Getting your web site seen
Nearly all Webmasters are eager to bring in as much traffic as possible. The most important ways to do this are 1.) Word of Mouth, 2.) Search Engines, 3.) Links with relative sites, and a poor number 4.) Advertising in traditional media.
Word of mouth is up to you. If you have a good, attractive, useful, friendly, people-oriented site your visitors will return and tell others about you. Your site has to be kept fresh.
There are zillions of recondite tricks (thirty links to an invisible GIF, for example) and just as many tricksters out there claiming to boost your search engine position. Search Engines are aware of these and try to stay one step ahead (actually behind) them. Don't try them; they are not worth it.
Lots of people promise you high placement for a fee, sites that will submit your URL to 10, 50 or 100 or more search engines. These are advised against. Do the work yourself.
I highly recommend The Write Market. This includes a search engine tutorial and a submit page that tells you what the major search engines want and links you to their submit pages. Read this carefully.
Either use their submit page or submit your URL to the major search engines from here:
Several of these are not technically search engines but directories (see above) and this trend is growing. Yahoo! is the leading search engine (actually a directory) and placement is important there, though sometimes difficult.
A recent study shows that only a fraction of web pages (there are some five billion) are covered by search engines. They are trying to rectify this. Google (my favorite) now has over a billion indexed.
Partnering your site
Relevant links into your site are an increasingly important means for search engines to rank it. Put up a link page and actively promote reciprocal links. For TheBeadSite fill out this short form.
You may want to build banners (for example to advertise on TheBeadSite). The better the banner, the better the click-thorough rate. The best word on a banner is "Free," but don't use it unless you have something of value to give away.
Another important phrase is "Click here." A surprising number of people don't know that this is what you are supposed to do with a banner. Your design should be clean and to the point. The color combination should be pleasing. A static banner should be no more than 7K bytes large. Here is more information.
Maintaining your site
Keeping your site fresh is important. If it is static, people will not revisit. Search engines also drop static sites. Big sites take a lot of work, believe me. You will either have to block off a lot of your time or pay someone handsomely to keep your site current.
Either way it is a big commitment. Don't get in over your head. If you are new, think small at first. You can always expand later.
Part Six: Updates
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