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Web Site Promotion and Getting into Search Engines

Creating your own web site for your paintings

By Steve Roberts, EchoStains

Creating your own web site and getting on line is the easy bit because the software does everything for you. By far the most difficult aspect of any web site is promotion. How do you get people to look at your site when no one knows its there? Okay, so you will tell everyone you know the web address of your site and they can all go and enjoy it, but what about the rest of the world?

I mistakenly believed that the search engines would find it – wrong. Even the search engines don’t know its there because you’ve not told them. You will have to visit the search engines yourself and submit your web address but they offer no guarantees that they will list you. The big search engines like Yahoo currently charge several hundred dollars a year to guarantee that you will be listed; you can submit your site for free but they will take at weeks to maybe list it if they can get around to it at all.

There is submission software available that will submit your site to hundreds of search engines for you and thousands of sites that will also do it for you some for a price and others for free. Some will also bombard you with emails offering you other offers. One particular site that we tried sent about 10 emails a day full of useless information and I’ve heard of others that will send you hundreds of emails so be careful. But in the meantime visit as many search engines as you can and look for the ‘Add URL’ or ‘Submit site’ link and submit to the free section if they have one.

Web Site Meta Tags: What They Are and Why They’re Important
All your web pages will need to have what are known as ‘meta tags’ hidden in the page -- the web-design software will allow you to insert these. Meta tags are basically a means for search engines to list your site correctly and include a brief description of that particular web page and key words for it. These keywords are very important as these will be the words that people will type into the search engines when looking for a specific subject. Try to think what words you yourself would put into a search engine if you were looking for a site like yours.

Believe me it not as easy as it sounds, as you don’t simply want to be listed in the search engines results, but also within the first few pages -– there can hundreds of pages of search results and most people bother only with the first couple of pages.

The whole process of web site promotion is a science in itself and one that even I am struggling to master. At present the only time we come top of the search results is if we do a search for our site’s name ‘Echostains’. But, let’s face it, unless you know the site’s name in advance you are not likely to enter it into a search box. However things are improving slowly. At first we were not even listed and then came the great day when we showed up for the first time.

The more web sites you can get to link to or list your site, the more search results are returned. And the more your site is accessed, the greater your page ranking becomes and you will move nearer to the front of the queue. However, like I said before this is a whole subject on its own (for more on this, see About.com Web Search) and to begin with you will be happy just to let your friends know your web site address so that they can view your work wherever they are in the world.

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