Specialists in Internet Web Sites Since 1995
Online Marketing for Book and Publishing Web Sites: What should we
© 2000 - 2003 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.
As soon as
we establish a Web site, we register with the most important search engines and
directories. Many publishers then move on to the next project, considering the
sites online marketing to be complete. But search engine registration is
only the foundation of a good marketing plan. Successful publishers build a
good foundation and use that foundation to establish their online marketing
program. The following seven steps are crucial:
- Page preparation. We must prepare the Web site pages so that every
viewer can understand the goal of the site. In addition, add non-visible Meta
tags on each page to enhance the standing of the pages in search engines. Optimize the pages for the search engines, particularly Google.
See full discussion of this step.
- Site registration. We must register the site with the critical top
three paid inclusion search engines. Register with Google and with at least another 5 directories to obtain wider coverage.
See full discussion of this step.
- Strategic linking. We must research specialized directories and
complementary sites, then request the site owners to add a link to our site.
The number of links inbound to a site has always been important. Now some of
the most influential search engines are using the number of inbound links as a
measure of the importance of a site. Strategic linking is a marketing activity
which should be ongoing for the life of the site. We should spend time every
week searching for appropriate sites, then asking each for a link to our site.
- Traffic measurement. We must monitor the site logs to determine
whether the traffic is increasing, decreasing, or remaining stable. We want to
keep the traffic increasing or stable at a reasonably high rate. If the site's
host does not offer software for reviewing the site logs, we must install such
software, because it's important to track the results of our marketing efforts.
- Site rank evaluation. We must audit the sites standing in the
most important search engines. The search engines change their selection
algorithms frequently, and they are constantly receiving new registrations, so
a sites standing can change from day to day. If we find that our ranking
is not high enough, we research the difference between our site and any
competing sites which rank above ours. Then we find a legitimate way to improve
our key words or description, then we register our site again to increase its
- Referrer logs. We must review the list of referring sites in the
logs for our site. If we find that we never receive visitors who searched on
one particular search engine in the top ten, we register with that search
engine again to improve our ranking.
- Signature File. We must create a signature file in our e-mail
software so that every e-mail we send gives our Web site address and a short
summary of our business. In fact, every communication from our office, whether
e-mail, letter, fax, brochure, or book, should carry the Web site address.
These are the first seven steps in site marketing, and future columns will
introduce some of the more advanced techniques. Start devoting time and
attention now to marketing your site.
~ Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. is an Information Architect
who publishes both in print and online. Contact her at
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