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How I increased my web site traffic:

By Victoria Ring
Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I personally make a living on the internet. But don't make the assumption that I have lots of money. I don't. Being able to stay home and work whenever I want is worth much more to me than a bulging bank account and three new cars sitting in the driveway.

If you think along the same lines that I do, this article will help you to market and increase traffic to your web site. You are probably someone who truly loves your business and you have the desire to work at building it. The only problem is you don't know where and how to work.

When I first got on the internet I would post classified ads to the free boards, participate in discussion groups, and do everything I was told to do by other internet marketers. But after a year, I really wasn't making any money. I was struggling to stay in business every day. One week I might make $50 and the next week $10. I was working hard every day, but the methods I used to market were not working for me.

I knew I had to do something different -- but what? Here are a couple of things that worked for me:

Posting to Web Site Directories

I noticed a big increase in my web traffic when I get listed in a new directory. Take my ezine, BizLinks, for instance. I went to every search engine and did a search for the word "ezines." I then went through the entire list and read all the descriptions. When I came across a web site that offered a directory or a compiled list of different ezines, I would visit the web site.

Next, I would take the time to look at the directory before jumping in and adding my URL to the list. This was necessary because I had to check and see if other ezines were listed in the directory relating to entrepreneurs and home businesses (my particular target market.) If I found ezines listed here for my particular audience, I would then send the webmaster my URL and description, asking to be placed in his/her directory. I normally said something like: "How can we get listed in your directory as a resource? We publish BizLinks for Entrepreneurs with a subscription base of 11,000+ located at ( In compensation for listing our ezine in your directory, we would be more than happy to publish your URL and 30-word site description free of charge in the next issue of BizLinks. Just let me know by replying to this email."

Nine out of ten webmasters were more than happy to list BizLinks free of charge in their directory, resulting in a lot more traffic for the web site as well as new subscribers.

You will also find, when going through web sites that provide directory-type listings that many of them have a place where you can suggest a resource or fill out a form and list your URL. Some ask for you to put a button and link on your web site (linked back to them) in order to be listed in their directory. Others just list you free.

However, if no form is provided and no link for adding your URL can be found, search around until you find an email address or a "contact" link for the webmaster. This could take some time, but it's worth it. You will discover that some webmasters make it hard to find their email address on purpose, because they want to "weed out" all the spam-type mail. But most have links like "more about us," or "how to contact us", or "company info," etc. On these pages you normally can find some email address to contact the webmaster directly and request to be listed.

If worst comes to worst -- you can always try sending an email to webmaster@__________. For instance, if you were on a website with the URL ( you could try sending an email to This is no guarantee the email address is correct, but there is a possibility your email will be read by the webmaster since this is a normal, universal address for contacting the owner. It doesn't always work, but most of the time it does.

Submiting Individual Pages to Search Engines

I didn't stop at Submiting my index page to all the search engines. I listed every single web page on my site in the relevant category for it. However, before Submiting my web site to search engines, I spent almost three weeks going through all my web pages and getting my META tags in order. META tags are words that you encode at the top of your web page that do not show up when viewed normally.

It's not as hard as it sounds. To encode your web pages in Netscape Composer, you simply click on "Format", then "Page Colors and Properties," then select the "General" tab button.

Now, just fill in the form. You start by typing in the title of your web page. If the web page is an article, type the name of the article in this box. If the web page is an order form for books, type "Order Form for Books" in this box. In other words, type a unique title for this particular web page that singles it out and tells the person exactly what the web page consists of. This process could take you several hours, weeks or months, depending on the size of your web site, but it's okay to change this information at any time as you increase your marketing skills.

Next, type in the name of the "author." I personally type my company name in this box, but you can type in your own personal name or the name of your cat. It doesn't matter.

Next, type in the "description" of this page. This space is used similar to the way a "subtitle" would be used in a book. The title you typed above should be no longer than ten words, but the description box can contain up to twenty-five words and should be used to further explain what this particular web page is all about.

Finally, the most important box is the "keywords" box. Although I don't recommend that you use mine, I will provide the ones I use only as an example: advertising, classifieds, hosting, marketing, ezines, freebies, free, entrepreneurs, homebased, soho, biz, publications, business, books, graphics, clipart, homebased business, web design, start-ups, internet books, how-to books, how-to reports, technical support, training, Netscape, Windows 98, consulting, Honest Internet Business Community, Christian, Victoria Ring, Graphico Publishing, Columbus, Ohio, Bristol, Virginia, Bristol, Tennessee, how-to videos,

Notice that I have separated each keyword with a comma and space. This format is necessary for the search engines.

For those of you who don't use Netscape, here is the HTML code to use at the top of your web page to create the META tag: (Make sure this appears before anything else, at the very start of your web page.)
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html;
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Type your description here.">
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Type your keywords here">
<META NAME="Author" CONTENT="Type the author name here">
<TITLE>Type the title of your web page here</TITLE>

When you have done this for all your web pages, it is now time to submit them to search engines. And I don't mean going to one of those free services that submits your web site for you. Those are fine if you only want to submit the main page of your web site. But I didn't stop here. I visited every search engine, typed in a keyword I used in my description, such as "advertising" and located a subcategory relating to the type of advertising I offered (internet advertising). I would then click on this subcategory and add my URL there.

It took me several months, but eventually I had every page on my web site individually Submited to Yahoo, Lycos and Excite (three of the most popular search engines on the internet at this time.) This really boosted my internet traffic and I finally started selling products on a daily basis.

But these two ideas are just the beginning. I'll tell you more about other marketing techniques that help me as I go along. You will come to understand that I never write an article about something I "think" will work just in theory. Instead, I actually live the experience, work out all the bugs and put my marketing theory to the test before I write about it as a personal experience. All I can hope for is that something I say helps a small business person to succeed and do well -- whether in my lifetime or the world that comes after mine.

About the Author
This article was written by author, Victoria Ring, President of WebPrint Publishing. To contact Victoria directly, write PO Box 09654, Columbus OH 43209-0654, call 614-237-0846, email or visit her website at (


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