Imagine buying a new car, driving it home and never once putting gas in it. It just sits there in the garage, blocking access to your gardening tools. Ridiculous waste of money, right? That’s tantamount to building a new website and never updating it, upgrading it or promoting it. It just sits there and blocks your opportunity to purvey a message, boost membership or garner support.
Upgrading and updating are iterative processes that you might begin after a few weeks of living with your new website. But the first thing you should do off the chute is start promoting like crazy. One of the easiest ways to do that is to submit your website to search engines and directories.
The reason is two-fold. First, you want to make sure your name appears where people are looking. If you’re a synagogue or church, you want potential members to find you if they’re shopping around by browsing through local directories (“Massachusetts synagogues”).
Secondly, generating links is a great way to to boost your reach in search engines, and search engines are the top way people find information online. You need to follow some proven search engine optimization, or SEO, techniques to help your name move to the top of the list when someone might be trying to find you in a search engine.
Many directories charge a fee, and these are of questionable value. Focus on free listings, especially those in your community. Take a day or so to sit down and find every directory that relates to your organization, and then submit your site to each one. Here’s a list of free directory submission pages to get you started.
Google Open Directory
Yahoo! Directory Listings