You design a killer site, submit to all major search engines and directories, and you wait...and wait...and wait...
Submitting to search engines/directories is a smart idea, but it seems like an eternity before you see results of your efforts. Meanwhile, you're anxious to get traffic and make sales, right?
I have just site promotion technique for you: pay-per-click (PPC) search engines.
PPC programs work like this: you bid on keywords related to your site's content/products/services. The higher you bid, higher your link appears in search results. One of great things about PPC is that you don't pay unless someone actually clicks your link - in other words, you pay only for results. PPC campaigns can be surprisingly affordable, even for sites on a limited budget.
Another benefit of utilizing PPC is that you begin generating traffic almost immediately. There is no 6-8 week waiting period for your site to appear in index - it's usually more like 2-3 days.
Before you rush off to open an account, though, there are a few basic things to do beforehand to maximize your campaign's effectiveness.
First, calculate how much you can afford to pay for each visitor to your web site. If you have a product that sells for $100.00, 1 out of every 100 visitors buys product, and you pay $1.00 for each visitor, you'll break even on campaign ($1.00 x 100 visitors = $100.00 spent/$100.00 sale). If you pay more than $1.00/visitor, you'll lose money and if you pay less than $1.00/visitor, you'll make a profit.
Know what you can afford to spend per visitor (per click) before making your bids. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be better equipped to execute a profitable campaign.
Second, create a list of keywords related to your site/product/service. Develop a list of at least a few hundred keywords; preferably 1000 or more. I realize that's a lot, but as a general rule, a list of 10-20 keywords won't net you much traffic.
If you're having trouble brainstorming keywords, many of PPC engines have tools to help you. GoTo's Search Suggestion Tool generates a list of search terms related to keywords you enter and ranks them in order from most to least popular. Try GoTo Keyword Wizard at JimTools.com (http://www.jimtools.com) too.
A third step to take before launching a campaign is to produce effective ad copy for "title" and "description" of your listings. Make no mistake - your description and title ARE ad copy - or they should be if you hope to maximize traffic.