1) Make your site great.
Put everything you have into to it. What are you interested in?
Focus on your strengths and interests. Write something useful.
Write something new. Make some lists (ie. top 10 ways to ....).
Ensure all titles, links, meta tags are properly coded.
2) Develop your target audience.
Who are you marketing your site to? Although some sites may
appear to be general interest - i.e yahoo. You want to focus on
users who will bring the most value to you. Find the underlying
purpose of your site, most of the time, it is to get information
out to a specific group of people, and increasingly more popular
now to have e-commerce sites. But again, you are offering
information on a product or service or multiple products and
services, and then providing the online sale. Depending on the
underlying purpose of your site, you will be able to quickly
identify the value target audience.
3) Build the community
Now comes the fun part. You have to build a community of website
frequenters. Not visitors, visitors are guest, people who stroll
in and stroll out. In order to build a community, you have to
keep your site fresh with new content that will keep users
coming back. The internet term is sticky content. Now I am not
just talking about getting those free syndicated content news
article links from moreover.com, or other companies. I am
talking about writing your own content. Or getting other peoples
work (you have to have their permission of course). Many writers
would love to have their work posted on many websites around the
world, developing and growing their exposure. They will likely
ask for a text-ad with their name, company, and link back to
Another area, which you should use to keep your site up to date
is to, build a library of relevant links. Use the target
attribute in the anchor tag so the link opens in a new browser
window. An important part of this step is ensuring that you have
submitted your site to all of the major search engines. Don't
bother with those paid submission schemes. They often are more
hype than what they claim to do. One of the most important
things to consider when submitting to search engines is the
coding of each page, unique titles on each page, then have
corresponding text in the main body. Also make use of the ALT=""
attribute, especially if your site has a lot of images.
Ensure that you take a look at specialty search engines for your
industry / value target. / geography. IF you are a Canadian
site, you would want your site listed in all of the major
Canadian search engines (Sympatico and so on). If your site
deals with automotive products, you would want to be listed on
various automotive specific directories. One site,
searchenglinewatch.com, provides a list of search engines in the
various categories. IN addition, a simple search for "Automotive
Search Engines" on goggle would yield you something.
4) Get the WORD OUT.
Make it known that you are out there. Issue multiple press
releases on interesting services offered on your site. Ensure
that you have Unique Differentiation Content and Services, which
you can advertise. Send out your custom press releases to
editors in your value target. If you are selling something, or
if you are providing a service (ie. discount travel packages)
contact both print-magazine, newspaper editors. As well as
web-guide, online based guides, and portals, as well as relevant
e-zines. Relevant meaning, the majority audiences of which match
your value target.
Value target: The most applicable target which will maximize
your purpose. For a business this would mean long-term
profitability. If your website provided a certain service, you
would target not necessarily the broad users, rather you would
go after the users would be willing to ante up the cash for your
service. So you have to look at, should I target a bunch of
people, and get a lower response rate. Or should I target a
specific group of people where I will get a higher response
rate. In order to target this group, you may have to
differentiate your service a bit to attract the needs of this
group. All of these relates back to the price you are charging
for the item, and the costs associated with advertising. On the
internet, it is often more effective to differentiate your
service, then target a more narrower group.
4) Keep that community going:
Involve your site community as much as you can. One of the best
ways to do this, is to set-up your own e-zine, online
newsletter. You already, probably have a fair chunk of content
on your site, why not bundle it up into a newsletter. Provide a
few new articles, hints, tricks, links, downloads, contacts,
how-tos, etc. each week, when you are done sending these out
each week, you can add it to your repertoire of online content.
By doing this you are accomplishing 2-fold, you are getting the
new content on your page in a consistent basis, which will
pay-off in the long term. Secondly, the e-zine helps build your
community, by keeping users coming back to your site. A neat
business model, if you provide a lot of really useful content,
is to setup a subscription based service to your premium
content. You provide the free newsletter with some free content,
then you include short blurbs of various reports, and in-depth
articles on your site. In order to access these you require a
subscription, password and id. You can setup your own merchant
subscription service using PayPal .
5) Ok you have completed steps one through 4.
Now what? Well, you need to continually keep up with updating
the site, and growing the site. At this stage you need to focus
on your core competency, go back to your purpose, and decide on
revamping, improving, or expanding these services. In addition,
you may want to provide, special buttons, and banners for your
site visitors to link back to your site, or subscribe to your
You should be well on your way, now its time to go back to step
1. Remember , you can never leave your site without updating it
and expect substantial growth. Keep the community growing.
About the author:
Ben Blakley is a passionate internet e-commerce guru, who
operates an online marketplace for businesses and consumers to
sell goods and services. View the site online at