The eternal question for website owners is often "how can I get my site at the top of searches?". The first step should be to make sure your site is designed to maximise indexation by search engines, which you can read about in our SEO (search engine optimisation) guide. Well written pages which are marked up with appropriate code will be easier for search engine spiders and robots to index, however your website may still not be top of the pops. What else can you do to promote your site?
You can also add your business to Google Places so that it is listed on Google Maps.
Bear in mind that Google will penalise a brand new domain name for up to six months, so your ranking may well jump up after this period.
There are many free directory services available, such as Hot Frog. The more links and mentions of your website on the internet, the better! Be a little discerning about the sites that you choose to link from, however, as the quality of a site has some bearing on how highly Google rates the links from it.
If you've followed our SEO guide, hopefully you're already linking to as many relevant sites as possible and requesting reciprocal links.
Don't forget the obvious places to mention your website - in your email signature, on your business cards, compliment slips and letterheads, and even on vehicle signage. If your services are local and you park in a prominent position, you could have a vinyl print made for your car!
Website promotion doesn't have to be entirely online, especially if you can reach your target market at particular locations, events or postal addresses. Putting the domain of your new website on mouse mats, mugs or even baseball caps may seem gimmicky but it's all good publicity. Websites like Cafe Press offer limited runs of clothing and stationery which can be customised with your logo and website.
It's not what you know it's who you know - utilise your existing network to let them know about your new website. Email friends and family, post it on your Facebook, Bebo, hi5 and LinkedIn profile, Twitter about it and mention it on your personal website or blog. Tell everyone you meet!