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House Hunting in Cyberia: Promotion

You've finally learnt HTML, built your webpage, and even got a place to host those pages - phew! But hang on - a homepage is not yet considered complete till it is promoted. After all, what's the use of having a homepage in cyberia when no one knows about its existence? Now that you've finished the groundwork, announce to the world that you do exist virtually too.

Personal homepages usually have a scaled down promotion plan - mainly because of all that money could be better spent on upgrading your computer, or treating yourself to a five star dinner. And it's not as if you'll be missing a lot - you can achieve excellent results without incurring any cost (except for your time) at all :

The first step you should be taking is to visit and use the free utilities offered at the following two sites: Siteowner (http://www.siteowner.com) and Websitegarage (http://www.websitegarage.com/). Use these sites to run a series of tests to check how promotion-friendly your site is, and then make the necessary changes and modifications.

Pay special attention to your title, content and meta tags all of which can help boost your ratings with certain search engines.

That taken care of, you could go back to both Siteowner and Websitegarage to register your homepage instantly with multiple search engines for free.

Also list your site in relevant sections of web directories available on the Net. This is even easier if your personal mini website has a focus - maybe on advertising, humour, love, or some unique hobby. Use Submit-It.com to mass-announce your site to many search engines and directories.

Websites with a particular theme often link up, forming a webring. This way visitors to one site can find similar pages by surfing around the webring. Sites like Geocities and Tripod also group user's pages with a theme together, so make sure you register yourself there if you have a free homepage on these sites.

You could also write in to your local Internet column, telling the writer why your site would interest his readers. One student who was planning to study abroad had, in the course of his search, collected a comprehensive list of post-graduate colleges abroad. He put all this information on his homepage, sorting colleges by the streams offered, complete with hyperlinks to the individual homepages of the colleges. His homepage got a mention in the weekly Internet column, simply because readers would benefit tremendously.

Email signatures are a must have, or you've lost a captive audience. Don't make it too big - just a line with your URL and your email address usually suffices. For example, after every email I put:

Q : What's new on the WWW ?
A : <http://www.thats.nu>

Symbiosis has got a whole new meaning with various sites on the Internet co-ordinating banner linking for individual users. Visit LinkExchange (http://www.linkexchange.com) or Bannerswap (http://www.bannerswap.com) to find out how you too can place banner advertisements for free.

Finally, don't discount the power of word-of-mouth - find a way to squeeze your URL into normal conversation. These days whenever anyone asks me, "So what's new ?", my standard reply is "http://www.thats.nu" - that's my URL!

This story Copyright © Lyndon Cerejo. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998 Dr. Raj Mehta. All rights reserved.