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5 Ways to get your website noticed
by: Maui Reyes
Your website is just one of the billion sites parked on the World Wide Web. Chances are, you donít think yours will ever get noticed.
We hear your cries for cyber attention. Here are five ways to get people clicking on to your site.

1.) Make sure itís professional looking.
No one likes looking at website that reminds them of a book report they wrote back in school. Invest in learning a good web design program (Dreamweaver MX and Microsoft Frontpage are good picks), and let your creative juices flow. Make sure itís compelling, well-designed, and organized. People donít exactly find it fun to weed through haystacks of cyberfiles to get the information that they want.
On that note, donít make it a heavy site. Putting up some flash intros may be great eye candy, but the average internet surfer only waits 10 seconds for a page to load, and then theyíre off to the next.

2.) Put your URL on every search engine possible.
Putting your URL on business cards and bugging your family and friends to check out your site wonít exactly increase traffic. Submitting it to search engines will make it easier for people to find you, provided that your webpage carries the topics theyíre looking for. To understand how a search engine works, think of it as a ďspiderĒ: it crawls through your website, picking up words and information which would later be indexed in the search engineís database. So make sure you pepper your site with keywords you think are relevant to what people are looking for. Web directories, like Yahoo!, are operated by humans who actually categorize the websites themselves.
If you donít feel like submitting your website to numerous directories, consider subscribing to sites like www.submit-it.com, who, for a fee, will automatically submit your site to search engines and directories for you.

3.) Link everywhere.
Find other sites that carry similar content as yours and ask to exchange links. Create banners to be placed on other peoplesí websites, and offer to the same for them on your site. Add your URL on your e-mail signature. Join webrings if you mustóthereís nothing like strength in numbers.

4.) Advertise offline.
The world of cyberspace isnít enough to get you noticed. Write up press releases and send them to local newspapers and magazines. Print out fliers to be distributed. Just make sure that your site is already up and running to avoid giving people a bad impression (no one likes getting pumped up for something only to get disappointed).

5.) Interact with your readers.
Put up forums or message boards for your visitors to interact with each other. Chat rooms are often time-consuming for some, while message boards allows them to check back every so often for replies. Create an e-mail list so you can update your visitors about new developments, and always be open to feedbackóthatís what will make your site even better.


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