Step 18 – Promoting the website

A finished website will not immediately attract visitors. No one knows about it yet. There are thousands of search engines on the web. Yahoo, Google, Bing, MSN and Lycos are a few of the best known engines.

Some search engines are FFA, free for all. They accept all links and might not even check the website when you submitted it. Others check the website first. However most search engines user spiders. They’re robots that scour the web in search of websites. Sometimes you can point them into your direction by submitting your URL, but most of them find your site by the Meta tags you programmed into your site. The information included in those Meta Tags and the rest of your document will determine where your site will be placed among the search results. Thit proces is called indexing.

Use META tags to specify details of your websites’ keywords and description. Any information the robots can index.

META Tags are placed within the HEAD-tag, but after the TITLE-tag. To specify keywords you use the following code:

<META NAME=”keywords” CONTENT=”webdesign, html“>

Place your own keywords at the attribute CONTENT. Make sure they apply to the websites’ content. You can add as many keywords as you like, seperated by commas. Do keep in mind that nog all keywords will be indexed (accepted and used) by the search engine. Usually they limit the amount of keywords they accept.

To add a description, you use the following code

<META NAME=”description” CONTENT=”This website includes a HTML course and other webdesign tips“>

Place your own description at the attribute CONTENT. Make it brief and make sure it applies to your websites’ content. Try to repeat some of the keywords you’ve placed earlier. Also repeast a keyword or more in the TITLE tag. A robot will take that into account and rank your site higher. A search engine might also cross reference the rest of the site to the keywords, so make sure the keywords are repeated in the text.

The above Meta tags are the most important to use, but you can also tell a spider robot if he’s even allowed to index the file. If you want it to index all the files, you use the following code:

<META NAME=”robots” CONTENT=”all”>

You can use the following options with the CONTENT attribute in this case:

none – index nothing located in this domain

index – index this page

noindex – don’t index this page

follow – follow the links mentioned on this page to see if they are allowed to be indexed

nofollow – don’t follow any links to other pages to see if they are allowed to be indexed

Once you’ve added your META tags you can submit your site to search engines. Most of the engines allow you to submit a site and most of them are free. Others ask for a fee.

You can surf to each search engine and manually add your site or use websites that allow you add your site to various search engines at once. Some software is available for this too.

Some search engines take 2 or 3 weeks before they add your site. Most of them will not let you know when they’ve declined indexing your site to their database.

Another option to promote your website is a banner-exchange program. This means you have to add a banner of someone else’s site to yours. Usually the rule is that two views of their banner on your site equals one viewing of your banner elsewhere.
Paid advertising with banners is another option you could consider.

Go to Step 19 or learn more about search engines

 

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