Once you have created your website content, you have to attract your audience to it. Use these ideas to promote your site to the internet search engines and encourage external links.
1. Submit your site to search engines. The Open Directory project lists your web pages on the major search engines for free. See: http://www.dmoz.org/add.html
2. Write a descriptive title for each page. Use just five to eight words. Ensure that this is marked as ‘title’ in the html code. This page title will appear hyperlinked on the search engines when your page is found.
3. Make sure you have keywords in your content. They should mirror what users would type to find your pages (most search services index each word in an html file. Use short, accurate descriptions to identify ALT attributes within IMG (image) tags.
4. Metatags. These are embedded in a website’s html code but do not appear when viewing the site. They help search engines to index your site content. Use them.
5. Ask for reciprocal links. You can gain visibility on search engines as well as attracting more visitors by having other sites link to yours. For example, you can publish links to your consortium partners’ websites and ask them to return the favour.
6. Submit your links to directories. Search for the major research actors in your field such as well-reputed web portals, and have your website added to their link section or directory.
7. Issue news releases and submit to press wires. Send news releases about your events and achievements to print and web periodicals. This may attract journalists to look at your project and publicist it.
8. Offer content for others to use in their newsletters and sites. You can increase your visibility when you write articles in your area of expertise and supply them to editors for their newsletters. Just ask that they include a link to your website and a one-line description of what you offer.
9. Send out email newsletters. Though it takes a lot of time, consider publishing a monthly e-mail newsletter. This is a good way to bring users to your website. But remember – it is important not to spam, so do not send e-mails without permission to people who do not want them.
10. Promote your website everywhere. At conferences, in web forums and in your email signature. Include your web address on business cards and promotional materials. Ensure that all reprints of cards, stationery and marketing materials contain your web address.