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Building a Web Presense

pc.jpgUnlike the baseball diamond in the midst of the isolated corn field in FIELD OF DREAMS, just building a website doesn’t guarantee that anyone will come visit. In order for people to know that you are out there on the Internet, there are a number of steps you can take to increase awareness of your website and improve how you are listed in search engine results.

The first step you can take actually happens even before you get your website up and running. When you are designing your website, make sure that you include metatags in your site’s header and web pages.

What is a metatag? A metatag is information inserted in the header (“head”) portion of your website. The header portion of your website is not visible to viewers on your site, but is read by search engine spiders as they comb the Internet for information to include in their search engine results. You can place your title, site description, and keyword metatags in your header to improve how a search engine will list your website in the search. For example, the keywords to include in your header metatags could be as follows: “caridad, piñeiro, romance, author, romance author, blog, free read, silhouette, harlequin, pocket books, vampire, novel, fiction, author, south beach, chicas, the calling, romantic suspense, paranormal.”

There are no limits to the number of keywords you can place in your metatags, and you should attempt to make a comprehensive list of words that are applicable to the content of your website. The search engine spiders will note these metatags and next time someone searches on one of those keywords, your website should show up if you’ve been spidered. Also keep in mind that the keywords you use should also be repeated in the content of your web pages. It will improve your relevance in search engine results if your keywords appear often.

An excellent article on how to use Metatags can be found at SearchEngineWatch.com (http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.html?page=2167931).

Once you’ve got your metatags in place, you need to make sure that the search engine spiders visit your site so that you will be included in their search engine results. How do you get noticed by the search engines? Once your website is up and running, you can take a number of steps to get noticed and listed in search engine results. The first step is to get yourself added on the various search engines.

You can do this at the following links:

Google: http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl

Yahoo: https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit

MSN: http://search.msn.com.sg/docs/submit.aspx

You can also use a number of free or paid Search Engine submission programs to make sure the spiders will visit your site.

You can do so at the following links:

AddPro: http://www.addpro.com/submit30.htm

SubmitShop: http://www.submitshop.com/freesubmit/freesubmit.html You may want to set up a separate email address for search engine submissions, as doing this will generate a number of emails from the various services. There are a number of other free search engine submission sites, but some ask that you place codes on your site in order to use their services. You may also pay for these submissions, but it can get quite costly and using the manual and free services generally works to get your site submitted.

How often should you submit your website to the search engines? Some people say as often as every month, but too many submissions may get you banned from future submissions. I would recommend that you resubmit your website at least every six months.

Being listed in search engine results will help draw people to your website, but how else can you get people to visit?

The first and easiest way is to get listed on other similar sites. If you’re published, ask your publisher if they have a web page for you at their site and, if so, ask for a link to your personal web page.

Do a search on “romance novel links,” and you will get a long list of romance novel related sites. Visit the various sites and follow their procedures for getting listed on their links and list them on your links page.

Expand your presence on the Internet via social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook. Make sure your Myspace page has a link back to your main web page.

Do you have information to share with others, such as articles on writing? Visit Ezinearticles.com and similar sites to post your articles for others to find.

Finally, keep the content on your site fresh and interesting. It’s important not only to draw readers to your site the first time, but to develop a pattern of returning visitors. There is nothing worse than visiting a site where the last update is many months old.

Hope these tips gave you some ideas on what to do with your web presence!