How do I attract traffic to my website?

Getting the word out about your website can be time-consuming, but many of the most effective tools for promoting your site are free. Search engine ranking is important. Here are some tips from online merchants on how to improve search engine placement: • Register your site on the major search engines about every six months. (Check with your web developer for a list of the most popular engines, as it is always changing.) Most of these sites are free, but some charge for better placement. • Register each of the main pages of your site in addition to the home page. For instance, if you sell jewelry and have separate pages for earrings, necklaces and bracelets, register each of those pages. • Refine the "metatag" words in the code for your site. (These are the keywords used in searching.) Include the most likely terms a customer would use when searching for your product. In addition to improving search engine placement, you may want to try some of these promotional techniques that have worked for online retailers: • List your web address on everything related to your business: business cards, advertisements, product tags and packaging, etc. • Start a customer e-mail list and send out regular newsletters with special promotions and new products. Encourage customers to join the list by offering a drawing or discount. • Exchange links with other sites that sell related items. • Join web rings or online directories for your type of product. • Offer items for sale on online auction sites like eBay. • Advertise in national magazines that cater to users of your type of merchandise. • Advertise online using paid banner ads or free classified ads. (Note: many retailers have found that banner ads are not worth the cost.)