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How to Promote Your Site

Only after you are convinced your page is ready and most of the site is up and running do you start to advertise your page. Don't use that "Under Construction" thing unless it refers to one section. A Good Web Page is always under construction, always expanding, otherwise no one will make return visits to your site. So it's stupid to say that. To promote your site you might want to try the following ideas:

Meta Tags
Add <META> tags to your site. These tags go inside the <HEAD> </HEAD> tags on the top of your HTML code. META tags help improve your webpage's "ranking" on a search engine. The higher your site's "ranking", the more likely someone will find your site.

Example of META tags for promoting your site:

<META NAME="Description" CONTENT="This is a Sailor Moon Page">

This META tag is a description META tag, as you can see by the word "Description" following "NAME=". The META description tag contains what an automated search engine will display as a decription of your page when it is listed on that search engine. So to use this tag, replace "This is a Sailor Moon Page" with whatever you want to appear as a description of your page. Our experience has shown you will get a better ranking on a search engine if your description includes Sailormoon or Sailor Moon somewhere in your description.

<META NAME="Keywords" CONTENT="sailormoon, sailor moon">

This META tag is for keywords. Keywords are the words people often use to search for pages. If the words they search for are in your keywords, then the search engine will display your page. In addition to "sailormoon, sailor moon" you could include "anime, manga", if your page includes fanart, add that in, if it includes information, throw that in to and so on. Make sure you seperate each keyword with a comma (,).

Some tricks for figuring out which keywords you could use include:

  • Check other Sailor Moon site HTML codes and see what keywords they use. Include any that fits your page in your keyword META tag.
  • Get a hit tracker and take note what keywords people are using to find your page and add any keywords you did not use into your keywords META tag. This will allow you to get a better ranking for that keyword. Also check the hit trackers of other Sailor Moon pages and see what keywords people are finding their site with.

Search Engines
Visit the major search engines and submit your site to them.

Some search engines include:

We highly recommend you submit your site to the first three we listed. Google is currently one of the most popular search engines, and a lot of other search sites uses sites that are listed on Google. DMOZ, while not that well-known, is another place where many search engines take sites from to use in their searches. So, if you get your site listed on either of those two, several other search engines will automatically list your site. Yahoo tends to be difficult to get on now a days, but it is still one of the most popular searches, and doesn't go looking for sites, like the other search engines do.

One more note, a lot of search engines now have something called "Express Submissions" this form of site submission costs money, usually around $200 US. Look out for their "Basic Submission" services. That is usually the free submission service.

Newsgroups and Forums
Place a post on the main Sailor Moon Newsgroup (AFSM) at alt.fan.sailor-moon.

There are also other web forums on various SM websites where you can place a post to promote your site. No matter where you post, do not post every time you make an update. Only post once when you open, and after that only when you make major changes. If you post to many times about your website in a forum you don't normally visit, chances are you'll make a few of the regulars to those forums angry.

If you want more information on the rules of alt.fan.sailor-moon, please check the AFSM uFAQ at The alt.fan.sailor-moon Companion.

Link Banners
Create link banners and buttons for your site and place them on your page and ask people to take one and link your page on their site. Remember, keep your banners a reasonable size. The standard ad banner is 400 pixels wide by 40 pixels high and buttons are 88 pixles wide by 31 pixles high.

Place a selection of these banners and buttons in a section of your page. A common place to put them are on the top of your links to other sites page. Make sure you include what URL you want people to link with the buttons. Also if you want to avoid excessive bandwidth usage, ask people to download and save the graphics. Some people even include a sample of HTML code your visitors can copy and paste into their own HTML code. This makes it even easier for someone to link you with only a few clicks.

If you want examples check out our own link banner area.

Link Pages
Look for Sailormoon link pages and anime link pages, and submit your URL to them.

We suggest submitting your link to Anipike. This is the most well known anime link site, and we estimate 30% of our hits come from there.

There are also several excellent SM link sites. One we would recommend is, The Gate.

Chat Rooms
Avoid using chat rooms, only advertise your page in chat rooms if asked for your site's address. Most chat room operators don't like advertisers, unless you are a regular to that room. You may end up getting kicked out.

Web Rings and Link Exchanges
Web Rings and Link Exchanges still exsist, but have become less and less used due to the decline of these free services around the Internet. If you can find some, they are still a good idea to try out, just don't apply for too many. Some Web Rings are also specialized to feature certain types of pages. Try and look for the ones that best suit your page.

Email Promotion
Email Promotion can be a good, direct way to gain links and promotion, however watch how you do it.

It's okay to email some webpage owners and ask them to link your page, however make a personal request to each webpage owner. Do not go around and look for a several sites at once, record each of their emails and then send out a mass, group email to all the people on your list. This is called SPAMing and is a big no-no on the Internet. Your SPAM could be reported to your Internet Provider. Your Internet Provider may then cancel your account as SPAM is a violation of most Terms of Service Contracts.

A nice subtle way to promote your page is to include your webpage address in a signature file on your emails. This way every person you email, no matter what subject you are talking about, will see you have a webpage and maybe they will check it out. Who knows, they may even link you.

Guestbooks
Do not use guestbooks just to advertise your page. While this practice is sometimes common, many page owners are sick of people using their own guestbook to give someone else hits, especially sites they may not approve of. Site owners also dislike having their guestbook slowed down by several promotional banners taking time to load up. Chances are any ad you place in someone's Guestbook will be deleted once it's discovered.

For more promotion ideas, check out Lesson 3 and Lesson 4, of the Homework Help articles.


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