There are a couple things that need to be done in order for your users to get to your website.
Tell people your web address (aka url & domain address).
Yes it’s simple as that. http://portfolio.bizarreXpressions.com There are clients who are not techies and don’t know what a web address is, how to get to it, or that it’s different from the search bar, as some browsers have a search on the upper right. Some people also think to get to the website, they have to search it first. Let people know they can type it in their address bar to get there directly. Add it onto your business cards, flyers, email footers, social networking sites, resume, etc.
Submit your website url to search engines.
There is no way a search engines automatically knows you exist to show you in their search results, until your website url is in their database. Depending on the search engines, once your website is submitted, it can take weeks to months before your website is accepted/rejected, and then “crawled.” Some people get upset when they find out that it takes time, but be patient. Search engines get thousands of requests per day. That’s just how it is. The web developer has no control over that.
You can manually and individually submit though the search engine’s website (look under Help to find out how) or use free online tools that automatically submit your website to multiple popular search engines for you. Just be careful as some have catches (like having to sign up for offers or getting newsletters that can lead to spam). Also make sure you don’t accidentally submit multiple times or
Google’s form is:
For automatic submission, I used to use http://www.submitcafe.com
Tell your friends and business partners to link to your site.
The more people who link to your web site, the more visibility. The theory is that it may even increase your visibility in search results, which makes sense because sometimes search engines might pull up other people’s sites which link to your site.
Do not pay search engines, pay for advertisement services.
Like I said, you can’t pay off search engines to put you on top, (it’s like bribing and hindering search result quality), BUT you can pay for services like Google’s Pay-Per-Click to be shown as you see in the advertising area on top and/or side of Google’s web pages. I haven’t tried that myself, but I heard it’s a good way to advertise.
Facebook has advertisement programs as well and Meetup has a way where you can sponsor groups in exchange for advertisement space. The negotiated details are between you and the group organizers. Sometimes they may just want you to simply cover for their monthly costs to be on Meetup.
An alternative is you can also negotiate with web sites to post your advertisement on their website in exchange for money or an add of their site on yours.
Search Engine Optimization/Marketing (SEO/SEM)
A lot of people want to be on top of search engine results. But remember, there are thousands and thousands of other web sites who are using the same basic key terms like “watch.” Some companies hire SEM’s, services that focus on engineering your site to be on top of search results, in hopes to be on the top.
But beware. Search rankings change everyday, as people compete to be on the top and some of the techniques/practices SEO providers use may violate search engine policies and get your website banned all together. Read search engine policies, and be alert of practices that will do more harm than good. I’ve witness first hand established companies violating the policies, and I think it’s only a matter of time before they get caught and jeopardize their business. I’ll probably get into the details in another blog entry, but just remember, no matter what SEM claims, no one can 100% guarantee that they can make your site to the top. Think about it, if everybody is paying for these firms to get them on top, you’re also competing with them as well.
Google Maps, Business Directories
If your business has a location. Request your website developer to register google maps and put one on your site; (they must know how to edit code). By doing so, when users look up “Asian Food” Stamford, CT, for example, Google usually shows related business location, a map, and a link to websites. In addition, including your website url to the yellow page listing would help as well.
So those are some of the things you can do to get your website seen on the web. Most importantly, tell people your website address and submit your website link to search engines.