Increasing traffic to your website is one of the hardest
and most frustrating tasks. The rewards are big if you succeed.
Your business is exposed night and day, 24 hours a day,
7 days a week, 365 days a year. People are being exposed
to your business even when you sleep. One market that can
significantly increase your traffic is the U.S. We have
had several questions from site owners in Australia on how
to do this and we are sharing some of our experiences here.
The first thing is that you need to have a website with
good meta tags. These are the tags that some search engines
look for in order to add your site to their list. The search
engine will look for these tags and often check to see how
it relates to the content of your site. A big warning! Do
not repeat your keywords over and over. For example, an
Australian tourism site should not have the word Australia
repeated more than 2 or 3 times. This can get you banned
from certain search engines. There is help for generating
meta tags. One site can be found at http://www.scrubtheweb.com/abs/builder.html
. When your tags are in order you can submit your site to
many search engines all at once at addme.com
and many other services such as bcentral.com.
In our humble opinion there are 2 main directories that
you need to belong to. Yahoo.com
is one and Looksmart.com
is the other. Adding your site to the Looksmart directory
will also get you added to msn.com, excite.com, altavista.com,
iwon.com, cnn.com and the directories of many other ISPs
throughout the U.S. There is a cost associated with this
and you should review their policy before going ahead with
this. Yahoo also charges for their express submission but
this is most likely the easiest way to get added. If you
can get added to Yahoo you will get traffic.
Some search engines will increase your ranking based on
the number of sites that have linked to your site. The theory
is that a site with thousands of sites linked to it is of
more value and is more popular than a site with only a few
sites linked to it. One tool that can help you determine
how many sites are linked to your site can be found at Market
Popularity Check. This works great to let you know how
many sites are linked to you as long as they are listed
on Hotbot.com, Google.com and Altavista.com. There are some
services that we have not tried or evaluated yet that help
you generate reciprocal links. One of them is LinksManager.com.
Per Click Search Engines:
These search engines require you to pay for click-throughs
to your site from their listing. The most popular is Overture
and another is Bay9.com.
GoTo.com is highly effective at generating traffic for your
site but it can get expensive quickly. For example, to make
the top of the list for the search word "Australia",
you will have to pay 27 cents U.S. per click-through (on
May 4, 2001). Another way to look at it is that it will
cost you 27 cents U.S. to bring a customer to your site.
These prices do fluctuate a lot as people can bid higher
than you putting them at the top of the list or several
bidders may take themselves off the top. When this happens
you may be able to get a cheaper bid to make the top of
the list. When using these sites to market your website
it is important to at least be listed in the first 10 sites
under a search term. You get what you pay for. One word
of caution for those with a limited advertising budget.
If you show in the top 3 listings for any word or search
term, you automatically qualify for the GoTo.com Premuim
Listings. This will automatically put your site link in
a prominent position on Alta Vista, Hot Bot, AOL, Netscape
and other sites. This is great for traffic but remember
you are paying for the click-throughs, even from the other
We have never used the web rings for no other reason than
they require you to place a logo on your home page. The Australian
Tourism and Tourists Webring explains how this works
better than we can.
"A web ring is a continuous loop of web sites with
Next and Previous buttons that take you from one site in
the ring to the next. The Australian
Tourism and Tourists Webring is a linked group of websites
devoted to Australian travel related subjects - accommodation,
vehicle rental, outback adventure, tourist destinations
All of your best efforts at getting your site to the top
of the lists with the search engines and directories is
tough and you may have to resort to other techniques. A
well written press release in the right hands is invaluable.
This, if published, will drive people to your site. For
more information on how to write a press release try enewsrelease.com.
Please read all of their information and make your own decision.
There are some services in the United States, and most likely
in Australia, that allow consumers to sign up to receive
e-mails about topics they are interested in. For example,
I can sign up for travel and tourism information and I only
receive e-mails from them on tourism and travel. Conversely,
businesses can sign up to get their promotional information
out by e-mail to people who are interested in their topic.
This is a very targeted way to promote your site but there
is a cost. Some examples are Yesmail.com
List Bots are designed for you to build your own e-mail
list. This is often a free service. You can place some code
on your website and visitors can volunteer to leave their
e-mail address. Once you have collected some names you can
then send out newsletters, special promotions or whatever
else. You can find this tool at Bravenet.
Other tools and neat gadgets can also be found at Bravenet.