There are many ways to promote your website, but we often forget some of the most effective. Let’s review my 11 ways to promote your website.

Headers, Tags, and Titles – Search engines continue to evolve but there are a few things you still can do to give them a clue about what’s on your website. One is to include your keywords in header tags. Additionally, craft a one or two sentence description that explains the content of each page, including some keywords from the page. This should go between the Head tags. Finally, you should write short, descriptive titles for each page. Don’t use the same one for each.

Keywords – Look at your website copy. Are your keywords in the first paragraph? They should be because that is where the search engines expect to find them. But don’t go overboard with keywords.

SEO – The above tips actually are fairly basic SEO activities, but there are some higher level SEO tactics that will help raise you site above the crowd. Hyperlink your keywords to make them stand out for both search engines and for carbon-based web visitors. Make the linked keyword more noticeable to search engines by linking it to a page that uses the keyword in its address. For example, if you hyperlink the phrase “ad agency” the page to which it is linked would have “ad agency” in its address to raise its profile. While we’re linking, let’s make these linked pages truly focused on information about specific keywords. If you really want to place your SEO program on steroids, purchase one of the software packages that helps you analyze each page on your site for its appeal to search engines.

Submit – There are both search engines and directories where you will want to submit your site. Key search engines for url submission include: Google, Yahoo, MSN Live Search, AOL and Ask. More than 95 percent of search volume happens at these engines. So, don’t bother too much with all the small fries. And it is not hard to complete free registration for these engines. Typically, they will have a link that says something like “add your URL.” There are a number of directories like DMOZ.com where you will want to submit your site, too. And, I think it is worthwhile to pay the $299 at the Yahoo directory. There may also be directories specifically for your industry.

Link – Develop a linking program where you solicit links from sites that cover the same topics as you. This directs traffic from those sites. Additionally, it tells search engines that you must have something worthwhile on your site if others are linking to you.

Write – Articles, blogs, news releases – all of these can help you increase your exposure and drive traffic to your primary website. Craft your “About The Author” box to include your web address. Once your article is picked up by other publishers, this will become a one-way link to your site, possibly helping boost your search engine ranking. Submit your press releases to PRWeb. I get a ton of traffic for myself and clients using this service.

Go Email – Develop your own e-newsletter, like Think, to help drive repeat traffic to your site. I use nTarget for my email marketing. Then, archive the newsletter on your site. This solid content tells search engines that there is a reason to visit you. Try to get other enewsletter publishers to mention you, consider trading ads with other publishers, or just buying ads outright. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a good email signature to drive site traffic.

Give Yourself A Promotion – Sponsor contests or develop your own promotions and then submit them to contest directories like Contest Hound. You could give away copies of your book, e-book, or white papers for people who sign up for your newsletter. Give away your product or service to randomly selected registrants. This is a good way to build your list of contacts so you can then drive them back to your site.

Pay The Man – ReachLocal is my pay-per-click ad engine of choice. If you are truly local, this is a cost-efficient way to reach people in a specific market only. However, you also can launch nationwide campaigns, too. You deal only with ReachLocal and it handles placing and paying for the ads with multiple publishers. It works for budgets of all sizes.

Speak Up – All right, let’s go analog. There is no better way to make a good impression on a large number of people at one time than to deliver a good speech. Be sure to have business cards or some type handout that lists your website. Every time I do a presentation I see a spike in web visits and enewsletter sign-up.

Go Offline – Look at every printed piece that you have. Is your web address featured prominently? Is it in small type or – horrors – not even there! Businesses with fleets of cars and trucks should have the web address on their vehicles. Think about other physical places you can promote your site.

Those are my 11 ways. Get to it.

About the Author

Harry Hoover is a partner in advertising agency My Creative Team. He has 30 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Bank of Commerce, CruisingTheICW.com, Duke Energy, Focus Four, Levolor, North Carolina Tourism, Premier, Rubbermaid, TeamHeidi, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX, and Verbatim.