«How to promote a site yourself?» – a question that is often contacted by an internet marketing agency «Tekstum Vinnytsia»… To make it completely clear and finally reveal this topic, I, the owner of the site stimylrosta.com.ua, decided to write a step-by-step instruction for beginners.
So, after reading the article, you will learn what it means to promote a website, how to define goals, how to make internal and external SEO optimization.
What does it mean to promote a site and why is it needed.
Website promotion (promotion) means a set of measures aimed at increasing traffic. The more traffic on the resource, the longer visitors stay on its pages – the higher it ranks in the search and the more profit it brings to the owner.
Also in the field of search engine promotion there is the term «SEO promotion» (English search engine optimization), which is synonymous with site promotion.
For example, you have a plastic window company. Due to the huge competition, sales do not go, and you decide to promote your business on the Internet. You order website promotion in our agency. We honestly work off our money, and after a few months the site gets to the top for mid-frequency and low-frequency queries.
Now, when a user enters a query in the search bar of the browser «order plastic windows inexpensively» or «plastic windows from the manufacturer», sees your site in the first places of search results. As a result, you are found by the target audience who willingly clicks on the link, stays on the site for a long time and takes the target action (buys windows). What conclusions can be drawn? If the site had not been worked on – it would be trailing somewhere in the tail of search results and not generating income.
I hasten to note: those who think that website promotion – this is an easy task, deeply mistaken. In fact, it is a long, tedious and time consuming process that usually takes months and sometimes years. But it’s worth it. If you are still planning «make friends» SEO, it’s a good idea to get started with at least the basics and terminology of this area of expertise. For example, I suggest reading the book by Igor Ashmanov and Andrey Ivanov «Optimization and website promotion in search engines»… After reading it, you will already partially understand how to promote your site yourself for free and quickly.
Let’s say you have already significantly enriched your SEO knowledge and want to move on. In the next step…
We define goals.
Most companies create a website «for check»… It’s no secret that a few years ago, many companies created a site purely for show. Has a competitor – then it should be with me. Many of these projects hurt the eye and cause a feeling of rejection. Such resources have insufficient traffic and spoil the good name of the brand. If you decide to create a website, you must understand that it will not work by itself.
Before becoming the proud owner of an Internet project, ask yourself a few questions:
Why do you need it? What tasks will he solve? What benefit should it be?
If you cannot answer at least one question – do not chase trends and create another ghost site.
Here are some examples of what you can create a website for:
for communication with clients; increasing the level of customer / reader loyalty; detuning from competitors due to the formation of a unique selling proposition (USP); sales of goods / services; publishing useful information; PR, etc.
Create a website only when you understand why you need it and what benefits / tasks it will bring / solve.
Internal optimization – the basis of online promotion. This is a specific action plan for preventing errors and adjusting the site’s content. Internal optimization should never be neglected!
Otherwise, the project is threatened with:
poor indexing (complete or partial absence in search); falling out of the index (search engine filters); low ranking positions in Google and Yandex.
This stage of work includes:
Putting together the semantic core.
Semantic core – reinforced concrete frame of each site. This is a set of words and phrases that reflect the theme and structure of the site.
You can collect the semantic core:
Manually. Use Yandex. Wordstat, when you need to collect semantics for the Yandex search engine and Keyword Planner, if you need keys for Google. Note: to collect semantics in «Keyword Planner» from Google, you need to have an active account, that is, one in which you have spent in the last 4 months. Automatically (using special paid services and programs). Serpstat, SE Ranking services, as well as the Key Collector program are perfect for these purposes. To assemble the semantic core in an automatic way, you need to select a competitor’s site from the top, copy its domain and analyze it in a program or service.
We compose the correct structure.
The correct structure is formed based on the collected semantics. Unfortunately, without a well-thought-out structure, promoting a site for free and quickly will not work.
The easiest way – spy on competitors’ sites.
There are linear, tree, and lattice site structures.
A tree structure is considered ideal, including sections and subsections, categories, catalogs, etc.
Try to make the site user-friendly. If you are the owner of an online store, be sure to take care of the correct hierarchy of product categories, make sure that the pages are 2, maximum 3 clicks from the main page.
