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You’ve just got a new website and it looks beautiful, but unless you take some active steps to promote it, it will just sit there like a new car without any gas and empty tires. 

If you are not sure where to begin, here are seven steps that are free or inexpensive. All of them will help you to get your new website rolling. 

1. Tell Your Friends – Often we are thinking about reaching the unknown millions of people out there surfing the Internet, but we are forgetting the hundreds of people who we already know. Look at your e-mail address book and get the word out, tell your business contacts, friends, relatives and tel them to tell their friends too. Send an e-mail to all the people who made inquiries or bought products or services from you in the last year. 

2. Link to Your Own Site – Once again we are often thinking about getting some unknown people to make a link to our websites and we are forgetting possibilities that are nearby. If you already have one website, make sure that this site is linking to your new site. A website without any incoming links to it will have a very low page ranking in the all-important Google search engine and will face an uphill battle to be seen in Google search results, especially if you are in a very competitive category. 

Even when your site is in the construction stage you, or even your web designer can link to the new site from another already well-established site, mentioning that the new site is under construction. If you already have several sites, then link them to your infant site. It will help the new site to be seen in competitive search engine listings even in its debut period. 

3. Get a paid inclusion in one of the big search engines. It takes 4-6 weeks to get listed in Google, and other search engines are equally slow. However there are a few fairly important search engines that have inexpensive express inclusion programs. If you join these programs, then your site will be listed in 48 hours. Inktomi, which provides results for MSN and 100 other search services, has an inclusion program which  costs $39 for the first URL that you submit, and subsequent ones cost $25. The value of the Inktomi submission is that they revisit your URL every 48 hours and if you make changes on the page you can see the results in the MSN listings very quickly. Thus, you can tweak your pages and see how it affects your position. 

Similarly there are paid inclusion systems for Teoma (which feeds the popular Ask Jeeves Search Engine), Alta Vista, and Lycos. 

4.Add your site to the Open Web Directory and the major search engines. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to search engine submission. Forget about the sales hype that tells you to add your URL to 300, 000 search engines. Only a few search engines and directories provide the lion’s share of Internet traffic. If your site is in good shape, no longer under construction, then go to This is the Open Web Directory. Find the category where your site fits, and make a submission. If you are accepted here your site will appear in the many search engines and local directories that use the results from the Open Web Directory. Inclusion in this directory usually takes time but it will help you a lot.  Similarly submit your site to Google, Alta Vista and All The Web, these are the remaining giants where you can submit for free. 

5. Start a reciprocal links campaign – Once you have given yourself a link from your other sites or from your designer’s page, you can go out and ask other complementary sites for links. As I mentioned, these incoming links will help your page rank in searches but they will also generate traffic. If you can find specialized sites or directories dealing with your particular product or service, then a link on one of these sites can provide a large amount of targeted traffic. 

6.Write an article about your product or service – If you have a website the chances are that you are an expert in the field that your site is all about. Write an article about your product or service, or write an article related to the subject matter of your site. Submit the article online to various websites and e-mail lists dealing with your topic. The publication of your article in a big e-zine, or on a popular web site can get your new site off to a roaring start. 

7. Promote Your Site Off-line – Now that you have a site, put the URL on your stationary, on your cars and trucks, in your brochures, business cards, your newspaper and TV advertising, and circulars. You can also put it on hats, t-shirts, mugs and other items. The has a program enabling you to put your URL on these items and even sell them online. 

If you follow all or some of these steps your new site will definitely receive visitors and within a short period can become an important asset to you.

This Web Marketing article was written by Donald Nelson on 3/22/2005

Donald Nelson is a web developer, editor and social worker. He has been working on the Internet since 1995, and is currently the director of A1-Optimization (, a firm providing low cost search engine optimization, submission and web promotion services.