One of the first steps towards getting traffic to your website is to get it indexed by the major search engines – Google and Bing. Being indexed means that your domain name, or your home page, appears in the list of websites that the search engine knows about. It doesn’t mean that your site will appear on the first page of the search results for any search term other than, perhaps, your domain name.
How do you know if your site has been indexed? Go to Google.com and type in “site:mywebsite.co.za” – without the quote marks, and obviously replacing “mywebsite.co.za” with whatever your website domain name is. Make sure you don’t put a space between “site:” and the domain name. Getting your website indexed by Google isn’t particularly difficult. Here are some effective ways to do it:
1. Get backlinks from highly trafficked sites. There are a number of popular web sites which are spidered multiple times per day. Many of these will allow you to create your own profile, blog or page. If you have a link back to your website, you can expect that it will be followed by Google’s spider within a short period of time.
Here are some sites which let you create your own pages with backlinks – there are many others as well:
Set up a free account with any or all of these, create a short, unique article about your company, your product or your service, with a link back to your website and there you go. Each of these sites has its own quirks – for example HubPages wants you to put up a bit more than one short article.
2. Set up an RSS Feed. Google owns one of the top RSS feed management services, FeedBurner.com. In my experience, if you set up a FeedBurner feed for your blog, you can get it indexed in under 24 hours.
3. Add it to Blog Directories Blog directories like Technorati and IceRocket keep tabs on the RSS feeds from millions of blogs. Whenever a new post is made to any of these blogs, it gets listed by the directory. Since Google crawls Technorati’s directory regularly, a new post can be indexed in a matter of hours. Create free accounts at Techorati and IceRocket and submit (or ‘claim’) your blog.
You can do all of the techniques I’ve mentioned. Not only will your site be indexed quickly, but once the search engines know about your site, they will crawl it regularly as well. This means that updates such as blog posts will be noticed and indexed as they happen.
You’ll notice that I’ve assumed that you have a blog. Blogs have a number of advantages over conventional ‘static’ websites. Blogging software has a number of built-in features which help to improve the search engine exposure of your web site – like automatically pinging the blog directories, built-in RSS feeds and so on.