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Promoting Your Site

Promotion is a crucial ingredient of your web development. For instance, if the purpose of your site is to attract new customers, then promotion is as important as everything else put together. After all, if prospects don't visit your site, they will never see all your other hard work.

Promotion is one of the fastest changing areas and therefore is one of the most difficult to keep track of. If you don't carry out promotion, it's like opening a store on some dead-end street, on the worst part of town, and only opening in the early hours of the morning.

On the other hand, if the purpose of your site is to satisfy the needs of existing customers who have maintenance contracts, informing your customers of the web address may be sufficient promotional activity.

Most people will want the maximum exposure, so we will concentrate on that here.

Firstly, and most importantly, every traditional advertising route can be used to publicize your web site.

At the very least, the web site address should be put on all business cards and literature, included on all advertising and so on. If your web site will offer an improved service to existing customers, it may be worth mailing them with your web site address.

The other option for publicizing your site is on the web itself. By definition everyone who sees your publicity can access the Internet and are therefore good prospects for your site. Also there are a variety of methods of publicity which are free or relatively low cost.

You should be aware of one minefield -
unsolicited email.

Any form of unsolicited email is regarded by many Internet users as totally unacceptable. The response to unsolicited mail will vary from an unwillingness to ever buy from the offender again through to downright hostile action, such as calling freephone numbers and hanging up for no reason, "mail bombing" and other technology based revenge.

The root of this can be glossed over and dismissed as being down to the original academic orientation of the Net. The truth is somewhat more complex.

Many marketing oriented Net users will maintain that there are two fundamental differences between unsolicited email and traditional direct mail.

The first is that the cost of email is paid by the receiver. This is in the form of telephone costs and, in some cases, connect time.

The second is the most subtle. Because email is of negligible cost, there is no incentive to pre-qualify. It costs pretty much the same to send 1,000,000 or 1,000 emails. This means that there will always be unscrupulous individuals who "buck shot" the market. If this continues, it is not difficult to see that email rapidly becomes unusable. How much use would the postal service be if you received several hundred letters a day, mostly consisting of get-rich-quick schemes?

Behaving responsibly, unfortunately, makes no difference if others behave irresponsibly. The receiver doesn't distinguish.

There are highly effective methods of marketing over the Internet which we outline below. We think unsolicited email isn't one of them.
 

The main methods of promoting your site are as follows:

Put the address of your site onto every piece of print and advertisement that you produce.

 

bulletArrange with non-competing sites to have mutual links - they add a link to your site and you add a link to their site. There are also companies that arrange this.
bulletFind Internet Newsgroups concerned with your area of expertise. Contribute to the discussions and use the 6 lines of allowed advertising after your name to promote your site. Your Internet ServiceProvider (ISP) should be able to tell you how to use Newsgroups.
bulletAnd finally you should register your site with the search engines: we explain in detail seven rules for search engine registration.
 

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