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 Vol 4 - Issue 1
January 2005  

 

Welcome to b-news.

In this issue:

 


Get more out of your website
Giving something for free on your site

To effectively promote your website and hence your business, it is important to keep users coming back for more. If your organisation is fairly large and your website has lots of constantly changing information, that is not a problem. However, if your website is mainly an electronic brochure, and the information doesn’t get updated but once or twice a year, then you need something to increase repeat visits.

Giving something for free can keep Internet users coming back to your site and reinforcing your brand. Free competitions, draws, and promotions are good examples. You could implement a monthly competition, which also provides you with a database of prospects. If the competition prizes are some of your own products or gift vouchers, that will assure that people entering in the draws are actually interested in your products or services.

If you have useful information related to your products or services it is also very important to put it on-line, so people will bookmark your site and come back to research when they need it.
Some examples of information that keep users returning to a site are:

  • Cooking recipes (if your site is in any way related to food, kitchenware, homeware, entertainment, etc)
  • Health articles, studies and wellness tips (if your site is related to the beauty, health or wellness industries)
  • Directory of related sites and on-line resources
  • Detailed information about products, procedures and alternative methods/options for certain services. For example if your business is in the construction/renovation industry you could compare different type of tiles and advice in which parts of the house you should use which ones, which tiles are easier to clean, how do you clean them, etc.
  • Comparison charts for different brands of the same kind of products giving advantages and disadvantages of each one.
  • A small application that helps people decide which is the best product for the job they have in mind. For example if you have a paint factory, visitors to your site could type or choose from a list: “I want to paint a park bench” and a list of the most appropriate paints to use for the job will issue.
  • Free advice (professional or not) in reference to laws, regulations, etc.

There are tons of ideas to make your site more useful and appealing. You just have to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and think what kind of information they usually ask of you.

Of course there is always the risk of some people just picking on your brains without any benefit to you. This will be true if the person had that in mind from the beginning, and if you have given everything away. In most cases, people will choose you over the competition because you will appear
more trustable and knowledgeable to
their eyes. Most people don’t have the time, dedication or inclination to do things themselves, or even to shop around.

It is possible to put this kind of information in a password-protected section and make it accessible only to registered customers. Always remember: “giving is receiving”, the more you give in your website, the more visitors you will have.

In our next newsletter we will be looking at the advantages of ‘Newsletters’


 
Search Engine submission explained


What is Search Engine Submission?

Search engine submission is when you give a search engine or Internet directory your URL (website address) for the search engine to include it in its database of keywords. So, when somebody searches for a word or group of words the search engine will produce a listing of all sites that contain those words. If you have those keywords your site will be in that list.

However, because there are billions of websites, just about every keyword you search for will bring thousands of listings. With so much competition it is very difficult to get listed in the first positions, and here is when search engine optimisation comes to the rescue.

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

It is vital that your site has been search-engine optimised before submission. Search engines have certain rules to list search results. In brief, they always list first the sites thought to have more relevance to the keyword being searched for.

How do they think one site is more relevant that another? Well, among other things, their ‘crawler’ or ‘spider’ counts how many times each keyword is found in each page, the relevance of the keyword on the page, etc. For example if your keyword is found on the title of the page it will have more relevance that if it is only found in the text. There are also other rules, like how many relevant sites are linked to your page, if the keyword is found in the link, etc.

Because of the strong competition and many people trying to “cheat the system”, search engines have tightened their rules and usually change them from time to time. Also different search engines have different rules.

The process of Search Engine Optimisation should include the analysis of the whole content of your site. It should also include several other techniques that as a whole can provide a top ranking for your website. The process can be quite tedious, and is usually part art and part science.

What about automated submissions offering top rankings?

There are many Internet companies offering top search engine rankings by automated submissions to hundreds of search engines and directories. Prices are usually very affordable from $59 dollars to a few hundreds, which makes the service very tempting. Many of our customers have asked us if they should buy this kind of service. The answer is a complex one.

For instance, when you use an automated service, thousands or URLs are submitted from one IP address. The search engine detects that this IP is submitting thousands of pages and it can ignore them or even ban them.

However there are some services that claim to take care of this and of other problems associated with automated submissions.

Some services can submit your site every month. Some search engines consider that this falls into the category of spaming, and may as well remove your site from their database and black list it.

It is always safer to take the time and submit your site manually.

Some other general rules:

  • · Submit no more than 2 pages per domain per day that focus on different keywords to avoid ‘spamdexing’.
  • Avoid submitting more than 30 pages per domain at any time.
  • Follow the rules outlined by each engine carefully.

Here is a list of the major search engines and the link to their submission page:

Google
www.google.com/addurl.html
The top search engine. Can take 8 to 12 weeks for your page to get indexed. It is important to have good keyword linking inbound and outbound to help with the ranking. Google also have AdWords, in which you get advertiser listings with no set-up fees or a minimum fee, and you
just pay by the click

Altavista
http://addurl.altavista.com/addurl/default
Search results are now powered by Yahoo! Search Technology.

AlltheWeb
www.alltheweb.com/help/webmaster/submit_site
Search results are now powered by Yahoo! Search Technology.

Lycos
http://searchservices.lycos.com/
Pay-Per-Click Advertising with AdBuyer. Promote your business on top internet properties including Lycos, HotBot, Tripod/Angelfire, and more.

MSN
http://advertising.msn.com/searchadv/default.asp
Advertise your site with Overture or
with keyword-targeting search. It has
also a "Sponsored Sites" section.

EntireWeb
www.entireweb.com/submit_site/
It provides a Free submission and a Express inclusion within 2 business days

DMOZ
http://dmoz.org/add.html
Open Directory Project, it supplies data to Google and other directories. It may take a few weeks as each submission is human revised for inclusion.

Yahoo!
http://docs.yahoo.com/info/suggest/
Yahoo! now powers Altavista, AlltheWeb, Overture and Inktomi.
Yahoo! also have a local directory for businesses
http://au.local.yahoo.com/submit.html

Looksmart
http://submit.looksmart.com/
Updates many popular directories, paid inclusion and advertising available.

Answerz
Australian and New Zealand search engine, now powered by Google. Submissions have to be done through Google.

WebWombat
http://www.webwombat.com.au/submit/
Australian search engine, has an express submission.


 
On Next Issue:
  • Get more out of your website: Newsletters

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