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Marketing Your Internet Site: 5 Easy ways to drive traffic to your site

By Ben Blakley
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2004

1) Make your site great.

Put everything you have into to it. What are you interested in? Focus on your strengths and interests. Write something useful. Write something new. Make some lists (ie. top 10 ways to ....). Ensure all titles, links, meta tags are properly coded.

2) Develop your target audience.

Who are you marketing your site to? Although some sites may appear to be general interest - i.e yahoo. You want to focus on users who will bring the most value to you. Find the underlying purpose of your site, most of the time, it is to get information out to a specific group of people, and increasingly more popular now to have e-commerce sites. But again, you are offering information on a product or service or multiple products and services, and then providing the online sale. Depending on the underlying purpose of your site, you will be able to quickly identify the value target audience.

3) Build the community

Now comes the fun part. You have to build a community of website frequenters. Not visitors, visitors are guest, people who stroll in and stroll out. In order to build a community, you have to keep your site fresh with new content that will keep users coming back. The internet term is sticky content. Now I am not just talking about getting those free syndicated content news article links from, or other companies. I am talking about writing your own content. Or getting other peoples work (you have to have their permission of course). Many writers would love to have their work posted on many websites around the world, developing and growing their exposure. They will likely ask for a text-ad with their name, company, and link back to their website.

Another area, which you should use to keep your site up to date is to, build a library of relevant links. Use the target attribute in the anchor tag so the link opens in a new browser window. An important part of this step is ensuring that you have submitted your site to all of the major search engines. Don't bother with those paid submission schemes. They often are more hype than what they claim to do. One of the most important things to consider when submitting to search engines is the coding of each page, unique titles on each page, then have corresponding text in the main body. Also make use of the ALT="" attribute, especially if your site has a lot of images.

Ensure that you take a look at specialty search engines for your industry / value target. / geography. IF you are a Canadian site, you would want your site listed in all of the major Canadian search engines (Sympatico and so on). If your site deals with automotive products, you would want to be listed on various automotive specific directories. One site,, provides a list of search engines in the various categories. IN addition, a simple search for "Automotive Search Engines" on goggle would yield you something.

4) Get the WORD OUT.

Make it known that you are out there. Issue multiple press releases on interesting services offered on your site. Ensure that you have Unique Differentiation Content and Services, which you can advertise. Send out your custom press releases to editors in your value target. If you are selling something, or if you are providing a service (ie. discount travel packages) contact both print-magazine, newspaper editors. As well as web-guide, online based guides, and portals, as well as relevant e-zines. Relevant meaning, the majority audiences of which match your value target.

Value target: The most applicable target which will maximize your purpose. For a business this would mean long-term profitability. If your website provided a certain service, you would target not necessarily the broad users, rather you would go after the users would be willing to ante up the cash for your service. So you have to look at, should I target a bunch of people, and get a lower response rate. Or should I target a specific group of people where I will get a higher response rate. In order to target this group, you may have to differentiate your service a bit to attract the needs of this group. All of these relates back to the price you are charging for the item, and the costs associated with advertising. On the internet, it is often more effective to differentiate your service, then target a more narrower group.

4) Keep that community going:

Involve your site community as much as you can. One of the best ways to do this, is to set-up your own e-zine, online newsletter. You already, probably have a fair chunk of content on your site, why not bundle it up into a newsletter. Provide a few new articles, hints, tricks, links, downloads, contacts, how-tos, etc. each week, when you are done sending these out each week, you can add it to your repertoire of online content. By doing this you are accomplishing 2-fold, you are getting the new content on your page in a consistent basis, which will pay-off in the long term. Secondly, the e-zine helps build your community, by keeping users coming back to your site. A neat business model, if you provide a lot of really useful content, is to setup a subscription based service to your premium content. You provide the free newsletter with some free content, then you include short blurbs of various reports, and in-depth articles on your site. In order to access these you require a subscription, password and id. You can setup your own merchant subscription service using PayPal .

5) Ok you have completed steps one through 4.

Now what? Well, you need to continually keep up with updating the site, and growing the site. At this stage you need to focus on your core competency, go back to your purpose, and decide on revamping, improving, or expanding these services. In addition, you may want to provide, special buttons, and banners for your site visitors to link back to your site, or subscribe to your e-zine.

You should be well on your way, now its time to go back to step 1. Remember , you can never leave your site without updating it and expect substantial growth. Keep the community growing.

About the Author
Ben Blakley is a passionate internet e-commerce guru, who operates an online marketplace for businesses and consumers to sell goods and services. View the site online at (


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