How to Get Customers to Your Business Web Site

The Internet is a big place, and getting bigger everyday. Having a business Web site does no good if nobody can find it. You need to promote your business's Web site through both online optimization for search engines and offline promotion if you expect to reap any rewards from it.

Online optimization

A search engine like Yahoo! and Google can comb the billions of Internet pages to find the information you need. One problem with search engines is that they’re so incredibly thorough. The simpler the search, the more millions of hits (sites that fit the search criteria) will be returned. Another problem is that no single search engine covers the entire Web.

Don’t worry about getting your site listed on more than eight or nine search engines. Each person may check one or maybe two of the major engines, so don’t bother with the little ones.

Each search engine ranks the sites using different criteria — and those criteria change often. the algorithms that the engines use to rank sites are highly secret, but some common elements never change. This ranking system is why finding a Web site developer who understands how to optimize your site for search engines is so important.

Search engine optimization (SEO), is a subject all its own. If you want to find out more — a lot more — about SEO, check out the Search Engine Optimization All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.

Offline promotion

You can do a lot offline to let people know you have a Web site, too. Put your URL on everything: brochures, business cards, direct mail, newspaper ads, radio and TV commercials, stationery, t-shirts, pens, tiepins, refrigerator magnets, your storefront sign, even your answering machine or voicemail message — in other words, everywhere you would put your phone number or street address.

Give people a reason to visit your site. Offer something free, such as information about an amazing diet or a free t-shirt. Most people who see your URL on a billboard won’t rush home to view your site unless something is in it for them. Offer convenience. Offer online ordering. Offer something.

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