and the colours are an agreeable combination. I used greens and browns (natural forest theme) as people tend to find these comfortable and neutral. Stronger colours may suit a target audience but because they do not have appeal to everyone will tend to turn other visitor segments away. Limit the types, size and colour of fonts used. People who visit the site want to be able to digest information as quickly as possible and therefore value a harmonious, uniform layout.

    Ensure that your site can be viewed in all the main browsers. 70% of viewers on my site use Internet explorer though this figure is steadily decreasing. 23% use Firefox. Optimize the site for 1024x768 as this is still the most common resolution used today. Although 35% of my site’s visitors also use 1280x1024, we have to go for the lowest common denominator.

    Search Engines

    Now to submit your site to the search engines. Do not bother with all the thousands of smaller search engines. Just get listed with the major ones. Here is an article with links: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2004/jun/25.html
    Make sure you get listed at DMOZ.org. The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors. Most importantly, Google and other search engines source links from it. You will have to be patient as it may take over a month for the spiders to reach your site. Also, do not have mirror sites as link popularity becomes split between the mirrors and your main site ends up suffering. If you have recently moved to a new domain, ensure you have deleted everything on your old site and use automatic redirection by inserting this code:
    <A HREF="http://decentdownloads.x-istence.com">here</A>.</FONT><P>
    <meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="0; url=http://decentdownloads.x-istence.com/">

    Affiliates and Topsites

    Affiliation is a good way to increase traffic and improve pagerank. However make sure link partners are selective because search engines frown on large link farms. You may notice on some sites that the separate link page has a lower pagerank than other pages. That is because the page has lost its focus and the content from links on that page have no relationship with each other. Just a jumbled up mess really. Also, with so many links, it is less likely that your site will be clicked on as it is competing with so many others on the same page. Do not get listed on a topsite unless you have a good chance of being ranked above the other listed sites and the topsite has a high page rank and traffic.

    On the flipside, potential affiliates would be more interested in affiliating if your site has affiliate links on the front page rather than on a separate links page. Only cross-link with sites that cover the same subject matter. Do not be afraid to email Webmasters of major sites. Even though you may not generate much traffic for them, they might like your site’s content and affiliate anyway. Besides, there is nothing to lose. Be professional in your application and be specific as to what your site is about and how it is relevant to theirs.

    To filter out affiliates with lower pagerank use http://www.pagerank.net/ and study traffic rankings at http://alexa.com/. There may also be some potential affiliates in link directories such as http://linkbuddies.com/ (banner exchange) and http://linkateer.com/ (link exchange) though high traffic sites there are few and far between. Make sure that if you use affiliate buttons that the file size is kept down to a minimum (especially for animated ones).

    Statistics

    If your site is already generating good traffic, you may want to advertise that fact to potential affiliates. http://www.statcounter.com/ is a free yet reliable invisible web tracker, highly configurable hit counter and real-time detailed web stats. Insert a simple piece of our code on your web page and you will be able to analyse and monitor all the visitors to your website in real-time. The good thing about this is that you can make the results public so viewers can view your site's traffic. All you need is to place a simple text link somewhere on your front page. The counter should measure page views/unique visitors rather than hits which is over-inflated measure ignored by experienced Webmasters (as mentioned above).

    News Feeds

    One thing that attracts customers back to a site is constantly updated content. If you do not have much time to do this yourself or your site is based on a rather static topic, you may like to try a news feed. Feedroll is a free service for syndicating popular RSS and ATOM news feeds on your website or blog. Select a feed, customize the design then copy and paste the code provided onto your page. http://www.feedroll.com/rssviewer/index.ph...ns&source_id=63
    You could think of this as an automated news poster. Visitors will keep returning to read the news headlines. Feedroll already comes with RSS feeds on a wide range of subjects. You can place multiple feeds on a single page.


    Discussion Forum

    A discussion forum allows people to exchange ideas and add content to your site which search engine spiders can target on. People will return for help and advice or simply to chat with other e-buddies once a community spirit has been developed. However, one must keep in mind that adminstrating a forum takes a fair bit of effort especially in filtering out questionable content. Forum software also allows you to send bulk e-newsletters to remind people to visit your site. Do not send spam or else you will end up with members unsubscribing. Rather, the newsletter should be packed with useful and relevant content and sent at the very most weekly/monthly.

