Search Engines? We don't Need No Stinking Search Engines!

by Tom Snyder on Sep 17, 2000

You want traffic at your Web site. Despite the fact that you’ve done everything right to get your site registered with search engines, if you’re in a highly competitive field, getting high placement can be an elusive and never-ending project.

What’s a Web site owner to do?

Do what several of our clients have done. Treat your Web site like the investment it is and promote it.

When Tom Hignite of Miracle Homes was getting ready to launch his site a few weeks ago, he knew that a new site initially would have virtually no presence in the search engines. So he did what every seasoned marketing person does. He reinforced his Web site launch by including his Web site address in his ads in the newspaper and on the radio. and drove traffic to his site by mentioning that details for a new promotion could be found on the site.

The very first day the site went online, it received over 3,000 hits. We could watch the server logs and actually see the spikes in traffic happen every time one of his radio ads ran. On the following Sunday, his ad ran in the Journal Sentinel, and he got another spike. We know that, because of his aggressive continuing ad schedule, his spikes will continue every Thursday, Friday when his radio spots run and on Sundays when his newspaper ads run.

Effective advertising is expensive. However, not all promotion has to cost you money.

Usinger’s Sausage is one of our oldest clients. Despite the fact that they’ve never promoted their site on their billboards or ads, their traffic still goes up exponentially every holiday season. The traffic is due to their reputation, a small mention for the first time in last year’s catalog, and an adequate presence in the search engines. Last year, in the heat of the holiday season, December 9th was their busiest online day ever.

The second busiest day in the site’s history happened a few weeks ago. On August 3rd, they came within a gnat’s eyelash of equaling the traffic of their busiest day.

What would cause such a spike in their traffic during a traditionally slow period for the site?

The fact that they had been selected as a hot dog provider for the Sydney Olympics and therefore became the subject of an article in USA Today. The article included their URL, driving tens of thousands of people to their site. The traffic gradually started to return to normal for the next few days, until the Journal Sentinel reported the same news on August 7th. Another spike.

That was promotion that money couldn’t buy. And it only cost them the effort to release the information to the media.

While search engine placement needs to be a part of your strategy, the same thing that makes businesses successful is what makes Web sites successful… Promotion, promotion, promotion!

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