Help: How do I announce a new website?

Sunday, March 7th, 2010 | Business, Tutorials | by

We launch websites every month or two for clients, and make many website updates.  What are the best ways to tell the “internet” that your site is up, and ready to be checked out?  I’m going to focus on the free options, as I find anything that costs money sketchy (especially with regard to listing a site).

We can divide this into a few categories:

  • Search Engines
  • Social Networking
  • Peer Sites
  • News Aggregators

Search Engines

Today the biggest (and best, in my opinion) is Google.  How can you tell Google you have launched a new site?

  1. Notify Google officially, via their Add your URL page.
  2. Setup a Google Webmaster account, and verify the new domain.

That should be it.  After you setup your Google Webmaster account, be sure to submit your sitemap(s) to them (XML format) so they can always check what content you have live.  Of course, the only thing to do now, is maintain that XML sitemap.

As far as other search engines, I usually don’t bother much with them.  Yahoo usually charges a fee to be officially listed (they will find you otherwise).

You can submit your site to Bing via the official URL Submission page.  This is new, but I’d bet it’s a good idea to do it.

You should submit your site to the Open Directory Project.  Be warned, there are frequent stories of submission taking forever — and moderators abusing power.  Keep in mind, being listed in the ODP is considered a big SEO boost.  The ODP is human moderated (I used to moderate a few categories years ago), which means it SHOULD be void of the usual garbage on the internet.

There are of course services that will submit your site to “over 500” search engines.  Think about it, can you name more than 5 search engines?  No, nor can most people out there.  People use Google, Yahoo, Bing and maybe a few others.

Social Networking

This should be easy, get involved in social networks — as they provide good platforms for releasing information.  As a web developer this may be tough, because your followers may not be interested in whatever subject matter your most recent client deals with.

The top referrers that I see for social network linking are:

  1. Facebook
  2. LinkedIn
  3. Twitter
  4. Delicious
  5. StumbleUpon

If you want hits on your site, publish your new articles / blog postings.  Set your clients up ONLY if they are willing to work at them.  The worst thing for marketing is a twitter account with 1 follower (your account) and only announcements from your site.  You want to interact, use the search functionality to find who is talking about what interests you.  Participate, join relevant groups, become a contributing member of the social network, and you will reap the rewards.

The most interesting thing to me, is that LinkedIn is still a strong presence for launching business websites.  I find that the network on LinkedIn is more interested in what you are doing professionally, than the other networks.

StumbleUpon is a great way to have your site frequented by random visitors.  Sometimes figuring out just how to do that can be tough, but it’s worth it.  Keep in mind that stumbling your own content is a bit frowned upon.

Keep in mind that social networking is NOT necessarily the newest website.  Social networking has been around since the beginning of time.  This means, pick up the phone and call old colleagues to see what they think, send emails to friends in the industry, if there’s a mailing list — let them know!  At the beginning just a few people will make a difference.  Plus, they may say “hey, it doesn’t work in my [random browser version from 10 years ago]”, and you know you should fix it.

Finally, if you can find a forum that talks about your markets, join the forum and ask for feedback.  Netizens love to share their opinions, and in doing so, will help you tailor your content.  Be aware the feedback may not be what you want to hear, but traffic is traffic.

Peer Sites

Directly communicate with your peer websites.  This works best for blogs, by commenting on the blogs of those who share your target audience.  Corporate sites are more difficult, but you can link to the corporate site by finding blogs that talk about the specific industry.  Everyone wants to be the “first” to know of a unique resource.

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3 Comments to Help: How do I announce a new website?

Joe
April 16, 2010

Also good social sites are Mixx, Digg,Reddit – lipstick :)

Space shooter game
July 2, 2010

ODP is surely taking forever. That’s my expirience.
And I see no point in submitting your site to 500 search engines when people never heared of them. Just a loss of valuable time.
Regarding other things said in the post, I do agree that it’s a good plan for a site launch.

vivek
January 23, 2011

thanks for the information. this will help definitely

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