The website went live at around 3:00 PM. At about 4:00 PM I got the email asking “why can’t I find my website on Google?” I’m happy that clients recognize the importance of being found in a Google search. But as good as Google is at indexing the web it’s likely going to take their software longer than an hour to find your new website.
Google and most search engines have software that constantly crawls the web (often referred to as spiders) following links from web page to web page and indexing material as it crawls. Given the vast size of the web, you can imagine it might take a while for even the fastest, most efficient spiders to find and index your website. However, there are techniques you can use to expedite and improve the chances that your site will be indexed soon.
- Create a Google local listing and while you’re at it, create a Bing and Yahoo listing too.
A Local listing allows you to create a free business listing on each of the search engines. When you create your listing you’ll have the opportunity to select business categories, a business description, types of payment you accept, your hours, and your contact information. A local listing is especially advantageous if you have a local market, but it doesn’t hurt to be “on the map” even if your market extends beyond local.
- Have business and trade associations link to your site.
Inbound links are one of most overlooked aspects of SEO (search engine optimization). Think about how search engines work. Their spiders crawl the web from link to link and index websites. If there are no links to your website it will be harder for the spiders to find your website. If there are many links to your website they will find you more often.
Contact associations where you are a member, like your Chamber of Commerce, or other trade associations and if they offer a link on their website make sure you give them your new website address. Contact any strategic alliances you may have and see if they’ll put a link on their website to your new site. Do a search online for directories that specialize in your industry and create listings where appropriate.
- Submit your URL to the search engines. You can submit your URL to search engines, and although it doesn’t guarantee they will list it, it doesn’t hurt to tell the search engines your url. Here are the links to submit your url.
Finally, remember that search engines are in the business of indexing information, so make sure that the information on your website is clearly written and kept current and relevant. Keep your website on your marketing schedule and make sure that it is updated regularly as your business changes and grows.