It happens to the best of us – we get so caught up in the excitement and costs of a new website that we just want to share it with the world and ensure that we actually get some visitors. Some of the online marketing techniques that people implement, however, tend to do more harm than good. These are the top 5 techniques that you should avoid at all costs:
- Unsolicited bulk emails – It doesn’t matter whether you sent out these emails with good intentions or not, unsolicited mail is labeled spam and you could end up with a blacklisted server.
- Black hat SEO – Some people think using black hat (unethical) SEO is a great way to shoot them to the top. This can, however, result in blacklisting and even bans for your website.
- Dishonest promotions – Yes, offering free stuff is a great way to get people to your website. Doing so through a fake online marketing campaign, however, is a great way to send them away.
- Excessive link placement – Many people try to add their links to as many forums, blogs, discussion boards and so on as they can. You must, however, only post links on sites that are relevant to yours.
- Promote half-finished sites – Don’t bother trying to market your website until it has been completely finished and made live. Promoting something that has been untested can really turn users off.
For some strange reason, there are still plenty of online marketing experts and companies out there that think the above techniques are fine to use in the promotion of their new website. Unfortunately, this is why there are plenty of websites out there that are getting penalized or just being blocked entirely; don’t let your site become one of them!
It is common knowledge that Flash-based websites and search engine optimisation (SEO) aren’t exactly a match made in heaven; search engines have extreme difficulty accessing information that is contained in Flash, often making for websites that rank fairly poorly. By using the following SEO techniques, however, you might be able to help a Flash-based site rank a little better:
- Create a detailed sitemap of your website. A sitemap is basically an XML file that provides search engines with a list of all the pages contained within a single website. This gives the spiders something to index.
- Include descriptive page titles and metadata tags, as you would with any SEO strategy. Make sure that your tags include keywords relevant to the page and your website as a whole.
- Implement a deep linking strategy that aims to get other websites to link back to yours. This is a hugely useful SEO strategy that could benefit Flash-based and HTML websites alike.
The above tips only scrape the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the SEO techniques and strategies that can be used in conjunction with a Flash-based website. It is important to keep in mind, however, that all the SEO in the world will not make a Flash website rank better than a HTML one; Flash was just not made to be optimised.
One of the more often overlooked SEO techniques is that of internal links, but it is important to utilize this in the optimization of your website as it can really help to boost your page ranking. But what are internal links, and how are they helpful to an SEO strategy?
Basically, internal links are hyperlinks that direct visitors to the same domain as the one that the link exists on (you tell visitors on one page of your website to go to another section). But what exactly do internal links do for SEO?
- They can ensure that your website is completely searchable by search engine spiders
- They can help to build the relevancy of a page for a keyword
- They can help to increase the page rank of your internal pages
You have to, of course, set up your website properly for internal links to be useful for SEO. How would you do this?
- Text navigation: having this on either the top of left hand side of the web page is highly useful for SEO, as this is what the search engine spiders index first.
- Footers: also useful for SEO because the search engine spiders index these areas, it is important to keep your footers clean and minimal.
- Inline text links: considered the most beneficial for SEO, these are links placed within the content of your website and imply to the search engine spiders that it is highly relevant.
Whilst external links are great for SEO, they are, generally, only effective in boosting the page rank of your home page and one or two of your other bigger pages. When it comes to applying an SEO strategy to the entirety of your website, you cannot go past the use of internal links.