SEO and Site Promotion Tips to get your Website Noticed.

Originally written by Dean Evans in computer arts project magazine (with additional commentary by Martin Torres.)

How to stand out online.
With billions of blogs and web sites vying for eyeballs on the Internet, how can you make yours stand out from the crowd? It’s no good putting up a portfolio website and hoping that people will just find you. You’ve got to market yourself.

This process starts with having a good, easy-to-navigate website and strong content. But it’s also about getting out there on the web – interacting, chatting, commenting, advertising, Twittering, Flickring, and Facebooking…

The key thing to remember is that there is no magic bullet in terms of site promotion. Instead, boosting your web profile (and ultimately your visitor numbers) is a combination of several tactics that can have long-term benefits.

In short: you need to optimize your site so it can be found easily by search engines; you need to tell people where your site is; and you need to provide something good for visitors to read once they get there. What follows are 17 tips designed to get your site noticed.

1. Know your keywords
Most websites get their traffic through search engines like Google and Yahoo. So what are the search keywords that you need to tap into? What might people type into Google to find the site or article you’ve written? Test out search terms yourself by using tools such as Wordtracker and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.

2. Use your keywords effectively
Optimizing your site by embedding relevant keywords in your content is an easy way to make it more visible to the search engines. At the very least, your site’s title tag should include key words that best describe your skills, like “designer”, “illustrator” or “writer.” Take a look at www.bentheillustrator.com

3. Buy your own domain
Kind of makes sense. But there is still a lot of people out there that don’t do it.

4. Add keywords to your images
Use relevant keywords to extend the filenames and ALT tag to images on your website.

5. Start blogging
Search engines love fresh content.
http://chrisgrayson.com
http://gigantico.squarespace.com

6. Create unique content
It might be obvious, but by having fresh, entertaining, useful and free content, you’ll encourage people to link to what you’ve created.

7. One idea at a time
Be focused.

8. Spread the word
Unless you start promoting yourself, nobody will know about your blog or website. Be sure to put your URL everywhere. Emails, business cards, letter heads, facebook.

9. Get listed
Boost the visibility of your website by submitting it to directories and other places that list blogs or get a free business listing on Google Maps.

10. Work with a partner
If you’re a writer, this is a no brainer.
http://frozenswisscakerolls.com

11. Share your stuff
Social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and Twitter are great ways to publicize your blog or website. You can also have a RSS feed to keep people updated to any new work you may have.

12. Keep your site interesting
Once you’ve gotten people to your site, don’t disappoint them. Show them that you’re more than a pair of hands. Related posts. Free downloads. Your favorite design sites. And of course, make sure your contact info is easily available.

13. Give something away
Free wallpapers anyone> And if you do, don’t forget to make it available in a range of resolutions. And, of course, don’t forget to brand it with your URL. Subtly, of course.

14. Launch your own shop
If you’re into working on designs that sell, why not set up your own store> You can do it easily with off the shelf shopping carts and a PayPal account.

15. Internal linking
Be sure to link to other people’s site. If you are a designer, link to writers. Or if you are a writer, link to art directors or designers you like to work with.

16. Content marketing
Encourage people to link to your site.

17. Keep tabs on you
Set up a Google account and set up Google alerts to monitor mentions of your name and website

Adapted from hand-out @ Metierlienk Creating Winning Portfolios, May 2009.

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About brohanyc
interaction design, information architecture, content strategy.

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