For most people new to the world of website creation and that side of the Internet in general, there seems to be a lack of understanding when it comes to the most important aspect of why you have a website in the first place. That small detail is getting it put in front of eyes to see it.
Many believe that all it takes is to have a website and the world will come to see it as if by magic. When you get a little more seasoned in thus business, you soon learn that's not the case at all. Let's take a more familiar example.
As Simple as Reading a Book?
Producing your first website is similar in some ways to publishing a book for the first time. You do all the hard work putting it all together with graphics and design for the front cover (homepage), researching the information you're going to put in it, writing all the content for the story (web pages) and send it to the printers to be printed in bulk ready for sale (get hosting and hit the publish button).
Then you sit back and wait for the readers to beat a path to your door.
Well if you did that with a hardcopy book, you can pretty well be sure that your path will remain clear and your door will not get knocked on. Why? Because no one will know the book exists until you do some promoting through advertising to tell people it's there!
Same goes for a website. If you don't tell people about it, no one will come read it. So what's the best ways of letting people know your website is there for the reading?
The obvious way is to advertise, but that can cost a great deal of money especially if you go through media such as television, radio and buying ads in newspapers and magazines. If your budget won't stretch very far, these avenues of promotion will be closed to you, so you need other ways of getting the word out to save money.
Luckily, the Internet provides us with several free or very cheap ways to promote a website and get it in front of the eyes that you want to be reading it. Let's take a look at some of them.
The first place you need to look to get your site in front of the most eyes for the least amount of outlay is the search engines. Google, Bing and Yahoo are the big three and to get your site indexed in their pages doesn't take any work on your part as they will find your site and if it's worthy of gracing their hallowed pages, they will reward your hard work with a placement.
Problem is, that placement will almost certainly be several pages back from the place where most eyes are looking, which is the front page! So your site may be listed on say page 3 or 4, but almost no one ever searches that deep for something. Worse, if your site is ranking for its name (or your name) it won't even matter if it's top of page one if no one knows who you are!
Until things change sometime in the future, the search indexes are run on keywords, or those words that people type into the search box to find information or whatever it is they're searching for. Some keywords attract a lot of searches, so websites that occupy a high spot on the front page will get a lot of visitors searching on those keywords.
So you are probably thinking, "Great, I'll call my site Credit Cards and get a guzillion peeps looking at my site!" Well, your idea is in the right place, but you'll soon learn that there is a business model for websites and the keywords that get the most searches are usually the ones that also attract the most money for advertisers.
That means there is a lot of money riding on having a website occupy the top spots for big volume keywords and your little site with its budget of a few bucks doesn't stand a snowballs hope in hell of ever joining them in those lofty positions.
Suffice it to say, unless you target low volume, low competition long tail keywords, you're still not going to get eyes on your website via search.
A better way to get visitors to your site is to do some "guest blogging." That's writing articles to publish on blogs that already have good traffic numbers. You can find blogs on a wide range of topics that happily accept guest posts from other writers and even allow you to place a live link back to your website that visitors can click and find your site.
The trick here is finding blogs that match the topic of your own website. Think about that. Someone with a blog on electrical goods is not going to want your article on fluffy socks (assuming your site is about fluffy socks). You'll need to find blogs that are about clothing and then you might score some gusts posts.
Another way to get traffic to your site is to get active on forums that are focused on your topic. Get yourself known, be helpful and never spam your site in forum posts. Most forums will allow you to include a link to your website in your "signature" which is a box that gets displayed beneath your posts.
This can result in some traffic to your site depending on how helpful and knowledgeable you are on your subject in the forum and of course how active the forum is. Some have many thousands of members active on a daily basis, so this is a source of traffic that should never be ignored!
You could go the route many site owners go which is to write articles and publish them on article directories. This method is less effective as a traffic source unless you stick to the big, reputable directories like Ezine Articles for example. However, traffic to these places is a fraction of what it used to be since their search rankings were decimated through too much very low quality content being published on them.
So there are some ideas that you can take forward to get your new website put in front of the people you want to visit it. Whatever you write about on there, it should be interesting, engaging and helpful for your visitors, because good sites will have their visitors return and build a following over time. Bad ones will not!