Site Promotion Worksheet Template by ocak

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									Site Promotion Worksheet
Name of Website
Introduction
It’s important to understand that following the methods of site promotion in this worksheet will not bring instant traffic to your site. However, be assured that by implementing these methods, you will see some very good long-term gains in traffic – it will just happen over many days, not instantaneously. Site promotion takes a lot of work in the beginning. It will become less and less work once you have those initial visitors telling their friends/associates about your site and they tell their friends, etc., etc. This document will explain the most common methods in site promotion. As you will see, there are some site promotion techniques that will be best done by you, as you know your business/industry better than we do.

Realistic Expectations
How much traffic can you expect if you follow all these methods? The truth is, it will depend upon your business – products, services, the information you offer and the size of your target audience. For example, if your site is about raising and selling snakes, you may not get as much traffic as someone who sells video or PC games may. The smaller the market for your products and services, the fewer people you will get to come to your site. The goal of your site should not be to get masses of people to your site, but to get people to buy your products/services. This means that you must be targeting the right people. All the methods you use will need to be specific to your target audience – choose the keywords that your potential customers would use, visit the newsgroups that your potential customers would visit, etc.

Site Content
In order to keep visitors coming back to your site (and telling their friends about it), you need to have high quality content. Your site should contain informative, useful information that is free. Consider writing articles about your expertise and offering them on your site. Visitors will begin to see you as an expert in your field and will begin to trust you. While information about your products/services is important and should be readily available, it is more important for you to build trust with the visitor. It may take them several visits before they will purchase what you are selling. Would you like to include free information or articles on your site? We recommend that each article be a separate web page rather than having several articles on one page. This makes it easy for your potential customer to print only the information that they are interested in and shortens the time it takes your page to load (another important consideration for keeping your visitors happy).

SITE PROMOTION WORKSHEET BEIM CONSULTING WWW.BEIMCONSULTING.COM

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Choose from the following:

{

Create new web pages for me using the following articles as content:

{ {

Restructure my current content so that each article of information is on a separate page. Leave current content and website structure as-is. I may consider adding new/additional articles later.

Domain Names
People are often skeptical of businesses that are hosted on free webpage hosts. These are fine for personal web pages, but a business trying to create a professional image should have their own domain name. If you previously decided not to have a domain name (www.yourcompany.com), we encourage you to reconsider. When deciding upon a domain name, try to use words that are key to your business – words that potential customers may use when searching for your products/services. Some Internet search engines/directories will rank your site higher on the list if your domain name contains the keywords the visitor entered. A domain name (www.yourcompany.com) must be registered and approved by InterNIC before you can use it. You may check the availability of the desired domain name at http://www.networksolutions.com/cgibin/whois/whois. You may register a domain name at the same site or through their ISP’s site. Currently domain name registration is $70 to cover the first two years and $35 for each year thereafter. Your ISP charge may vary from this rate. Choose from the following:

{ { {

This does not apply to me – I already have a domain name. I’ve reconsidered and would like my own domain name. Help me make my new/existing site available under this domain name. I would not like a domain name at this time.

Rating Tags
Some browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape 4.5+) make use of “rating tags” to block inappropriate sites from the viewer. If the visitor has set up their browser to use the rating tags, your site may be blocked even if your content is “appropriate”. To make sure these visitors can see your site, we will need to install “rating tags”. Choose from the following: { Install the “ratings tags” for me:

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{

I will install the “ratings tags” myself. This can easily be done at RSACi (www.rsac.org).

Optimizing your Site
You will need to optimize your site for visibility within the Internet Search Engines/Directories. This must be done before submitting (registering) your site with the search engines, as it can take several weeks to several months before the search engines will register (or recognize) any changes to your site.

Keywords
You will need to define keywords for your site. Keywords are simply words that describe your site/business/product. Try to think of the words that a visitor would use when trying to find your products/services or your company. If your business is region-specific, make sure you include the region you serve as part of the keywords. You should try to come up with 20 –25 keywords. For example, you own a small vegetable farm and sell produce within your state. Your keywords would include vegetable farm, fresh vegetables, sweet corn, fresh produce, Minnesota, Ottertail County. Choose from the following:

{ { {

Create a list of keywords for me. Review my list of keywords and make any necessary changes. Use the list of keywords that I have created. They are:

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Do not use any keywords to promote my site. I understand this may affect my positioning within the results of Internet search engines.

