SEO & Web Promotion

Complete Marketing Strategies to Improve Website Ranking

Purpose of this article is to be able to provide various web marketing strategies and start increasing the volume of visitors that comes to your website. A complete information where you can choose which campaign or strategy best applies to your site and what resources are needed that are given free.

What are the initial procedures needed to increase more traffic to a website? Stop your worries and just follow these steps or web marketing guide and see if some of them have been applied to your website and what are the other link building techniques that needs to be done.

I. Search Engine Strategies

Perhaps the most important -- and inexpensive -- strategy is to rank high for your preferred keywords on the main search engines in "organic" or "natural" searches (as opposed to paid ads). Search engines send robot "spiders" to index the content of your webpage, so let's begin with steps to prepare your webpages for optimal indexing. The idea here is not to trick the search engines, but to leave them abundant clues as to what your webpage is about. This approach is called "search engine optimization," abbreviated as SEO.

Compose a Page Title Embedded with Your Keywords. Compose at least 3 alternative titles with your chosen keywords in it and choose the best Title for your site. Each descriptive title must be set on each page that are rich in keywords people may regularly use when they try to find you. Normally, using 4 to 7 words is the best option. Eradicate as many "filler" words from the title (such as "the," "and," etc.) as possible but make sure it is still understandable to the reader. Page titles are those with hyperlinked text posted on the search engine results when your page has been indexed.

Create titles that are "catchy" or would entice searchers to click on it. Proper approach is to make the title more provocative. Make sure to put this at the top of the webpage, in between the tags.

Proper meta title tag must be in this format:

Web Marketing Strategies to Improve Website Ranking

Blue bar at top of web browser containing the Title

Note that the text in the title tag can be seen in the header of your browser.

Plan to use some descriptive keywords along with your business name on your home page. If you specialize in silver bullets and that's what people will be searching for, don't just use your company name "Acme Ammunition, Inc.," use "Silver and Platinum Bullets -- Acme Ammunition, Inc." The words people are most likely to search on should appear first in the title (called "keyword prominence"). Remember, this title is your identity on the search engines. The more people see that interests them in the blue hyperlinked words on the search engine, the more likely they are to click on the link.
Add a Description Meta Tag. Some search engines include this description below your hyperlinked title in the search results. The description should be a sentence or two describing the content of the webpage, using the main keywords and keyphrases on this page. Don't include keywords that don't appear on the webpage. Place the Description Meta Tag at the top of the webpage, between the tags, in this format:

The maximum number of characters should be about 255; just be aware that only the first 60 or so are visible on Google, though more may be indexed.

At the time I have to create a webpage, I compose an article first, then make at least 2-3 keyword-rich titles as discussed above. Next is the description of the content of the article written in 2-3 sentences, using each of the important keywords and keyphrases included from the article. This goes into the description Meta tag.

After that, I eliminate the common words and leaving the main keywords and phrases and copy them into the keywords Meta tag. Summarizing, each webpage in your new site should have at least a different title and Meta description tags. Following these two tips religiously will lead you to a good start to race with the competition using the same keywords. Take note that this is just the first part of our SEO campaign.

Use the Same Keywords in Headers. Search engines consider keywords that appear in the page headline and sub heads to be important to the page, so make sure your desired keywords and phrases appear in one or two header tags. Don't expect the search engine to parse your Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) to figure out which are the headlines -- it won't. Instead, use keywords in the H1, H2, and H3 tags to provide clues to the search engine. (Note: Some designers no longer use the H1, H2 tags. That's a big mistake. Make sure your designer defines these tags in the CSS rather than creating headline tags with other names.)

Embed Your Keywords in the First Paragraph of Your Body Content. Normally, search engines do expect that your first paragraph will contain the important keywords used in your Meta tag. This is the part that most webmasters must write an introduction to the content of the page. But avoid "keyword stuffing" or using too much keywords in your content. More is not better. The reason is that Google and other major search engines expects that the keyword density in the entire body text area is roughly used in these figures:1.5% to 2% for a word that should rank high. Therefore, trust me that you must not overdo it.

