Since I started conducting research for clients over five years ago, I can trace most of my clients back to my website. This has, without a doubt, been my number one marketing tool.
But how do potential clients find my website? One way to check is by using the website’s analytics to identify incoming links. I will explore the analytics in another post.
First I would like to discuss another way to assess your website marketing. This is so simple that many people might not think to do it: use Google (or your favorite search engine) to search for your web address.
When I do a Google search for “haitfamilyresearch.com” (including the quotes), Google returns “about 940 results.” This does unfortunately include some spam and other undesirable sites that contain links out of any meaningful context. However, the search results also contain the following links to various areas of my website (in order of the results):
- http://firstname.lastname@example.org : My member profile on the website of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors.
- http://speakerwiki.org/speakers/Michael_Hait : My profile on SpeakerWiki.
- http://www.apgen.org/directory/search_detail.html?mbr_id=3274 : My member profile on the website of the Association of Professional Genealogists.
- http://www.slideshare.net/michaelhait/visual-resume-nov-2010 : The SlideShare page for my “Visual Resume.”
- http://stores.lulu.com/michaelhait : My Lulu bookstore.
- http://afrigeneas.com/paterson/?p=71 : A review of my book on the Delaware Slave Claims Commissions.
- http://geneapro.com/ads/experienced-professional-genealogist-in-maryland/ : A classified ad placed on the GeneaPro website.
- http://blog.geneawebinars.com/2011/04/your-civil-war-ancestors-guide-to.html : An entry for one of my past webinars on the GeneaWebinars blog.
- http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/apr/25/webinars-new-tool-for-researchers/ : An article about webinars by the Charleston Post and Courier’s genealogy columnist, Wevonneda Minis.
- http://genealogyeducation.blogspot.com/2011/04/review-of-family-tree-university.html : A post in Angela’s McGhie’s Adventures in Genealogy Education blog that I guest-wrote.
- http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~parrott/gabriel.shtml : The research website of a former client.
- http://www.ncac-apg.org/membersx.php : My profile on the website of the National Capital Area Chapter of APG.
- http://www.pgparks.com/Between_Fences/November_Events.htm : The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation website’s advertisement for a lecture I presented in November 2010.
- http://www.genealogyfreelancers.com/index.php?action=view_profile&profile_id=80 : My resume page on the website Genealogy Freelancers.
- http://www.genealogywise.com/profile/MichaelHait : My profile page on GenealogyWise.
- http://www.examiner.com/genealogy-and-history-in-baltimore/michael-hait : My “Baltimore Genealogy & History” column on Examiner.com.
- http://www.geneabloggers.com/geneablogger-speakers-bureau/ : The Geneabloggers Speakers Bureau.
This is just a small sample of the pages that contain the words “haitfamilyresearch.com” There were also several results that led to individual articles written in my “National African American Genealogy” and “Baltimore Genealogy & History” columns for Examiner.com, posts on this blog, additional reviews of various books that I have written, and, because I include my web address in my email signature, several hundred archived posts on various genealogy-related mailing lists and message boards.
Please note that this search will not return all of the sites that link to my site. This search only reports those sites that actually contain the words “haitfamilyresearch.com.” There is another way to search for sites that link directly to a particular website using Google. I will discuss this in a future column.