Description
Write up a small description for each one of the pages in your site that describes the products/services offered on that page. Try to incorporate your keywords as many times as possible into this description. Each search engine/directory that uses descriptions requires descriptions of different lengths. Try writing your description in 15 words, 20 words and 25 words. Eliminate as many “filler” words (a, and, the, company, etc.) as possible; making sure that it’s still readable. Choose from the following:

{

Create a description for me using the text from my home page or about us page.
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SITE PROMOTION WORKSHEET BEIM CONSULTING WWW.BEIMCONSULTING.COM

{ {

Review my descriptions and make any necessary changes. Please use the descriptions that I have created. They are:

{

Do not use any descriptions to promote my site. I understand this may affect my positioning within the results of Internet search engines.

Meta Tags
Meta Tags are special HTML tags (code) that we can put into your web pages. They are invisible to normal users (can be seen if the visitor views the source code of your page) but are used by some of the search engines/directories. We typically use the Meta keyword tag and the Meta description tags. They look like this and go between the </TITLE> and </HEAD> tags of your webpage: <META name=”keywords” content=”list of keywords separated by comma” > <META name=”description” content=”your description goes here”> Choose from the following:

{ {

Include META tags in my webpages using the keywords we defined above. Do not include any META tags in my web pages. I understand this may affect my positioning within the results of some of the Internet search engines.

Page Title
The page title appears on the Web Search Engines/Directories when your page is found. Having a descriptive page title is probably one of the most important things you can do to promote your site as most web search engines place a lot of weight on the keywords contained in the page title. Hint: To write a descriptive title (5 to 8 words) for each page, try using as many of your keywords as possible and as appropriate for that page. For example, try using some descriptive keywords along with your business name on your home page: “Manny’s Garden – Fresh Vegetable Produce” Choose from the following:

{

Modify my page titles to be the following:

{

Modify my page titles for me using keywords as appropriate for the page.

SITE PROMOTION WORKSHEET BEIM CONSULTING WWW.BEIMCONSULTING.COM

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{

Leave my page titles as-is.

Page Content
Some search engines rank your page according to how many times the keyword appears in the content of your page. Some look for a count over the entire page – others check just the first paragraph or first x-number of words. Therefore, try to work your keywords in the body of your page as many times as possible. This will greatly improve your ranking with many of the search engines. One word of caution, using your keywords too many times in a page can also result in a search engine dropping you because of “spamming”. You also don’t want to annoy your visitors by saying the same thing over and over. Choose from the following:

{ { {

Review my page content and insert my keywords as appropriate. Leave the content as-is. I have changed the content myself. Please use the modified versions of my page content. Here are the names of the text files containing the content and the names of the pages where the content belongs:

Submission to Search Engines and Directories
For effective site promotion, we recommend hand submitting your site to the most popular web search engines and directories. Why? Mainly, because each search engine/directory indexes your site differently. For example, Yahoo indexes sites within categories. A mass submission program will probably not get you listed in all of the categories of your choice. The most popular web search engines/directories include: Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista, Excite, Hot Bot, Lycos, DogPile, InfoSeek, Planet Search, Northern Light, LookSmart, GTE Super Pages and Starting Point. If you decide to use a mass submission program yourself, be aware that the program may fail to register your site with the search engine (maybe the server was down), and you won’t be made aware of the problem or the program won’t try again. Also, be aware that some search engines/directories don’t accept submissions from mass submission programs because often they are spam. How would you like us to submit your site? Please choose from the following:

{ {

Don’t do anything. I will register my own site. To register your own site, you can use a mass submission program like Submit-It (http://submitit.linkexchange.com) or All4one Submission Machine http://www.al4one.com/all4submit). Use a mass submission program to register my site with the most popular search engines/directories.

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{

Please manually register my site with the following search engines/directories: (note: any cost incurred in registering with the requested search engines/directories will be passed onto you)

Keep Checking! Search engines/directories vary in the amount of time they take to actually index your site once your submission is received – typically anywhere from a week to several weeks. You will need to keep checking with each one of the search engines to make sure you have been indexed and to make sure that they don’t drop you from their index. If you would like Beim Consulting to help you keep an eye this, talk to us about setting up a monthly maintenance plan. We’ll tailor the plan to fit your needs. Important Note: Please understand that submitting your site to an Internet Search Engine/Directory does not guarantee that they will index your site. Some of the search engines/directories review your site and if you don’t fit their criteria, they may not index your site at all.