Using Descriptive Keywords in the "ALT" Attribute Images. This task can help visitors who are site-impaired and it is an additional help to get indexed in search engines. Reference to this can be found in this link: Images are part of media marketing campaigns that can get your site higher in the ranks from your chosen keywords.

Include Keywords in Hyperlinks. Making your keywords visible in every tag and function in your site can make search engines sense that your webpage is rich in the proper keywords and it tends to focus further on your site using this additional structure, Keywords used in hyperlinks that is in your body text tends to emphasize its importance even more. Sample webpage that you are linking to could have a page name with the keyword or keyphrase, such as web-marketing.html.

Avoid Flash and JavaScript Designs to Make it Search Engine Friendly. Websites that are designed on either Flash or JavaScript navigation menus are definitely not captured by any search engine. Search engines don't read JavaScript and Flash very well. If this cannot be avoided, the solution here is to supplement JavaScript and Flash menus with regular HTML links at the bottom of the page. Ensuring that a chain of hyperlinks still exists that take a search engine spider from your home page to every page in your site. One more thing, NEVER use HTML frames in your navigation system or else you might expect your site not being indexed by search engine spiders.

Another tip is that there are other content management systems or e-commerce catalogs produce dynamic, made-on-the-fly webpages. This often is recognizable by question marks in the URLs followed by a long string of numbers or letters. Some search engines sometimes do have trouble parsing long URLs and have greater chance of stopping at the question mark and refused to go farther. Once search engines as not been indexing your interior pages, then you might want to consider re-writing your URL's or include a site map.

Include a Site Map. A site map page is a type of content where all your links to all your pages are stated and this can be a great help for most search engines and even your visitors to find all your pages. This is more helpful if you do have a large site. There are lots of free tools in the web where you can create your XML sitemap and that they are used by major search engines so they can index your webpages accurately. Once a sitemap has been created, upload it to your site. Start submitting your new XML sitemap to Google, Yahoo!, and Bing then follow instructions on submitting a sitemap for each search engine.

NoteGoogle Webmaster Central does have a function where you can submit your sitemap. It even has a FAQ webpage where you can learn more about creating sitemaps. The best part here is that it is FREE.

Always Create Webpages That Has Your Target Keywords. SEO specialists no longer recommend using external doorway or gateway pages, since nearly duplicate webpages might get you penalized. Rather, develop several webpages on your site, each of which is focused on a target keyword or keyphrase for which you would like a high ranking. Let's say you sell teddy bears. Use Google Insights for Search and to find the related keywords people search on. Always write a specific content or article for each keyword you have used in every webpage of your site. Don't worry to much if you can't fully optimize all the webpages in your site. Just spend most of the time tweaking to improve your website's ranking.

Check Details of Your Search Engine Optimization. At this point, fine-tune your focused-content pages and home page by modifying a series of minor adjustments as needed. Software and freeware programs area available in the web that you can check your current ranking and even compare your webpages against your top keyword competitors. Google Analytics is another tool that check on every statistics you need for each part of your webpage.

Frankly, this kind of SEO fine-tuning is time-consuming, painstaking work that takes a lot of specialized knowledge. For this reason, many small and large businesses outsource search engine optimization.

Promote Your Local Business on the Internet. These days many people search for local businesses on the Internet. To make sure they find you, include on every page of your website the street address, zip code, phone number, and the five or 10 other local community place names your business serves. If you can, include place names in the title tag, too. When you seek links to your site (see #15 below), you should request links from local businesses with place names in the communities you serve and complementary businesses in your industry nationwide.

Also create a free listing for your local business on Google Maps Local Business Center and Yahoo! Local. That way your business can show up on a map when people do a local search.

Promote Your Video, Images, and Audio Content. Google's "universal search" displays not only webpage content, but also often displays near the top of the page relevant listings for images, videos, local businesses, and audio clips.  Therefore, consider creating such content appropriate to your business and then optimizing it so it can be ranked high enough to help you. For example, if you were to get a top-ranking, informative video on YouTube that mentions your site, it could drive a lot of traffic to your site. For more information, search on "optimizing images" or "optimizing videos."

