I have recently put together a website for my wife's new business venture. The next step of course is try and make sure that it actually gets found. I have drawn myself up a fifteen point plan to work through, the main criteria at this stage is that they have to be free.
The first step has to be submission to web directories and some business directories. The purpose of this is to gain links back to the site to increase the chances of search engines finding it, and generally increasing exposure. The question is do I invest my time in mass directory submission, or do I limit my activities to the odd SEO friendly web directory? I have submitted to DMOZ as this is clearly the most established directory on the net, but I am looking around for some others that will help in my quest to get the site easily found. One of the best directories has to be Yahoo Directory, but unfortunately they charge for submission, so I have ruled that one out for now. Many of the free directories require a reciprocal link, so there is a trade off here between site exposure and having to find places on your site for to place links.
Another key factor for me is that the directory has relevant categories in which to place the website. In this case it is concerned with patchwork and quilting workshops, so I will only be considering directories that have categories that are relevant. Placing a listing in a non-relevant category severely reduces chances of it being found through the directory.
I have also been looking at some business directories, but the problem with some of these is that a) several of them charge a fee for submission, and b) many of them want you to provide an address for the business - but in this instance that is our home address, so I don't know how I feel about that.
This is only the first step along the way of promoting the site and I have my whole list to work through. At the point of writing it is a fifteen point plan, but I keep thinking of new things to do so it grows almost daily! Once I have worked my way through the list then hopefully the site should get a reasonable amount of traffic and that a far amount of this should be organic traffic from search engines.