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Don't Put All Your Promotion Eggs In The SEO Basket
by Gary McHugh © Copyright.

One of the most frequent questions I get asked by my clients
is "What is the best way to promote my site?" If a brand new
webmaster asks me that question, then I will take as much time
as I can possibly muster to answer their request, before they
learn about and put on the SEO and ranking blinkers so many
webmasters wear with pride.

Allow me now to state the obvious, the success of any website
is in direct proportion to the amount of visitors it receives.
If success is about visitors, then why on earth would any
intelligent business person devote 95% of their promotion time
and budget to a single method of advertising their site?

Imagine for a moment you are the advertising executive for a
large automobile company. Your company has just released the
most economical car ever and your job is to make sure everyone
knows about it.

Which of the following would you do?

1. Place a full page ad in one or two car magazines, then spend
the next year rehashing and tweaking the wording of that ad,
because it wasn't creating the sales you wanted.


2. Advertise in every magazine and newspaper you can find, start
national TV advertising campaigns, make sure you have slots on
every commercial radio station in the country, advertise on
billboards, in cinemas, sponsor sporting events and what ever
else you could think of.

It doesn't take a genius to work out the second idea is a much
better plan. Now this may come as a shock to you, but the major
search engines are not the only source of visitors to your
website. Many SEO gurus are quick to point out to you that
search engines are the only way to achieve substantial traffic.
That is simply not true. One disturbing idea promoted heavily
by the SEO world recently is that "Links are dead". My answer
to that idea is, if links were dead then there would be no web.

Links are how people travel the web, whether they are text links,
banners or email links. To visit any site you need to click a
link. Google itself is one enormous searchable link database.

Let's states something even more obvious. Google is not the only
site on the web that links to other sites. There are directories,
there are banner exchanges, and the big one there are hundreds
of millions of other websites. How many of those carry a link to
your site?

For any keyword or phrase on the major search engines there are
millions of sites vying for just 10 first page places. Are you
really devoting all your promotion time to SEO with those kinds
of odds?

There is also much talk of the value of links, and nearly all of
it is based on the value of links in a search engine's eyes, and
how that will or will not improve your rankings. STOP!!! You
need to get this!!! The value of a link is how many times it
gets used, clicks and visits, NOT rankings.

While many will object to this statement, SEO is nothing more
than educated guesswork. Why do I say that? Simple, because
Google, Yahoo and MSN do NOT tell  SEO experts how they order
their results. Just the opposite, they regularly change how
their results are ordered to stay one step ahead of the SEO
experts. Why do they do that? Because they do not want their
results manipulated, period! They want one thing, to deliver
accurate search results.

Don't take my word for this, go and get the words from the
horse's mouth here.


Notice that all the advice is geared towards building your site
for visitors not for search engines.

If you really want to build steady long term traffic to your
site, then advertise your site in every legal way you can. Yes,
it requires time and a consistent effort. As a wise man once
said " The only place success comes before work is in the
dictionary". In closing, how many of the following have you
used to advertise your site? If you haven't done them all maybe
you need to.

Have you?:

- Listed your site in a couple of hundred directories?
- Exchanged quality visible links with at least 200 sites?
- Exchanged banners with sites in your genre?
- Started a small pay-per-click advertising campaign?
- Written articles to do with the genre of your site and offered
  them to other sites for free inclusion in their newsletter or
  on their site?
- Had your site reviewed by a review site?
- Donated a product or free membership to a competition on another

These are only a few promotion methods that will bring visitors
to your site. There are many many more, if you use your
imagination. This is also advertising that will not be undone in
one minute by a Google algorithm change.

Am I saying don't optimize your site? NO, I am saying don't rely
totally on SEO for your traffic.

Are you putting all your promotional eggs in one basket? If so,
isn't it time you stopped and gave your site the best chance of

Gary McHugh is co-author of HonestLinks.Net
(http://www.honestlinks.net), a site dedicated to teaching
webmasters to exchange links that bring traffic. He also runs
his own web design and hosting company 2001web.com

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