II. Linking Strategies

Links to your site from other sites drive additional traffic. But since Google and other major search engines consider the number of incoming links to your website ("link popularity") as an important indicator of relevance, more links will help you rank higher in the search engines. Google has a measure called PageRank that reflects the quantity and quality of incoming links. All links aren't all equal. Links from trusted, popular sites help your site rank higher than links from lower traffic sites.

Submit Your Site to Key Directories, since a link from a directory will help your ranking -- and get you traffic. A directory is not a search engine. Rather, it is a hierarchical listing of sites sorted according to category and subcategory. Be sure to list your site in the free Open Directory Project (, overseen by overworked volunteer editors. But if you don't get listed right away, don't be impatient and resubmit, or you'll go to the end of the queue. A link in this directory will help you a lot.
Yahoo! Directory ( is another important directory. Real humans read submission, so be careful to follow the instruction given. Hint: Use somewhat less than the maximum number of characters allowable, so you don't have wordy text that will tempt the Yahoo! editor to begin chopping. Yahoo! Directory Submit ( requires a $299 annual recurring fee to have your site considered for inclusion within seven business days. Other paid business directories that might help are and

Submit Your Site to Trade Organization Sites and Specialized Directories. Some directories focused on particular industries, such as education or finance. You probably belong to various trade associations that feature member directories. Ask for a link. Even if you have to pay something for a link from the organization, it may help boost your PageRank.

Marginal directories, however, come and go very quickly, making it hard to keep up, so don't try to be exhaustive here. Beware of directories that solicit you for "upgraded listings." Unless a directory is widely used in your field, a premium ad is a waste of money -- but the (free) link itself will help boost your PageRank and hence your search engine ranking.

There are directory submission programs that complete a listing form in the software interface and submit them to directories automatically. Then they submit your listing to all the appropriate directories they know of, plus links to sites that require manual submission. It's a timesaver and works well. Just be careful to submit only to actual directories, not "linking sites."

Request Reciprocal Links. Find websites in your general niche and request a reciprocal link to your site. Develop an out-of-the way page where you put links to other sites -- so you don't send people out the back door as fast as you bring them in the front door. Your best results will be from sites that generate a similar amount of traffic as your own site. High-traffic site webmasters are too busy to answer your requests for a link and don't have anything to gain. Look for smaller sites that may have linking pages.

There are lots of free reciprocal linking exchange sites in the web that: (1) registers your site as willing to exchange links with other sites that have a similar theme/topic content and (2) searches for sites with similar topical content. Additionally, two automated link building software programs stand out -- Zeus and IBP Link Builder. Both of these search the web for complementary sites, help you maintain a link directory, and manage reciprocal links. However, use these programs to identify the complementary sites, not to send impersonal automated e-mail spam to site owners.

When you locate sites, send a personal e-mail using the contact e-mail on the site or to the administrative contact listed in a Whois Directory ( If e-mail doesn't get a response, try a phone call. Warning: Only link to complementary sites, no matter how often you are bombarded with requests to exchange links with a mortgage site that has nothing to do with your teddy bear store. One way Google determines what your site is about is who you link to and who links to you. It's not just links, but quality links you seek. Reciprocal linking as hard, tedious work, but it doesn't cost you a dime out of pocket! Keep working at this continuously, a little bit at a time. Patience and persistence will get you some good links, so keep at it.

Write Articles for Others to Use in Websites and Newsletters. You can dramatically increase your visibility when you write articles in your area of expertise and distribute them to editors as free content for their e-mail newsletters or their websites. Just ask that a link to your website and a one-line description of what you offer be included with the article. This is an effective "viral" approach that can produce hundreds of links to your site over time. You'll find lots of information on how to do this from the most popular article marketing site, When you create a free membership account, they begin sending you instructions and ideas each week.

Issue News Releases. Find newsworthy events and send news releases to print and Web periodicals in your industry. The links to your site in online news databases may remain for several months and will temporarily improve traffic to your site and increase link popularity. Use a online news release service such as PR Web. Placing your website URL in online copies of your press release may increase link popularity temporarily.

Two additional linking strategies as discussed below is to ask your visitors to bookmark your webpage and to develop a free service, which will greatly stimulate links to your site.

