Once upon a time I read (tried to read) a book about on-line marketing. It was authored by Caroline or Catherine Seda, if I’m not mistaken. It was so complete disaster, that I left this book in the train, where I was reading it. Out of nearly two hundreds pages (or something around this) I was able to write-down only thirteen or so interesting ideas. Rest was a total blah-blah and a complete waste of my time.
I present these ideas here, supported a bit by my own thoughts. I divided them into two groups — one group of tips and tricks to be used on your everyday journey through Internet and the other one to be considered when building your website.
1. It is always a good idea to put link to your page anywhere you can put it. On expert pages or discussion forums or on partner pages, blogrolls etc. Always respect site’s owner rights and never spam or try to go opposite rules or the only thing, that you achieve, will be a negative response.
2. If you sign yourself anywhere, try to add your website address as well (as long as “local” rules allows this). That includes discussion forums (i.e. in your signature area), blog’s comments, portal pages, discussion sites etc. If you comment on WordPress-powered blog, always fill up “Website” field even though it is optional and not shown in every WordPress theme.
This will give you two great effects. First is an obvious, visual connection to your website, “captured” by all human visitors. Second is the same connection put to page source (i.e. even if blog theme doesn’t display particular field it can still have it hidden in page source), which is crawled by millions of robots, web-crawlers etc. each day. You always have a chance that such URL to your website may be considered as “link to page in external source” which can boost-up your Google Page Rank, increase credibility, bring some audience etc.
3. If site’s or blog’s local rules don’t allow you to use URL in signature or posts then you can always register a user name, that points to your website. I’ve seen many, really many sites disallowing their members and readers to post links, but actually I have never seen even a single website, blog or forum that would disallow to register
mysite_com or even
mysite.com as account login / username / display name instead of another
johndoe156. This may bring a mediocre response, especially from old users and admins, but as long as you’re in line with local regulations, the this is fine.
4. You can consider creating QR code, encoding your webiste URL address into it, and using it instead of forum’s or blog’s avatar. You can even put it as your gravatar, Facebook or Twitter profile’s image etc. You’ll gain two interesting effects. Not only your sending your website URL to the outer world, doing this in a polite and rules-friendly way, but you’re also triggering a rule of reciprocity (in form of curiosity), world’s most powerful psychological (social influence) mechanism. Many users may be simple curious to find “what is behind that code”. You’ll receive many visits and some positive response.
5. Blogs and pages are to be read, not to just hold your comment with an URL to your website! By reading some page or blog article at least thoroughly you’re extending your knowledge and you’re getting catch-point for your opinion and comment (that includes website link). You must do all you can to convince blog owner or article author that an URL to your website is just an addition to a great comment or good discussion and not a purpose for itself.
6. You should never, ever fall into emotions in comments. Cool professionalism — is what all your comments and opinions should be based on. You should never offend others and should never react with aggression, even in an act of open attack. In most cases emotions are part of provocation. Do not feed trolls. Even if you’re 100% convinced, that other person is a complete moron, you should never loose your calm and fell into emotions. If there is really nothing polite, that you can say, then simply don’t say nothing. There is nothing better than professionally ignored troll or toiled-flushed Internet idiot.
As a rule of thumb or some kind of summary: Whenever you’re leaving any trace of your existence in the Internet (especially the one that is linked to your website) then you should always do this in the way, that you would like to see it, when reading some other person’s comment or opinion. And in the way you will never be a shame of.
1. Web-crawlers, web spiders etc. are more intelligent than you think. They like and prefer quality content and keywords that corresponds to that content. Thus you should avoid as much as possible all the stuff like webrings, web farms etc., that includes links only or links supported with some random, irrelevant keywords or useless, unrelated, auto-generated texts.
Today web spiders are based on AI algorithms and are pretty damn good in finding differences between good quality text with correctly added keywords and some junk-text with randomized junk-keywords. Finding your page’s URL on such URL-junk may be even taken as browser spam and may actually reduce your search rank instead of growing it up. Avoid any automatic keyword, text-generating solutions as much as possible. They mean only one thing — troubles!
2. Always consider creating website map or links directory with all the useful links in your website. It will not only help your visitors find, what they’re actually looking for, but can also attract both visitors and web spiders to visit more and more subpages of your website.
3. Never ignore
HEAD elements in your webpage code. Especially
keywords. Many may tell you that they’re not used anymore. But, hey!, you never know, when some web spider will give a more credit to your website only because fields expected by it are found to be filled it. These are hidden parts of your website, a meta-data for your browser (and web-crawlers!), so there is no harm in having them filled.
4. Both browsers and web spiders strongly bases on website semantics. Thus you should always use tags such as headers (
h6) and other semantic tags (especially all those introduced in HTML 5) instead of “mimicking” their behaviour with styled
divs. Using headers and other semantic tags has another advantage, which is making website map (see first point) building process semi- or fully automatic, instead of updating such map manually.
5. If your page’s structure is about to be change at any point of time you should always build redirects basing on server-side solutions (i.e. HTTP headers with 301 response code) and never, ever client-side functionality (i.e.
6. If you have more than one domain pointing to the same page, you should never park these additional domains as DNS-based redirect. Instead, you should always create separate pages (even simplest ones, with just a bare text explanation and a link to your “main” page). Once again: web-crawlers loves external links and good quality of content instead of any automatic solutions. Each of these domains with a simple webpage and a link will be most likely treated as an external source pointing to your “main” page and thus will be boosting up your “main” page’s SEO score.
7. You should never, ever use “hidden text”, i.e. the one printed with color equal to background color or with tiny micro-font. Keep in mind, what I have said previously about artificial intelligence algorithms used in web spiders. They can detect stuff like this in a lightning speed search (matching text color to image used as background is no problem for them) and throw your page’s scoring deadly, because this is one of the most famous SEO spammers technique. As a rule of thumb is, that you should never go below 7pt (or 9px) font, the smallest considered as human-readable and you should never use text in the same color as surrounding background.
8. Public Relations is an area that is closely tighten to website marketing, so you shouldn’t forget about it. Your webpage should contain at least small subpage for media information. You shouldn’t of course glorify your website, company or project too much or do anything else that will be received as not natural.
9. A good idea, yet time and money consuming, is to publish a weekly or monthly news bulletin about your project, page or company. It should be always delivered to those, you clearly expressed interest in receiving it and it should always contain at least 75% of tips, guides and news from the area of your company expertise, that might be useful to anyone interested (not just to your client) and only up to 25% of auto-promotion or company self-marketing.
As a rule of thumb to summarize: think about your website, project or company as a regular client, potential customer or — the best — completely unrelated person. Always put only this kind of content (and in this way), that you would like to see it on any other company or project website. Never, ever do anything, that you — as a single person — would consider wrong or incorrect. It is as simple as that. Never do to others, what you dislike.