We create quality content.
Content – it is the backbone of any website. The success of the resource depends on the quality of the content, how it will be perceived by search engines and visitors.
If earlier, in order to break into the top of the search results, it was enough to saturate the text to the eyeballs with keywords and buy 200–300 outbound links, now these techniques do not work.
Today, expert content rules the ball: relevant and useful material that can sell goods / services, solve problems, educate and sometimes even entertain.
The content should be unique (at least 90%), structured, convenient and interesting to read. In some individual cases, the threshold for text uniqueness may be lowered (for example, when complex scientific / technical terminology is used in the text).
To promote the site yourself for free, write each text thoughtfully and do not try to publish a superficial rewrite.
We fill in the meta tags correctly.
Correct filling of the title and description meta tags increases the relevance of the pages. In addition, due to these meta tags, a snippet is formed. – block of information about the page of the site, which is displayed in the search results.
If you fill in the snippet correctly, make it as attractive as possible, you can provide additional transitions to the site at no cost.
There are a few rules to follow when writing meta title tags:
it is recommended to place the master key at the beginning; volume of text – no more than 75 characters with spaces; the title includes the name of the region (if the site has a regional affiliation); must contain HF + LF keys (1–3 pcs.).
As for the meta description tags:
no more than 160–230 characters with spaces; contains keywords (no spam); reveals the essence of the article and contains useful information; for each page – own unique description; written for people, not search engines; uses thematic special characters (to increase clickability); at the end contains a call to action (read, find out).
We do internal linking of site pages.
Internal linking – linking pages within the site using links located within the content.
This factor is extremely important for self-promotion. Due to internal linking, you can distribute the weight between the pages in order to increase their ranking in the search for key queries, to increase the viewing depth.
There are various plugins to automate this process. But in order to promote exclusively priority pages, while using readable anchors, I recommend doing it yourself.
The essence of linking is to leave links where relevant. You need to link to thematic pages, which can also be useful to the reader. For example, you write about cameras – leave a link «materials about tripods and / or photo lenses»…
Clean up the code and make it lightweight.
Download speed – the main problem of many sites. Invalid code – one of the reasons for slow loading. If the page is loading for more than 3 seconds – most users will not wait for it to download, and the search robot – will downgrade in the results of the issue. Therefore, it is highly desirable to make the code valid, that is, to make it correct and get rid of syntax errors.
If you have a website made up from scratch, ask the developers not to burden it with various plugins, scripts, etc. Let them implement the simplest functions in the code.
Websites on CMS Joomla, WordPress, Drupal become slow due to complex templates, crooked plugins, modules, widgets, etc. I use TemplateMonster solutions for my sites.
How to check the validity of the layout? Go to the W3C service, add the site address to the field and click the Check button.
Setting up the robots.txt file.
Robots.txt – it is a text file (.txt) located in the root directory of the site, which contains special commands (directives) for search robots.
Without the correct robots.txt file, it will be extremely difficult to promote your site, since it indicates which pages should be indexed and which should not.
Each robots.txt file is preceded by a User-agent: directive that tells you which search engine or robot the instructions are for.
Below are the Allow directives – allow the crawler to crawl certain pages,
Disallow – on the contrary, they are prohibited.
For example, if you want to deny access to some components, just write Disallow: / components /.
Host directives are considered equally important. – show the main site mirror, and Sitemap – directs crawlers to the path to the XML sitemap.
You can check the correctness of the robots.txt file in Yandex.Webmaster and Google Search Console. I highly recommend registering with both services. With their help, you can track statistics of visitors, sources of referrals to a resource, information about indexing, errors, etc.
After registration, add the site and confirm the rights to it. This is a topic for a separate article, so I won’t go into details. We will assume that you have completed this chain of actions. What’s next?
Go to the panel, left-click on the Tools tab → Robots.txt analysis.
On the page that opens, click the button «Verify» and see the results.
To make sure that the file is correct for Google, register on the Search Console service, add a site and verify the rights to it. Next, go to the Scanning tab → Txt file checker tool and click «Verify»…
We create a sitemap.
XML sitemap – it is a file located in the root directory of the site. It serves as a kind of content registry (in the form of links to pages) and helps search engines index it better.