    Also, make sure you have an email contact or a question form somewhere on your page so viewers can make recommendations/suggestions and affiliates can contact you directly.

    Well, that is about all I have for now folks. I am always open to suggestions and other tips. Have fun ;)

    Oh…one more thing...if you are a forum member, it helps to place a link to your site in your signature (e.g. a clickable banner). But do not spam the forum or else your posts will be deleted.

    Best Regards
    coathanger007

    Also, big thanks goes to Sherri for taking the time to proof read all this :)

    http://decentdownloads.x-istence.com/Forum/index.php?act=Post&CODE=08&f=7&t=15&p=17&st=0
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2005
  2. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Always great to see posts like these. Thanks coathanger! Great contribution. :)
     
  3. Khayman

    Khayman I'm sorry Hal... Political User Folding Team

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    Great info
     
  4. mfarley

    mfarley OSNN Senior Addict Folding Team

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    Great tip, I hadn't really thought of using my alt tags for anything more than my amusement. =)

    REPS!!!
     
  5. j79zlr

    j79zlr Glaanies script monkey Political User

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    eek, HTML tags should be in lowercase, and <center></center> is not a valid tag.

    You should also use h1 h2 h3, etc tags so your site is viewed in an outline format. This helps search engines, as well as making it display correctly to text browsers.
     
  6. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    Glad you liked the tips everyone :) lol - thanks for the rep points :D

    Oh - and I've changed everything to lower case so j79zlr can be happy :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2005
  7. napalmnthemorning

    napalmnthemorning Moderator

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    Very impressive and congrats. I'm know very little about running websites but I know they are allot of work and take a lot of time to keep them up to date and running properly. I hope it has been fun for you coathanger007 and maybe a little lucrative :)
     
  8. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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  9. Electronic Punk

    Electronic Punk Administrator Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Looks good, I try to write all my tags in lowercase, mainly so wc3 understands it, but I bet I missed a few tags in osnn somewhere :p

    Also anything that is opened should be closed, even line breaks! You should never see <br> should be <br /> and also image tags never seem to get closed you can either use

    <img src=""></img> or <img src="" />
     
  10. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    Hehe...yeah, I'm really lazy with closing tags :D lol - w3c won't be happy chappies :p
    Then again...practically, who's going to look into the source code when everything loads perfectly in any browser? ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2005
  11. Electronic Punk

    Electronic Punk Administrator Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    It is a good habit to pick up if you are just starting out :)
     
  12. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    Agreed ;). Would take me a massive effort to make my current code a picture of perfection atm but webmasters starting from scratch should certainly do things nicely the first time :)
     
  13. xsivforce

    xsivforce Prodigal Son Folding Team

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    Wow! You are on a great server too! :D ;)
     
    coathanger007 likes this.
  14. Electronic Punk

    Electronic Punk Administrator Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Doesn't somone round here have a website about making webpages?
     
  15. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    ROFL...and credit goes to Xsivforce for hosting my site on the greatest server in the world and to X-istence for providing me with the greatest domain in the world. Reputation points added for good measure :D
     
  16. xsivforce

    xsivforce Prodigal Son Folding Team

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    Yes but nobody goes there. :(

    Glad to have you on the server coathanger007...except you blow away the visits at all my sites put together... all 9 of them. :mad:

    I should take some of your advice in the first post in this thread. :)
     
  17. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    9 sites!!! Whoa...I've only seen half of them from your sig :D I've only just got my third freebie site http://www.freestuffpicks.com completed. Hope it picks up traffic like the other two.

    I found a nice article about clean code on your site here:
    http://www.worstwebpage.com/Article4.html

    Of all your sites that you own, that site prolly has the most growth potential.
     
  18. Electronic Punk

    Electronic Punk Administrator Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    I have four I think, i used to have another, if I do have a third somewhere it is being painfully neglected, all hosted on this server one way or another :D

    www.electronicpunk.com and www.gatecrasher.org don't have alot of content tho.
     
  19. coathanger007

    coathanger007 Tomorrow Tweaking Today

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    lol - gotta love the way you used google at gatecrasher EP :D Perfect positioning :)
     
  20. Electronic Punk

    Electronic Punk Administrator Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    hehe, I doubt that site gets enough traffic to matter :)