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101 Ways to Promote your Website

101 Ways to Promote your Website

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Published by Raj Shekar

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Published by: Raj Shekar on Mar 21, 2011
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02/14/2013

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You have to realize that your online competition is different from your offline
competition. Online, you are competing with all organizations that have an
online presence and sell the same types of products and services you do. When
doing your competitive analysis online, you want to select the “best of breed”—
those fantastic Web sites of the organizations selling the same products and
services you do—no matter where they are physically located.
One of your Web site’s objectives is to always meet and beat the competi-
tion in terms of search engine rankings and Web site content. To do so, you
must understand exactly what it is your competition is doing. Take the time to
research competitors and compare them on an element-by-element basis.

14 101 Ways To Promote Your Web Site (promote.maxpress.com)

There are a number of ways you can identify your competition online. You
can find them by conducting searches with the appropriate keywords, seeing
which competing Web sites rank highly in the major search engines and directo-
ries. Similarly, there are many other online resources you can use to research
your competition, including industry-specific Web portals and directories.
Once you have gathered a list of competing Web sites, analyze them element
by element to determine which Web elements your competitors include on their
sites and how their sites compare to one another. You want to look at what
types of content they are providing to your target market. Other components
you should analyze include the visual appeal of your competitors’ sites, con-
tent, ease of navigation, search engine friendliness, interactivity, and Web site
stickiness, or what they do to keep people coming back to their site. This infor-
mation can provide you with details on what you need to incorporate into your
site to meet and beat the competition.
When we do a competitive analysis for clients, we reverse-engineer (or dis-
sect) the competing Web site from a number of different perspectives. Gener-
ally, you will choose five or six of the absolute best competing Web sites. Then
you start to build a database using Excel or a table in Word.
Start with the first competing Web site, and from your review, start to add
database elements to the first column. Note any types of content, target mar-
kets defined, repeat-traffic techniques used, viral marketing techniques used,
search engine friendliness features used, download time for different types of
Internet connections, cross-platform compatibility, cross-browser compatibil-
ity, and innovative elements. When you have dissected the first competing
Web site and have noted appropriate database elements for comparative pur-
poses, move on to the second competing Web site. Go through the same pro-
cess, adding those elements that are new or different from what you already
have in your database. Continue building the first column of your database
by continuing through all the sites you want to include in your competitive
analysis.

The next step is to develop a column for each of the sites you want to
include in the competitive analysis. Then add two more columns—one for your
existing Web site, to see how your site stacks against the competition, and the
second for future planning purposes.
The next step is to go back and compare each site against the criteria for
column 1, noting appropriate comments. For content information, you want to
note whether the particular site has the same specific content, and how well it
was presented. For download speeds, note specific minutes and seconds for
each type of connection. For each repeat-traffic generator, you may choose to
include details, or just Yes/No. Continue with this process until you have com-
pleted the database, including your own existing site.

Planning Your Web Site 15

By this time, you should have a good feel for users’ experiences when they
visit your competitors’ sites. Now you are ready to do your planning. In the last
column of your database, review each of the elements in the first column, re-
view your notes in your competitive analysis, and, where appropriate, complete
the last column by categorizing each of the elements as one of the following:

• A—Need to have; essential, critical element; can’t live without

• B—Nice to have if it doesn’t cost too much

• C—Don’t need; don’t want at any price.

Remember that when users visit a number of sites that have certain ele-
ments incorporated, such as a virtual tour, that element becomes the norm. If
your site does not have that virtual tour (or whatever that certain element is),
they may feel as if you are not keeping up with industry standards, that you are
not meeting their expectations. The bar is constantly being raised. Once a per-
son sees something on three or four of your competitors’ sites, it becomes an
expectation. The Internet has helped create very demanding consumers with
very high expectations.
Having completed identification of your objectives, target markets, prod-
ucts and services, and now your competitive analysis, you are ready to develop
your storyboard or architectural plan or blueprint for your site.

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