PR2 Newsletter : Issue 5

Welcome to issue 5 of the PR2 Website Promotion Newsletter.

I may be stretching the definition of "edging" a little, but as promised we are definitely edging towards actualcomment1.gif (2822 bytes) promotion. However, since there are some questions to answer and points to make the real push will have to wait for next time. Web promotion success is like fine wine: neither can be produced in a couple of weeks, no matter how hard you try.

First, the usual stats. This newsletter is going out to 2,204 people -- a whole lot more than last time, and a testament to all the people spreading the word about this course. Thank you.

Bringing Them Back (Again and Again)

Somebody once said: "A website is like a neverending series of first dates." You may be asking yourself where the similarities lie. Well, what's one defining caracteristic of a first date? It will also be a last date unless you make a good impression from the word "go".

The same applies to your site: it's all very well discussing how to bring people to your site, but if there's nothing to bring them back again then you have to fight to find a constant stream of new visitors... and this will become harder and harder.

Instead, you need to keep your visitors entertained and happy. Here are some pointers on how to do just that.

Content is King!

Sites with pretty graphics but no substance won't go far unless they are used to advertise a graphic design firm. If you have good solid content backing up the graphics, then so much the better -- but if you are having trouble allocating your time between content and presentation, take a look at this article. In it, you can read about how to build the site you want rather than the site your web designer suggests you need.

Get it Right First Time

There's an art to promoting a site; part of the art lies in dodging the sticks and rocks on the path to success. There are so many schemes and techniques out there that sound good, but which will bring you nothing but pain. Even worse, once you make a mistake, it can be difficult to recover. To help you out, here's a guide to the 10 most serious site promotion errors... and how to avoid them.

The Changing Face of Site Promotion

As recently as a few months ago, your best bet in promoting your site would have been a "good listing" on the 8 major search engines. Recently, the picture has changed as many search engines have imploded under a torrent of spam and scams, or have changed their algorithms (the process by which they rank sites returned for a given search) to make your task much harder. So a much wider focus is now called for.

In anticipation of our forthcoming promotion push, I would like you to take a sheet of paper and summarize your site (purpose and main selling points). First, use as much space as you like. Then try to distill the essence of your site into a couple of paragraphs. Then into 25 words, and finally into a single sentence of 10 words or less! This information will come in useful again and again so it is worth making an effort now.

Try to look for your site's USP (Unique Selling Proposition) i.e. what makes your site stand out from others like it. Are you the biggest X? The most up-to-date Y?

Please spread the word about PR2 and good luck with your own site.

Until next time...

Edwin Hayward

Next: Issue 6

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