Get Visitors

Disclosure:  This is a professional information website.  I want to let you know up front that I receive compensation from some of the companies mentioned here.  I do not receive compensation for all of them.  I have personally tested and reviewed every company on this site and recommend only the ones I truly believe are good to use.  This is an independently owned site and the opinions expressed on it are entirely my own.  Thank you.

How to Get Visitors

You have your website up on the internet, but how do you get visitors?  How do you get people to know about it?

Unfortunately a website isn't a "build it and they will come" operation.  You need to actively go out and actively get visitors.  It isn't that hard and doesn't take that much time, but there are scams out there so be careful.  This section is about what you should and should not do to get visitors. 

Search Engines

The best way to get visitors is by getting a good ranking in a search engine like Google. There are less than 10 search engines that account for something like 98% of all web traffic.  These are the search engines you need to try to get listed in. 

You can either submit by hand or you can pay a service to submit your site to the search engines for you. 

Hand Submissions

If you want to submit by hand, here are the main search engines you need to submit to and how to do it.

Google.  Google uses spider technology to add sites to their database.  What this means is that they have a spider-like robot which goes from website to website.  You can submit your site by hand to Google here or you can wait for the Google spider to find your site.

How will it find your website?  Since spiders go from site to site, if a link to your website appears on someone else's site then Googlebot (the name of the Google spider) will follow the link from their site to yours.  The more links you have the higher your ranking and the more visitors you get.

Some people figure if one link is good, a thousand links are better.  Well, not exactly.  Google realized that some people were just submitting their website link to Free For All Links pages just so they could get a lot of incoming links and increase their ranking.  Google put a stop to that and for the most part doesn't give any weight to these links so if you see any offers for 10,000 links for $19.95 just ignore them because they won't help you.

Google gives more weight to links that are on a related topic to yours.  So let's say that your site is about pets and you sell pet supplies.  Any links from a dog-related directory or page will carry more link weight than a link from a site which sells music.  

For more information about how to get links and link partners, check out the link partners section below.

Google snapshot:  Google only updates about once a month.  Your best way to get in is through links from a site already listed in Google.  Do NOT submit your site by hand more than once a week.  Google will think you are spamming and may penalize you which means they won't list your site at all.

DMOZ - this is a human-edited directory and it's important because Google gets some of its results from DMOZ and listings in DMOZ carry link weight with Google. DMOZ is getting less and less important but it is still worth trying to submit to it.

To submit to DMOZ, go here and select the category that best fits your website.  Once you find the cateogry, click on the Add Url button and submit your website.

Tips for getting in DMOZDo NOT submit more than once.  That is super important.  If you do, you will get banned for spamming and your site will never be listed.  Make sure your site is ready.  If it isn't 100% finished and looking as good as you can possibly make it then don't submit it.  You only get one shot and you don't want to blow it. 

Always make sure to submit in the right category.  Do not put a lot of sales type language in the site description box.  See what others in your category say and put that.  Flowery sales description are edited out. 

Yahoo - Yahoo has its own directory that's different from what most people who go to Yahoo search on.  It costs $299/year for a product or sales site to be listed in Yahoo's directory.  The fee doesn't guarantee you a listing.  The $299 just guarantees that they will consider listing your site.  They have started a program where you can pay them a fee to get listed and then a fee of .15 every time someone clicks on your link. I don't think this is a good deal for most webmasters. Personally, I don't list in Yahoo.  I get in for free doing search engine optimization. Usually if you are in Google and have at least one other site linking to you, you will be added to Yahoo.

Pay Submission Services

A lot of the pay submission services are rip offs, but not all.  Some web hosts like have services that you can get that will automatically submit your url to the search engines for you.  I like Act Now Domains service for this because it's easy plus it doesn't just submit to the search engines for you.  It will also analyze your web page for you and tell you how you can make it better for the search engines.  The better optimized your web page is, the more likely it is to rank higher in Google or another search engine. 

If you're interested in the pay submission service, you can find out more information about it here.  

