Re: How to promote a Web site?

Subject: Re: How to promote a Web site?
From: cchris -at- toptechwriter -dot- us
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 15:12:59 -0700

Hi, Steve

I posted my site ( last October and now have
my company listed pretty close to the top (if the right search terms are
used) on the major search engines (AltaVista, Inktomi, Looksmart, Jeeves,
AllThe Web are the one's I've ended up on so far).

My first recommendation is that you be patient. Google added my site less
than a month after I submitted the form, but it took Yahoo another month
and the other sites three before they all had it listed.

Some sites search on meta tags, some on content. Google, for example,
looks at site content when searching. When I first set up my site, I made
sure my meta tags were fully loaded with the right terms, but when I
searched Google using those terms my site never appeared. That's when I
realized that Google looks for search terms in the actual site content. So
I re-designed my site to add a text introduction that contained the
important terms. Within 2 weeks, my site was scanned again and I could
search for my site using combinations of terms I could reasonably expect a
potential client to use (technical writer, marketing communications,
portfolio, photo editing, isometric illustration, Frederick, Maryland,

Many sites do search on meta tags, so don't neglect them. AllTheWeb uses
meta tags when constructing your site description and they allow searches
on terms in the meta tags.

In my opinion, Google is the best site since they let you submit a form to
have your site added to their database (Yahoo uses Google's service, so
you have two major search sites covered in one blow). They also update
pretty often, in the six months that I've had my site it's been scanned
four times.

As far as moving your site up the listings, join the club. The only ways
I've seen for doing that involve scamming the search engines by having
other sites link to yours, but it's perilous and I think pointless. In my
case, if someone is looking for a hardware-oriented technical writer who
can illustrate in Maryland, he'll search for that and my company will
turn up on the first page. If you expect potential clients to just type
"tech writer" and have your name pop up at #1, I think you'll be
perpetually disappointed. (I suppose that one legit way to get people to
link to your site would be to provide some kind of service or information,
which is why you'll see writer's sites that list reference books for tech
writing and the like, but that takes work to maintain. Someday, when I
have the time, I'm going to put up a tutorial on isometric illustration,
but I digress...)

One more thing, there may be private pages that you don't want scanned and
there's supposed to be HTML codes that'll prevent web crawlers from
scanning those pages. But I found most search sites ignore those commands
and scan anyway. So don't put anything up you'll be chagrined by later.

Award-winning technical writing and illustration services.

> Within the next few days I will be posting a dramatically altered and
> updated Web site for my business, Oppenheimer Communications, which
> provides technical writing services. I'd like to ensure that when people
> search for writers, technical writers, or technical communicators on the
> Web, my site shows up prominently near the top of the listings.
> I went to Yahoo to check out their paid offerings for increased Web site
> visibility, and it's one of those cases of too many options -- I can't make
> heads or tails of what is what. All I want is to spend no more than a
> couple of hundred dollars, on a one-time basis, to increase my Web site
> visiblity. I want things so that when people do a search on Google or
> Yahoo for technical writers, there is a reasonable chance my company shows
> up near the top of the listing. (The question is, what can I do by way of
> paid fees to achieve this; I've already optimized the pages in terms of
> keywords, links, and such.) Can anyone who has been there/done that walk
> me through the process, and tell me what options/services/features I'm
> looking for?
> Thanks in advance for all replies.
> Steve O.


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