So you have your website up and ready, but you don’t have any traffic yet. For most sites, search engines are the primary source of traffic, so it’s important to let the search engines know that your website exists. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can help get your site into search engines.
Even if you don’t do anything, over time your website will probably get listed on its own. Search engine spiders are constantly crawling the web and will eventually reach your site, but not only does this take a lot of time, it’s also unlikely that you’ll get a high enough position in the search engine to show up in the first few pages of search results. For this reason, if search engine traffic is important to your site, there are ways you can actively get your site listed and ranking well in search engines to dramatically increase your traffic.
Do note that search engine ranking is not dependent on the server you are on, who is hosting your site, or whether you have a dedicated IP address. InMotion Hosting also does not control how search engines rank your site, as search engines are run by third parties that follow their own policies.
What Is SEO and what do I do?
The ability to get your site listed in the search engines and to rank highly is known as SEO, or Search engine Optimization. You can learn the basics about SEO in our SEO getting started guide.
Next, do some research on how search engines work. There are hundreds of reliable articles online that offer tips on search engine optimization. To get started:
You should start by adding your site to search engines manually instead of waiting for them to look for you. The site below will allow you to add your site to many search engines at one time:
For CMS users (Joomla, WordPress, etc), use “search engine friendly” (SEF) URLs. These reformat the URLs of your website so they are understandable by search engines. For example, below is how a CMS may format your URL: http://example.com/index.php?page=45&option=something
A Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URL would look like this: http://example.com/45/something
These are easier for search engines to read, making it easier for them to index your site. Most CMS’s will have a SEF extension or plugin that can do this for you.
After following the SEO basics, you can help your site further by tweaking it a little more. Below are the most common things to do next.
- Create a sitemap! Sitemaps are mainly used by Yahoo and Google to index your site:
- Use meta tags:
If you are using a CMS, your CMS may have a third-party sitemap extension.
Social Media – Get your site noticed!
With social media getting stronger every day, the search engines have taken a very big interest in how your site performs on these types of sites. The more attention your sites receive, ie: the more people are talking about it, the more credibility this can give your site for specific search terms. Social media is not the Be All End All to get a higher ranking, but it certainly helps. You can learn more about social media for building traffic and ranking by clicking here.