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Twenty Promotional Tactics to Hit It from All Directions

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there."

"All roads lead to Rome."

"The journey is the destination."

Surfing the web is a journey. Cyberspace is a huge place. We often end up not where we intend to be at all. It may take us to some wonderful places we would never discover should we follow a guidebook. Many of us, I'm sure, have looked for a particular restaurant only to find it full or closed upon arriving. By chance, the one next door was new, not listed in the directory, and open for the evening. Had we not gone to the first restaurant, we would have missed out on this one altogether. Similarly, the top-ranked site from a particular search may not be the one we want, but one of its links may lead us to a new heaven.

Apply the common sense of your daily presence to your web presence. Make yourself easy to be found. Locate your web site next to a well-known one. Some people register domain names that sound like something famous or familiar. Make your web address easy to remember. Like going to a cocktail party, it is much easier to remember a name that is fitting to the person. For instance, I named my web site analyticalQ after myself. Anne Ku is an-alytical Q (ku) because I am analytical.

Promote your site in all sorts of ways to allow visitors to get to your site in all sorts of ways. Here are twenty tactics to "hit it from all directions". I have added my personal examples to illustrate.

  1. Word of mouth: effective if your web address is easy to remember and spell
  2. Mention your site in conversations, letters, email and all correspondence: just as you would include your name and address, why not your URL?
  3. Get mentioned outside of cyberspace: newspaper, magazine, mail shots, etc. This targets people who do not use search engines, read Internet news articles, or surf the net.
  4. Direct mail: identify people who would be interested in your site. Email and tell them why they should visit. Do not spam. Make it personal. Recently I emailed an ex-colleague that I have now included research on something she was interested in.
  5. Include your URL in your email signature file: this way you won't forget. If your email is forwarded to someone else, chances are your signature will also be included.
  6. Talk about your web site in chat rooms: participants can check out your site right away and give you feedback.
  7. Discussion groups: identify relevant discussion forums and participate - inviting members to visit your site. In my high school discussion forum, I tell my alumni classmates that I have just written a new diary entry about a favourite teacher.
  8. Join web rings: visitors to other sites in the web ring will probably visit your site, too. I discovered a web ring called "Free Sheet Music" that welcomed me with open arms. My page visits shot up the following month.
  9. Submit to different search engines: do this every two months. You need to make sure your meta tags are efficiently and effectively deployed for this.
  10. Submit different parts of your web site to search engines: especially if your site content spans more than one subject. My site contains music, art, writing, travel, web site building, energy, decision analysis, to name a few.
  11. Reciprocal links: search competitor or related sites. The top-ranked sites will be the ones most visited. Suggest a link exchange with them. Some sites don't require reciprocation - even better!
  12. Make it easy for others to link to you: have a "link to us" web page on which images and associated HTML code appear. This allows others to copy and paste your link right away.
  13. Get listed in a directory or guru link page: these are web pages that contain links of links. I continue to get lots of visitors to my UK immigration web page because it is linked from a comprehensive law site.
  14. Be a critic: write reviews of books, movies, events, (travel) destinations, restaurants, etc. Mention your web site in the review. My last book review was displayed on a web site for two weeks and included in a newsletter sent to almost 30,000 subscribers.
  15. Write articles: Internet articles that remain in cyberspace (especially those that get picked up by search engines) will direct readers to your site. This continues to be the greatest generator of sustained traffic over time for me - on immigration, weather, weddings, and reflexology.
  16. Create search forms that others can put on their web sites: I have seen this on weather web sites, calendar and time web sites, and other sites with powerful search engines. People are always to trying to add useful features to their sites.
  17. Include sticky features or tools on your site: for example, virtual postcards, free email facility, foreign exchange converters, physical converters (volume, length, etc.)
  18. Offer freebies that include your web address: it is free advertisement for yourself. I include my URL in all free sheet music from my site. If they get photocopied and passed around, my web address will get passed around.
  19. Collect visitors' email addresses: have a guest book to allow them to comment on your web site and offer to give them an update if they leave their email address with you. Build a relationship with past visitors.
  20. Show sincere appreciation for your visitors: respond to their entries in your guest book, respond to all queries big or small, be polite and thankful always. You'll be surprised at how many visitors return.

Anne Ku built her personal web site at It contains original music, art, and writing inspired by her travels and pursuit of flexibility.