With the rise in popularity of the internet many entrepreneurs have looked at the web as a potential gold mine. They build a website, perhaps spending thousands of dollars to do so; they place all of their products on the site, sometimes dozens, maybe hundreds of pages worth. Then they sit back and wait for the millions to come pouring in.
After a few weeks when the business owner realizes they are getting exactly zero visits it may occur to them that perhaps they need to get visibility. But how does a brand new website generate revenue without spending thousands of dollars per month with pay per click?
Part of the answer to moving forward may lie in looking backwards for a moment.
When the internet 1st came about there were no Yahoo’s, Bing’s or Google’s, there was just word of mouth or referrals. That is if a customer did not know your url then they were not going to be able to find you. So how did an up and coming entrepreneur market his website back then?
Same as you do today, through reaching out to other website owners and asking them to link to you. For instance if you have a site “Joe’s Widgets” and there are no search engines it is in your best interest to find other sites, related and unrelated, to post your link to. Unless you are a true authority on widgets it is not very likely that another website owner would link to you. On the other hand, if you have a lot of relevant and useful content you just may get that link simply by asking.
What do you do in the event that you cannot get a link by asking? Simple, offer a guest post. A guest post is a straightforward, albeit time consuming, method of getting your content on the web but you offer a value to the site owner and you get more eyes on your site.
Another method of getting your site noticed prior to search engines was to locate business directories and adding your business to the appropriate category. This gave searchers the opportunity to sort by topic and find sites that contained the information they were looking for.
Commenting on related sites and forums was also a way to interact with people that have similar interest. With this type of collaboration you could cement your place as a community expert and drive additional views to your site.
Finally, if you had a news story related to your topic you could contribute to local, state and in some cases nationally known websites with a breaking story and then point a link back to your website for increase traffic.
The irony of this entire process is that by pretending the search engines do not exist and seeking out opportunities to market your products, you may inadvertently end up improving the rankings of your site, which is what you wanted in the 1st place!
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