|In the early days, around 1995, there
were so few Web sites that one could conduct a 30-day whirlwind of publicity and sit back
while enthusiasts clicked to the site to check it out.
Today, thousands of new Web and other online sites appear daily. Many are boring, and most have little reason for existence. No one cares about a new Web site today. Web site promotion now requires time and:
Competitive environment audit: You will have finished identification and analysis of the competition if you have done an online audit before building your Web site or online offering. However, if you have not done an online audit, survey the competitive environment before promoting your site. Shotgunning publicity to editors with a site that is the "same-old same old" will sink your communications effort.
Enhancements for online visibility: If you have done an online audit, enhancements to increase visibility have been part of your planning. If you have not done an online audit, make improvements after your competitive environment audit. This might require re-design of the home page, site content and hyperlinking. Sometimes it is expensive, and sometimes it is minor adjustment.
Search engine listing strategy and implementation: This is design of home page content and Meta Tags to achieve a ranking in listings that make your site readily visible to searchers. You should be prepared to modify your site to achieve higher placement in query results.
Publicity/Event/Launch programs: When you have done all of the above, your site publicity program should be focused and strongly targeted. You should know exactly the target audiences and editors you need to reach online, in print and in electronic media. You can build a precise press kit with carefully written releases, screen shots and supporting data that is of immediate interest to editors and readers.
If you are one of the few lucky organizations that has sole ownership of its niche online and tens of thousands of visitors daily, you don't need Web site promotion.
Chances are, however, that you are not one of these organizations. This means site promotion is a part of site maintenance. It also means that you need to keep a continuous eye on your competition and be ready to shift or meet strategies designed to lure target audiences from you.
If your site is specialized and designed for a few audiences, you still need to remind them of what the site is about, where it is and how to use it to their advantage.
To get started in online promotion, see Web references and sources.
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