This session/page is not updated beyond the conference
of January 30, 1998,
by Eric Ward - The WardGroup
(NetPOST & URLwire tm)
Awareness Building For Significant Web Launches and Events
This presentation and all hyperlinks can be
During this presentation, we will cover the following topics...
Prep Work: Getting ready for site promotion
|Whether you are doing awareness-building for your own site, or for multiple sites for your clients, you will want to create a text file that contains your key Web site information. This file can be created in any Word processor or other program that allows you to easily cut-and-paste into submission forms. Some submission software and services will store this information for you. More on that later.|
1). Company Name
2). Company Address
3). Company Phone / Fax
4). Title of your Web site
5). URL of your Web site's homepage, and the URLs for the key sub pages as well
6). Contact Person Name
7). E-mail Addrsss for that person
8). PHONE #
9). Keywords for your Web site - discuss...
10). Category headings for your site
11). 15, 25, 50, and 70 WORD description of your Web site
12). A list of the special technical features (Java, Shockwave, VRML), with URLs
13). News Release for sending to the Internet Media folks
Once we have this file ready, we
can begin some URL submissions,
and we have our first major decision to make:
Q?...For the search engines and directory submissions, do we...
1). Do it yourself, manually, one submission
at a time
2). Do it yourself, using an autosubmission tool
3). Outsource the task to a third party who uses an autosubmission tool
4). Outsource the task to a third party who will do it manually
A: #1 For
now, let's go on the assumption that we are going the
My experience has been that submissions
to hundreds of untargeted
general directories and search engines *DOES NOT* automatically
result in regular high traffic at your site, and there is no correlation
between numbers of search engines submitted to and traffic generated.
What the heck does that mean in human
More submissions is not automatically better.
Since a good portion your site's traffic
will come from the biggest 10-15 general search
engines and directories, you should be sure to submit your URL to them, and then get
more focused and topic specific, submitting to resources that make sense for your site only.
Next, and just as important as ALL of the above categories are...
What is the subject of your Web site? The chances are very good there are specialized directories and other net-based resources that someone or some group has created just to help people locate sites in that subject area.
An example for non-profit groups is GuideStar
An excellent place to look for others
which lists about 400 directories and search engines in 15 categories
- Title tag
- Meta Keyword Tags
- First paragraph of text
- Total word occurences
The absolute best possible tutorial
on how the search engines work
is produced by Danny Sullivan, and is called SearchEngineWatch
Beyond that, the best way to learn
about these things is at the
actual search engines specification/help pages:
AltaVista [ http://www.altavista.digital.com/av/content/addurl.htmhelp ]
Excite - [ http://www.excite.com/Info/listing.html ]
HotBot - [ http://www.hotbot.com/addurl.html ]
Scoring explanation - [ http://help.hotbot.com/faq/score.html ]
Infoseek Ranking & Submission Help - [ http://www.infoseek.com/Help?sv=IS&lk=noframes&pg=meta_tag.html ]
Lycos - [ http://www.lycos.com/help.html ]
WebCrawler - FAQ page [ http://www.webcrawler.com/WebCrawler/Help/FAQ.html ]
OpenText - FAQ page [ http://index.opentext.net/main/faq.html ]
My rule:Study, Adjust, Submit. It's Miller Time... A little present just for NPO folks...
Ethical and Unethical Search Engine Strategies
Keyword Stacking, Spamdexing, Fontmatching, Title Packing,
Keyword Gateways, Page Replication, Metajacking
How a search engine can become your
Infoseek and the
7, 3 word limit
1). Many Web sites have an inventory of banner
ads they donate to
2). If you don't have any banner ads, some companies
will make them
for you for free.
3). Some banner exchange services donate space to non-profit organizations
4). Some online companies have free programs that
to non-profit groups
5). Spree.com helps non-profit organizations build
e-commerce enabled stores
for free, and split the proceeds with you.
whole new opportunity, and paradigm
A new genre of media and editorial publications & contacts
Standard services like PRNewswire must be augmented to reach
the right online media contacts
Make sure you find the right editors for your your subject
of the Email News-release
Understand the differences between the many Email
news-release services -
Here's a Comparitive Feature Chart for the better known Email
news release services. Use it to help decide which servie is best for you.
For Web site launches, events, and Web products, a service like The URLwire
For tech products, a more general service like GINA, or BizWire
Automated vs. Non Automated - a different worry...
1). You are using the auto-submitter's submission form, not the actual search engine's form. This means that you are depending on whoever created the automatic submitter to create a perfect "mirror image" of the "real" submission form for every search engine. My experience has proven to me that they fail more often than they work.
2). They completely miss most powerful outlets that you need to be reaching, because they only submit to the the most basic and "automate-able" outlets. They totally miss the "people" outlets.
After 4 years of experience making
submissions individually, and hearing the horror stories from clients who
tried to use an automated tool and had terrible results, I do
not recommend the use of "auto-submission" services. If
you do choose to use an automated tool, I feel that Scott Bannister's "Submit-It"
(Web or New Desktop Software) will cause you the least pain and suffering.
One last thought on the human factor and missed opportunites
Some personal observations and recommendations for maintaining your presence over time...
Search engines and directories represent just one part of the awareness-building process. Search engines and directories are a good starting point, but you are missing an enormous number of other resources if they are all you submit to. What I recommend you do is accept that YOU must WORK at it regularly, even if you do outsource parts of the process to a third party service.
Your site can be more than just its homepage URL. Make it a destination with a sense of purpose.
Do you offer a mailing list? Promote
Do you offer a Web or Email "zine"? Promote it. http://www.zinerack.com
Do you offer content relevant outside
the U.S.? Promote it.
Consider using full time help, possibly via internships.
Outsourcing the URL submissions
and news-releases, or other awareness-building activities to a third party
makes sense if you have few staff and if your time is at a premium.
To find some high quality, proven companies that specialize in awareness building for Web sites, use the following:
When opting for a 3rd party submission service, the cost can vary wildly, depending on who's doing the submissions and how deeply they are customizing the campaign for your site. A quality site launch submission campaign should cost about $1,500 or less for a one-time service. For ongoing services, prices are typically negotiable.
Ten Things to ask any Web Site Promotion Company Before Hiring Them http://www.netpost.com/tentoask.html
Clickviews: Writings on the art
and insanity of Web site promotion
Collection of Site Announcement and Promotion Links