The Mystery of the Shadow Website
Competition to the Hilt
As the online global marketplace called the Internet continues to get crowded, e-entrepreneurs need to protect their turf through creative innovation that will put them ahead of the pack and leave plenty of room for competitors to play long-term catch up..
As the owner of a small or medium sized online business which looks to the Internet for growth and sustenance, you have already taken several steps to strategically position your company in a hyper competitive playing field that may not be level at all times. Essentially, you have two major concerns that keep your wheels turning and the wires humming—a good position on the results pages of the major search engines, and a never-ending rising tide of traffic that converts into sales and profits.
At this point in time, you probably have only one website that does it all—sales, marketing, product promotion and customer service. In this report, we are suggesting that simply one isn’t enough any more. You need the baker’s dozen! And the price is right because these dozen websites are free and available for the asking.
Roll Back the Cyber Clock
It all started a Decade Ago…
In the late nineties, a small US company called Geo Cities began providing free web space to bold and web savvy surfers who wished to build their own websites but couldn’t afford the high costs associated with web hosting, domain registration and maintenance. In those days, these costs could easily exceed a thousand dollars a year. Geo Cities allowed them to build websites on its server for free with no fine print or a catch. Geo Cities ran banner advertising to recoup its investment and eventually became so successful that Yahoo acquired it as a wholly owned online Internet property.
Today, there are thousands of free web hosting opportunities on the Internet on which hobbyists, students, retired senior citizens and freelancers routinely build and maintain websites. These free hosting companies sometimes charge a fee for premium services. More often than not, they are free. This veritable network of free hosting websites offers you an unprecedented opportunity to serve as feeder sites not only to drive traffic to your flagship website but also provide valuable back links to your main website—an attribute which all the major search engines Google included, tend to recognize.
The ABC of Shadow Websites
There are a few factors you need to consider when building a shadow or feeder website. Although the costs involved are very minimal in the form of time and effort, this solution can be created right the first time:
Selecting the domain name
Regardless of whether the website allows you to build a sub domain as in www.Tamara.geocities.com or www.geocities.com/tamara, make sure that your URL has the primary keyword associated with your website. Do not use your company’s name because as far as Google is concerned, it means nothing. Zeroing down on the right URL calls for a modest level of ingenuity so take the time to create a keyword rich URL.
Avoid Duplicate Content at all costs
The content on your shadow website or websites should be built on unique content only. Do not replicate existing content (product descriptions included) because the major search engines tend to take a grim view of this situation.
Provide Back Links to all the Relevant pages on your flagship website
You are in no way restricted to linking to your main website’s home page alone. Link liberally to the various landing pages on your primary website and build plenty of good quality anchor text to drive qualified traffic and accelerate conversions.
Feel free to build more than one
There is no limit to how many feeder websites you build as long as they are all unique, do not replicate each other in any way, shape or form, and most importantly, provide good reasons to site visitors to link over to your primary website.
We have noticed just a handful of companies deploying shadow websites and there continues to remain room for growth. The nicest thing about shadow websites is that the hosting companies that provide them as a service also work hard to optimize their own websites and the sites they host. This means that sooner or later, your profile will be indexed by the major search engines and will be displayed prominently. Once you build your shadow or feeder website, write to us, send us its URL and share your experience with us.