III. Social Media

Our next type of website promotion comes from the mushrooming field of social media, in which people are encouraged to interact with each other, and respond to each other's blog postings and comments. You should be aware of four types of social media: (1) blogs, (2) social networking sites, (3) social bookmarking sites, and (4) forums. Don't be upset if the distinctions between types of social media tend to blur. Social media help promote your site by sending direct traffic, producing links to your site, and generating awareness. The subject is too diverse to go into detail here.

Begin a Business Blog. Want links to your site? Begin a business blog on your website, hosted on your own domain. If you offer excellent content and regular industry comment, people are likely to link to it, increasing your site's PageRank. Consistency and having something to say are key. If you have a blog on a third-party blog site, occasionally find reasons to talk about and link to your own domain.

Become Part of a Social Media Community. Some of the best online communities for business include Facebook (, LinkedIn (, and TwitterDigg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, and Google Bookmarks. Search engine spiders troll these sites looking for links to something new and relevant. You can usually place a link to your website in your profile, but the biggest gain comes when other people mention you (which generates traffic to your site), link to you (which increases your PageRank and brings traffic), or bookmark you (which increases your PageRank and brings traffic. ( In addition, you may want to participate in a social bookmarking community in which members share with each other information about websites, articles, or news items that they like (or don't like). These include

One important reminder, don't join a community to spam them or talk incessantly about your business. Like any community you must listen, comment, and make a genuine contribution for the good of others. Don't hog the conversation. Otherwise, your self-serving links and comments will hurt your reputation. By the way, to get started, why don't you visit my social media pages and become a Facebook fan or a Twitter follower! Thank you!

Promote Your Site in Online Forums and Discussion Lists -- "old school" social media. The Internet offers thousands of very targeted e-mail based discussion lists, online forums, and groups made up of people with very specialized interests. Use Google Groups ( to find appropriate groups. Search online for blogs or other forums.

Don't bother with groups consisting of pure spam. Instead, find groups where a serious dialog is taking place. Don't use aggressive marketing and overtly plug your product or service. Rather, add to the discussion in a helpful way and let the "signature" at the end of your e-mail message do your marketing for you. People will gradually get to know and trust you, visit your site, and do business with you.

Ask Visitors to Bookmark Your Site. It seems simple, but ask visitors to bookmark your site or save it in their Favorites list. I use a widget called AddThis ( When you put the AddThis JavaScript on your webpage, it automatically determines the title and URL of that page. When visitors click the button on your page, they are automatically taken to a page that allows them to choose which bookmarking service they prefer, and then pre-populates the appropriate form with the title and URL of your webpage. I use AddThis throughout my website, as well as in my newsletters. If you have good content that people want to bookmark, this can generate hundreds of links to your site and significantly raise your rankings.

While you're at it, would you be so kind as to bookmark this page using the button below? Thank you!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

IV. Usual Marketing Strategies

Just because "old media" strategies aren't on the Internet doesn't mean they aren't effective. A mixed media approach can be very effective.

Include Your URL on All Correspondences. Make sure that all business cards, stationery, brochures, and literature contain your company's URL. And see that your printer gets the URL syntax correct. In print, I recommend leaving off the http:// part and including only the portion.

Marketing campaigns using traditional media. Don't discontinue print advertising that you've found effective. But be sure to include your URL in any display or classified ads you purchase in trade journals, newspapers, yellow pages, etc. View your website as an information adjunct to the ad. Use a two-step approach:

(1) capture readers' attention with the ad
(2) then refer them to a URL where they can obtain more information and perhaps place an order.

Look carefully at small display or classified ads in the back of narrowly-targeted magazines or trade periodicals. Sometimes these ads are more targeted, more effective, and less expensive than online advertising. Consider other traditional media to drive people to your site, such as direct mail, classifieds, post cards, etc. TV can be used to promote websites, especially in a local market.

Develop a Free Service. It's boring to invite people, "Come to our site and learn about our business." It's quite another to say "Use the free kitchen remodeling calculator available exclusively on our site." Make no mistake, it's expensive in time and energy to develop free resources, but it is very rewarding in increased traffic to your site -- and a motivation to link to the site! Make sure that your free service is closely related to what you are selling so the visitors you attract will be good prospects for your business. Give visitors multiple opportunities and links to cross over to the sales portion of your site.

