SEO: How to Promote Your Web Site with Freebies
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Most webmasters keen on SEO or search engine optimization have made their web sites to make money. Unfortunately their work is made extra hard due to a unique feature that prevails in Internet culture: expecting to get things for free.
So yes, the bad news there is unless your web site offers freebies, your visitors won't care for your site much no matter what SEO you do. But the good news is that if you DO offer freebies, you will surely attract more visitors.
There are all kinds of freebies you can give away to increase web site traffic. Among others, you can offer free ebooks, mp3 files, videos, software, articles and question-and-answer or consultation services. It all depends on the kind of internet business you do. And, as always with web design, you must apply the rules of SEO when using them.
Here are some SEO techniques to use on different kinds of web site freebies:
SEO with Freebies Technique #1: Give the files away for free download and reproduction. Sure, you're giving it away. But if you ask them to ask permission for you first, it will only take up more precious time. Not all webmasters would bother with that. Just make sure that you use every means of copy-protection for the medium/file you're using. For example, if it's an Adobe Acrobat PDF file, make sure you disable copying and modifying. You may or may not disable printing. (In our opinion you shouldn't; this is site promotion so be nice!)
SEO with Freebies Technique #2: Always include your full web site URL and/or e-mail address and other contact info such as ISBN (if this is a book), office address (if it's a consultation service, etc) or signature and so on. If possible, include a link back to your site on every page footer or the front page at least. Invite the user to go there "for more free stuff." Take our word for it, they will. :) Just be sure these are LIVE links that can be clicked on. Commercial PDF software and some freeware let you do this.
SEO with Freebies Technique #3: Make a separate and comprehensive free downloads page full of choice keywords. A free downloads page may be your best bet for a top page ranking in Google and Yahoo and others. When faced with a choice of several web sites in a search result, people will choose the one with "free" in it more often than not. Make sure you DO include the word "free" in the page title.
SEO with Freebies Technique #4: Give people reason to buy your services or goods. After all, the reason why you're giving away freebies is you want to top the page rankings and sell your web site. So while you do give them a healthy amount of useful free stuff, don't give too much away. Let them have a taste of what you have to offer, and hint at the rest. On the other hand, don't insult people by giving too little. That's a sure bet to turn them off.
A good balance is a fully-functional free software (as opposed to crippleware) that comes bundled with a demo of a pro version of the same software. Freeware that never expires and doesn't cheat its users can win you a loyal following, and the serious ones will buy the pro version to support you.
Like it or not, "free" is the magic word on the Web, and always will be. Use this word wisely and people will actually pay for your stuff! Good luck!
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