People are the key to the success of your Web site. The reason that you want to determine who your web site audience shall be, is because they are your end-users or Web site visitors and without them you have no traffic and therefore no reason to have a Web site. It is your job to interest your site visitors and to keep them at your site by delivering fast-loading pages with information they need. If they clicked on a link to get to your site, that link described something they are interested in. You have a subject on your site and that subject or topic is generating hits from the visitors arriving at your Web site.
Determine yourself just who these visitors will be. Will they be music lovers looking for a good music site, or will they be parents looking to visit their child’s school site? Will your site cater to children, to students, to homeowners, to mechanics, to programmers, or to educators, health care providers, sports enthusiasts, etc. The list is endless and your group(s) of visitors may belong to more than one category of visitor. Make a list of the categories of people whom you desire to have visit your Web site. Beside or below each category write a short note about what that group of people are looking for.
Parents visiting child’s school Web site:
Contact numbers, class schedules, registration requirements, phone numbers and other information such as required immunizations prior to enrolling, name of teacher, PTA information, special events, dress code, and so forth.
In this example above, the web author would now have a good idea of who is going to visit this school site and whether or not more information needs to be added to the web site. Eventually, this web may expand when the teachers add a Web page for and about their own class and each class may have a Web site.
Promoting the Web site in example #1:
Place the URL of the website into each school newsletter and parent memo. Announce the Website in each classroom and write the Web address on the blackboard for each student to copy. The Webmaster may have already contacted the District office or the school principal about the Web site and recent additions to the site. A school announcement can be printed out and sent home with the students. Educational Directories on the Internet would also invite schools to submit their own school site's URL.The school site URL would NOT be submitted to inappropriate directories nor magazines. (You have already determined who your visitors shall be and that knowledge restricts and directs where, to whom, and how --- you will promote this Web site).
Sports enthusiasts are visiting your directory of sports sites
They want to know about: team schedules, specific players on roster, team stats, league stats, other sports, women’s gymnastics, football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, (but site cannot be too large)..
Questions to ask yourself:
1. Is my site easy to navigate and not too cluttered?
2. Will color and layout be interesting enough to keep visitors here for a few minutes of their time?
3. What are they being offered?
What you offer your visitors and how your pages appear will often determine whether or not your are accepted by search directories when you submit your site. The directories are made up by people who hand-select (or reject) sites to include in their directory. Some sites are excluded if they have not been updated in a specific amount of time and the time varies between directories, however, I have found Web site links to pages that have not been updated in over 2 years. There is not a set standard of criteria for acceptance into a directory.
Where to promote the sports site in example #2:
This is a good site to submit to Yahoo by sports topic. Find the Yahoo page about football and submit the football URL, then find the Yahoo page about baseball and submit the baseball URL, and do this for each sport sub-web that your have in your sports directory. Also submit only your main index URL one time to each of the 3 or 4 largest search engines, or search engines of choice.
Students are using Google, Dogpile, AltaVista and other search engines.
See the alphabetical list of search engines at http://www.hitmill.com/html/promote/search.htm for additional ideas about the search engines and search tools available on the Web.
Be inventive. If there is a sports shop in your town ask the manager if you can leave pre-printed cards on the countertop to announce your Web site. Share promotion: perhaps as an exchange let the manager know that you will place a link to his sports store on your website in exchange for him assisting you to promote your Web site. Contact other sports Web site authors and ask for a reciprocal link. Each of your incoming links from the other person's Web site will help to increase your page rank in the search engines and you get points for linking to their site. Usually you allow the other author to write their own description about their own site, in a reciprocal linking arrangement. This would mean that you write your own sentence or two describing your website and the other author will use your description about your site. Keep a digital file on a disk (and a hardcopy backup) of who (URL location) you have reciprocal agreements with. I visit my reciprocal link sites occasionally and monitor that their format and information is still acceptable. If you should find their site to have offensive material or information you may ask them to remove the link to your Web site. Do not ask for reciprocal links from sites that are not related to your site in content, topic, or material.
It is not a good practice to link to unrelated Web sites. If the user desires to surf to a totally different topic, that should be the choice of the user and not forced onto them by your unrelated links. A sports site would not have a reciprocal link with a bank site. (In this case, knowing your audience and what they want will give you a good idea of where to go to promote your Web page and which pages to search for and review, to place reciprocal links. Reciprocal linking will mean that you will have an entire page or more on your web site dedicated to linking to other sports sites and you may want to categorize all of your links according to the name of the sport so that all of the football links are in one spot and all of the baseball links are in another spot.
Know who your visitors will be, what they expect when they arrive, and plan on promoting your pages with search directories, search engines, and reciprocal links with similar Web sites. If you have a local business, also support and promote through your local Chamber of Commerce.