Your Webmaster should be optimizing your site to get the attention of search engines but that doesn’t mean you can just sit back and wait for customers to break down your virtual door. If you want to make an impact you need to work the program too. There are several things you can do to help the visibility of your Web site and drive customers and potential customer to it.
Register your domain name for more than one year. I realize that some hobby-type businesses may not feel comfortable committing to a Web site for more than the first trial year but domain names are relatively cheap so this investment will be worth it if you decide to stick around. It can even help you stick around.
At around $10 per year you can get more search engine bang for your buck by owning your domain name for 3 to 5 years. I recommend buying your domain name for 5 years. Then every 3 years renewing it for another 2 to 3 so you always own your name for 3 to 5 years out. If you don’t register your own domain name, your Webmaster can easily take care of that for you but it is up to you to decide how far in advance you want to pay for your domain name and how often you want to renew it.
Drive people to your site. The more organic traffic your site gets, the better the search engines like it, and the more they will help drive people to your site. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Organic traffic is users reaching your site without using paid advertising from other sites or from pay-per-click search engine advertising. Put your Web address on EVERYTHING!!!
- Business Cards
- Email (link directly to your site)
- Pens, Cups
- Client Gifts
This list can go on forever. Be creative and promote your domain name whenever possible.
Register your location with Google Maps. This is something that you must do yourself or at least be involved in. I’ve had clients ask me to do this for them but because a code is called into the business phone number you will have to be involved in the process. To add yourself, go to maps.google.com. Click the link in the left hand column that to add your business on Google Maps. Follow the instructions and you should be good to go.
Check to see that your site follows WC3 Web Standards which will make it easier for search engines to find your site. While your Webmaster should be insuring your site is written using these standards you can validate your code here: http://validator.w3.org/unicorn/. If your site doesn’t meet these standards it may be time to talk with your Webmaster.