There are many free services on the web that allow you to generate an XML map in a few clicks.
On CMS Joomla, a sitemap can be created using the OSMap plugin. For WordPress backers, I recommend using the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.
You can check the correctness of the file in the same Yandex.Webmaster and Search Console.
In the first case, follow the path Tools → Analysis of Sitemap files. Select how the check will be carried out (text, URL, file) and click the button «Verify»…
In the second – select the tab in the left pane of the pane «Sitemaps», add the sitemap address (without the domain name) to the appropriate field and click the button «send»… The fact that everything is in order with the file is indicated by the status «Successfully»…
We adapt the site for mobile devices.
In 2018, Google announced that sites that weren’t mobile-friendly would be lower in search results. Whoever says anything, it makes sense. Every day more and more users visit the Internet using mobile devices. People willingly spend time watching content in public transport, in queues, cafes, on park benches.
If the site is displayed correctly only from the computer – you are losing customers! The fact is that without a responsive layout, blocks do not scale, work with navigation elements becomes more difficult, the user cannot get his finger on the desired link and take the target action.
If you are using a CMS – choose a template with responsive layout.
To check how good the site is «imprisoned» under the search results, add it to Google Search Console and go to the tab «Convenience for mobile»…
In addition to the results themselves, error information is displayed below the diagram.
External optimization is usually understood as a set of measures aimed at promoting a website from the outside. This includes working with links (link building), crowd marketing, creating groups and publics on social networks with a company page.
To justify your titanic efforts, I have prepared a few more points that must be followed.
We build up the link mass.
Link mass (link profile) – the set of all links leading to the acceptor site – a specific page, less often a site to which donors link. A resource that transfers its link mass to another resource is called a donor.
Why build your link mass? The more influential, trustworthy resources that link to your project – the higher it rises in the search results.
Links can be bought on special exchanges (GoGetLinks, Miralinks, Collaborator), negotiate with site owners directly, look for offers on the forums.
Please note: you need to be extremely careful when purchasing backlinks! Otherwise, you can get under the filters of search engines.
Here are seven basic rules to follow when building a quality link profile:
Select topical donors. It is imperative that the topics of both sites are the same. Do not hurry. To avoid penalties, buy links gradually. Pay attention to the level of reference. This refers to the ratio of the number of links to the number of indexed pages. By this indicator, you can easily find spammed sites that simply «teeming» links. Accordingly, the lower the level «references» – all the better. Perfect option – no more than 30%. Observe the dynamics. As practice shows, sites with a constant increase in backlinks get great returns. Refuse questionable projects. Before posting a link, check the donor for filters and viruses. This can be done on the PR-CY service. Pay attention to the quality of the donor (attendance, ICS, Trust Rank). Post links only in interesting or useful articles.
Crowd marketing – a way of interacting with the target audience through blogs, forums, social networks. It also includes posting comments that shape the brand’s image, increase brand awareness, or sell it.
Links obtained from crowd marketing are considered the most natural and give a good return.
The sequence of actions is as follows:
register on the forum; create or find a suitable theme; create a problem or solve a user problem; offer a solution and casually mention the name of the brand / site.
We create groups and publics in social networks.
Representatives of search engines do not hide the fact that social activity is of great importance for website promotion. So take the time and make VK, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter groups.
It is especially important today to create a channel in the Telegram messenger.
With the help of social networks, you can interact with customers, increase loyalty and engagement, inform about new arrivals, promote your name or brand.
Social signals do not contradict the rules of search engines and increase the credibility of the site. In addition, social media users willingly click on links in posts and actively respond to content, thereby generating additional traffic.
In order for your site to rank high in search results, you need to constantly work on it. It is not enough to pay attention to, for example, creating high-quality content and refusing to fill in meta tags. Only an integrated approach gives the best possible result and promotes effective promotion.
I hope I have clearly explained how to promote the site yourself. If you have your own promotion hacks, be sure to share them in the comments.
The author of the article.
Freelance writer. Shares the gained experience and knowledge gained free of charge. In order not to miss anything from the field of SEO, internet marketing, website building, copywriting, monetization and online earnings, read the Textum blog.