V. Email Promotions

Don't neglect e-mail as an important way to bring people to your website. Just don't spam, that is, don't send bulk unsolicited e-mails without permission to people with whom you have no relationship. Many countries have anti-spam laws.

Install a "Signature" in your E-Mail Program to help potential customers get in touch with you. Most e-mail programs allow you to designate a "signature" to appear at the end of each message you send. Limit it to 6 to 8 lines: Company name, address, phone number, URL, e-mail address, and a one-phrase description of your unique business offering. Look for examples on e-mail messages sent to you.

Publish an E-Mail Newsletter. While it requires a commitment of time, creating a monthly e-mail publication is one of the most important promotion techniques. It could be a newsletter ("ezine"), list of tips, industry updates, or new product information -- whatever you believe your customers will appreciate. This is a great way to keep in touch with your prospects, generate trust, develop brand awareness, and build future business. It also helps you collect e-mail addresses from those who visit your site, but aren't yet ready to make a purchase. You distribute your newsletter inexpensively using e-mail marketing services. If you have a very small list, some of these services let you use their services free until you grow larger. Blogs are very popular, but don't really replace e-mail newsletters. You have to go to a blog to read it, while an e-mail newsletter appears in your inbox asking to be read.

Aggressively Ask for E-Mail Sign-ups. If you want to get subscribers to your e-mail newsletter, you'll need to work hard at it. Include a subscription form on every page of your website. Promote sign-ups through free whitepapers, e-books, or other products. If you have a local business, ask customers to sign up for your e-mail list to get "special Internet only offers." Also ask other businesspeople when they give you a business card if you can send them your e-mail newsletter. While only the e-mail address itself is necessary, I always ask for a first name also, so I can personalize the newsletter and the e-mail subject line with the recipient's name.

Send Transactional and Reminder E-Mails. A transactional e-mail is sent to an existing customer to initiate, remind, confirm, or thank the person. Be creative. If you keep careful records, you can send e-mails to customers on their birthday to remind them to return to your site. Subscription confirmation e-mails can also mention several popular products. You might remind customers that it has been three months since their last order and ask if it's time for a refill. Thank you for your purchase e-mails can offer a coupon to bring your customer back for a future sale. Use your imagination, but don't pester your customers. You're there to serve them, not the other way around.

Send Offers to Your Visitors and Customers. Your own list of customers and site visitors who have given you permission to contact them will be your most productive list. Send special offers, coupon specials, product updates, etc. They often initiate another visit to your site. If you have a regular newsletter, you can include many of these in your regular e-mailing.

Exchange E-Mail Mentions with Complementary Businesses. You might consider exchanging e-mail newsletter mentions with complementary businesses to reach new audiences. Just be sure that your partners are careful where they get their mailing list so you don't get in trouble with the anti-spam laws in your country.
I'll mention renting e-mail lists in below under Paid Advertising approaches.

VI. Miscellaneous Promotional Techniques

Here are a couple of strategies that don't fit elsewhere.

Announce a Contest. People like getting something free. If you publicize a contest or drawing available on your site, you'll generate more traffic than normal. Make sure your sweepstakes rules are legal in all states and countries you are targeting. Prizes should be designed to attract individuals who fit a demographic profile describing your best customers.

Devise Viral Marketing Promotion Techniques. So-called viral marketing uses existing communication networks to spread the word exponentially. Word-of-mouth, PR, creating "buzz," and network marketing are offline models. Promotion strategy above, "Write Articles for Others to Use for Website and Newsletter Content," is a kind of viral approach.

The key to the best viral marketing, however, is create something that generates buzz and is so cute / fascinating / fun / bizarre that it gets passed by viewers to their friends via e-mail and social networks -- thousands of times -- so that it propels more and more people to your website, and, hopefully, helps enhance your brand, produce sales, and ultimately boost profits. Internet marketers often seek to launch viral campaigns on Digg or YouTube. Digg is a social bookmarking site with such power, that if enough people "Digg" you, you appear on the Digg front page and receive a huge number of visitors in a few hours. If your video goes viral on YouTube, you could get tens of thousands of visits to the site you promote in the video. However, viral marketing is difficult to do well.