Link Partners - Who's Good, Who's Bad

The more sites that link to your site the higher your ranking in Google and some of the other search engines will be, but not all links are created equal. 

A link from DMOZ is a great link to get.  Links from Free for All links pages are worthless.  How do you know which links are good and which are bad?  How do you go about finding sites to exchange links with?  Read on.

You want to exchange links with people that have a website on a topic that's related to what your website is about.  Those are good links to get. Sometimes directories will just let you add your link and don't require a link back, but usually people will only put up your link on their site if you put their link on your site.

Here's how I find sites where I can post my link:

First, I look for directories because I don't have to link back on some of those.  Let's say my website sells mystery books.  I might type in books add url or books submit site into Google and add my sites to the directories that come up.  I add my link to all the sites I find there. 

I then create a links page on my site.  Basically all this means is I set up a separate page on my site and name it links.htm   Whenever I come across a site that is on a related topic to mine that requires a reciprocal link, then I simply add them to my links page. 

How do I add them?  Usually people that want to swap links will have the code already made for you which has what they want their link and description to say.  You simply copy their code and then paste it into your website. 

Always make sure to put your link as the term that you want people to find you under in the search engines.  For example, let's say that your site is about classical music.  Your link title and description might be something like this:

Classical Music - music from Mozart, Vivaldi and more. 

The link title is what gets linked so the term Classical Music would be linked to your website.  This helps with your search engine ranking because the spiders figure if other people are linking to you with the term "Classical Music" then that must be what your site is about. 

Note:  If you've found this site helpful and want to link to it, I would appreciate it.  You can find my link description info on the Link to this Site page.  Thanks.

Good Links vs. Bad Links

If you exchange links with a site that Google doesn't like - maybe it got penalized for spamming or it did something else that Google considered bad - then your site could also get penalized.  Even if you don't get penalized too, a link from a banned site won't help you at all. 

So, how do you tell if Google likes a site or not?  It will tell you.  There are two ways you can find out. 

1.  Type in the domain name of the site you are thinking about linking to in Google's search box.   If it brings up a website listing then you know Google likes it.

This doesn't work with sites that are new, but it will work with sites that have been around a while.  If you don't see a listing in Google, send the website owner an e-mail and ask how long his site has been up.  If they have been up for more than 2-3 months and they aren't in Google I wouldn't link with them.

2.  You can download the Google toolbar from here.  This will install a toolbar on the top of your browser and you can just glance at it and see a website's page rank.  If the page rank bar shows green the site is listed in Google. 


While these may not technically be 'scams' I don't like these and I suggest you stay away from them:

1.  Free for All Links services - these services tell you they will list your site on hundreds of thousands of web pages and tell you these links will help you.  These links will not help you as Google and the other search engines ignore these links and all you will get is a BUNCH of spam for your trouble.  Don't waste your time or money.  Again, just do what I mention above and you will be fine.

2.  Targeted E-mail lists - you will probably get lots of offers to send your ad to thousands of people via e-mail.  No matter how much the people tell you the e-mail lists are safe and the people want your ad, don't believe them.  It's spam plain and simple.  If you use one of these lists, your web host will kick you off their servers, you could end up paying a fine and you will alienate a lot of people.  Just don't do it.


Regardless of which search engines you get listed in, you can increase your chances of getting a good ranking by optimizing your web pages.  This is just a fancy way of saying that you need to tell the search engines what exactly is on your page. 

You can get some tips on doing this at self promotion.  I also go over how to optimize your web site in detail in a way that's really easy to understand and follow in my ebook

I suggest staying away from web sites that want you to pay them to actually do the search engine optimization of your web site for you.  While some of these services aren't bad, most of the good ones are really, really expensive and a lot of the rest are complete rip-offs and not only won't you get visitors, your site could end up banned from the search engines.  You can spend just a bit of time and figure it out for yourself which can save you a whole lot of money.

Well, that's all about I have to say.  I hope this guide has been helpful to you and you have learned how to create a website and get visitors.  I wish you every success, my friend!




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