Exchanging Banner Ads
Banner ad exchanges like MSN Link Exchange (http://www.linkexchange.com) and SmartAge SmartClicks (http://www.smartclicks.com) can help to attract customers. Here’s how it works: You send the free service an ad for your site and a corresponding URL for linking. The service then sends you HTML code that rotates in banner ads from other members. The more ads people view on your site, the more other members’ sites display your banner. You can also pay for more exposure. Premium ad placement starts as low as $100 for 5,000 ad impressions on Yahoo through LinkExchange or 8,350 ad impressions on Excite through SmartAge. Don’t go overboard with Banner Ads – this can turn off your visitors. A good rule of thumb is not to use more than two banner ads per page. Choose from the following:

{ { { {

Create a banner ad for my site and sign-up for membership with (check one) ___LinkExchange, ___SmartClicks, or ____ (specify other)________________________. I will create an ad banner and will sign-up for membership myself. I want premium ad placement. I understand that I must sign up and pay for this service myself. I am not interested in using banner ads.

Webrings
Webrings are similar to banner exchanges. In a webring, the first person links to the second person in the ring. The second person links to the third. The third to the fourth, and so on, until it comes around to the first one again. They work best if you join a specific webring.
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Here’s a list of some of the webrings available on the Internet: Webring.org (http://www.webring.org): A favorite among many webmasters. They have over five thousand different rings you can join! It is also the oldest webring system. RingSurf.com (http://www.ringsurf.com): You can join as many rings as you want. RingSurf remembers which ring a user is on using cookies. You can also start your own ring. The Rail (http://www.therail.com/cgi-bin/station): It's all done as if the users are on a train, and you are one of the stops along the way. All sites are previewed before they are added. The wait is typically about two weeks. Choose from the following:

{

Join the following webring(s) on my behalf:

{ {

I will join a webring(s) on my own. I am not interested in joining a webring.

Additional Techniques You Can Do
Mailing Lists and News Groups: Subscribe to mailing lists and news groups that your potential customers will belong to. Involve yourself in their discussions, but don’t push your products/services. Be subtle: Create a signature that will tell potential customers about your product or service. Here’s an example signature: Beim Consulting www.beimconsulting.com Helping website owners develop site promotion strategies Call for your free initial consultation

Links from Related Pages. Explore the Internet to find businesses that offer products/services that are complimentary to yours. Ask them if they will agree to a reciprocal link with your page (you put a link to their site on your page and vice versa). Or you may find some companies that will offer a one-way link to your site for a modest fee. Create a special links page just for this purpose or consider putting the links in a sidebar on each page of your site. Be choosy about the sites you will link to – only choose high quality sites (remember that you want to gain the trust of your visitors). Compose a letter similar to the following and send to the chosen sites. Dear [ Insert Name ],

SITE PROMOTION WORKSHEET BEIM CONSULTING WWW.BEIMCONSULTING.COM

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I visited your site, [ Insert Site Name ], today, and really like it. I have a site similar to yours, and was wondering if you would like to trade links with me? You can see my site at [ Your Site's URL ]. I would give your site a prominent listing on my page, if you would be willing to do the same. Thank you for your time! Please let me know what you want to do. Sincerely, [ Your Name] Make sure they are doing the same for you. Check back periodically to make sure they haven’t removed you from their site. Links from Industry Index Pages: Explore the Internet to find an “index” or “advertising” page for businesses in your industry. Tell them about your site and they may add a link to your site for little or no cost. Non-Internet Advertising: Be sure to include your URL on all your business cards, display ads, literature, and stationery. Let your customers know that your site will contain important information or special offers for your products/services. Buy a text ad in an E-Mail Newsletter. One of the best values in advertising is buying small ads (four to twelve lines) in established e-mail newsletters. Ads can both inform and motivate readers to click on your URL. For more information about advertising in e-mail newsletters, read this article: http://www.promotionworld.com/newslet/ezine.html. Offer something free: This could be free information (an e-mail newsletter), a free first product, or a free/product service once they have spent a specific amount. Make sure that whatever you are offering is closely related to your business. Visitors love to pass along URLs to their friends of sites that offer free products/services. Also, consider promoting your free offer (exclusive to the web) on traditional media – display ads, etc. Offering a free service does take time and energy, but can be very rewarding in terms of increased traffic. Issue News Releases: Announce a new product, staffing change, or a special event with a well-written newsworthy press release over the Internet. You can find tips on writing a press release at the Internet News Bureaus Tips Page (http://www.newsbureau.com/tips/). Internet News Bureau charges $125 to e-mail a 500word release to journalists in 10 topic categories, or $225 to hit an A-list of more than 1,300 key press contacts. Business Wire (http://www.businesswire.com) offers similar services, but lets you choose the regional area (state or city) contacts for less than $100 per message. Sponsorship: Donate services or sponsor a sports team or city event.

What To Do Next
Forward this completed worksheet to Beim Consulting (jbeim@beimconsulting.com). We will review your choices and implement them as requested.

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