VII. Paid Advertising Campaigns

None of the approaches described above is "free," since each takes time and energy. But if you want to grow your business more rapidly, there comes a point when you need to pay for increased traffic. Advertising is sold in one of three ways: (1) traditional CPM (cost per thousand views), (2) pay per click (PPC), and (3) pay per action (PPA) or cost per action (CPA) approaches. Examples of the latter are affiliate program and lead generation programs. Banner ads get such a low click-through rate (0.2%) that I don't recommend paying much for them. Banner ads typically cost about 50¢ to $1 per thousand page views, except on targeted sites.  Do some small tests first to determine response. Then calculate your return on investment (ROI) before spending large amounts. Here are some methods to explore:

Advertise in an E-Mail Newsletter. Some of the best buys are small text ads in e-mail newsletters targeted at audiences likely to be interested in your products or services. Many small publishers aren't sophisticated about advertising and offer very attractive rates

More effective (and more expensive) is to send out an appropriate solo e-mail to the targeted list's subscribers. These often get a good response.

Begin an Affiliate Program. Essentially, a retailer's affiliate program is a CPA program that pays a commission to other site owners whose links to the retailer's products result in an actual sale. The goal is to build a network of affiliates who have a financial stake in promoting your site. If you're a merchant, you need to (1) determine the commission you are willing to pay (consider it your advertising cost), (2) select a company to set up the technical details of your program, and (3) promote your program to get the right kind of affiliates who will link to your site. Software and service companies are available to facilitate the process. The problem is getting enough affiliates who will actually work hard to promote your products or services. These "super affiliates" will probably consist of only 1% to 3% of your total number of affiliates.

Purchase Pay Per Click (PPC) ads with Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, or Microsoft AdCenter. This strategy is way down the list, but it is vitally important. Most Internet businesses will want to explore using Google AdWords to drive targeted traffic to their websites.

These PPC ads appear on the search engine results page, typically both above and to the right of the organic or natural search engine results. Since they are keyword-driven, they can be quite relevant to what a searcher is trying to find. Your ranking in this list of paid text ads is determined by (1) how much you have bid for a particular search word compared to other businesses, (2) the click-through rate on your ad, and (3) your Quality Score, which reflects the relevancy and quality of your ad and the landing page it points to.
PPC ads can be a cost-effective way to get targeted traffic, since you only pay when someone actually clicks on the link. But I strongly recommend that you study this carefully and expect a learning curve before you invest large sums of money in PPC advertising.

List Your Products with Shopping Comparison Bots and Auction Sites. If you're an online merchant, you'll want to consider this. Shopping bots compare your products and prices to others. Some work on a PPC (Pay Per Click) basis, others on a CPA (Cost Per Action) basis, perhaps with a listing fee. Bots to consider include mySimon, BizRate, PriceGrabber, and Shopping sites that include comparison features include: eBay, Yahoo! Shopping, Craigslist and Amazon Marketplace. You pay to acquire first-time customers, but hopefully you can sell to them a second, third, and fourth time, later on.

Rent targeted, commercial e-mail lists. The last website promotion technique I'll mention is renting targeted e-mail lists. We abhor "spam," bulk untargeted, unsolicited e-mail, and you'll pay a very stiff price in a ruined reputation and cancelled services if you yield to temptation here. But the direct marketing industry has developed targeted e-mail lists you can rent -- lists consisting of people who have agreed to receive commercial e-mail messages. These lists cost $40 to $400 per thousand or 4¢ to 40¢ per name. Do a smaller test first to determine the quality of the list. Your best bet is to find an e-mail list broker  to help you with this project. You'll save money and get experienced help for no additional cost. Realize, however, that due to the high cost of renting lists, many businesses won't generate enough businesses to justify the cost. Run the numbers before you invest.

I think I have covered every detail you will need to certainly promote your site. To effectively market your site, you need to spend time adapting these strategies to your own market and capacity. Right now, why don't you make an appointment to go over this checklist with someone in your organization? Make this Checklist jump-start for your new Internet marketing strategy. If you need further assistance, email me your details and I will be glad to discuss your concerns.

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