After you get your business online, the first thing you’ll likely want is to have people find it. One way to do this is advertising and marketing, for sure. But one critical (and free) step you should do right away -- once your website is ready and optimized for SEO -- is to index your site with Google, so that people can find your site through search.
Think for a minute about how you shop online. You search for the product you want in a search engine like Google, and then click on links that show up as results. So you need YOUR business to show up for people who are looking for YOUR products and services in the same way.
As we’ve said before, Google is by far the most popular search engine today, with 67%+ of all searches happening there, so it makes sense to focus your attention on Google’s search engine. You can make sure your site shows up on Google quickly by indexing it.
What is indexing?
It’s a way of telling Google that your website exists. Google’s search bot may eventually find and index your site, but you really have no idea how long it will take, it could take weeks or more. So this is a way to speed up that process.
How to index your site with Google
Here are the steps:
1) Go to Google Webmaster Tools site. You will need to sign in with a Google Account. If you don’t already have one, you will need to create one.
2) Click on the ‘Add a Site’ button and submit your website URL.
3) You will be given different options to verify that you are the owner of the site. The easiest option is to choose the “HTML tag” option under “Alternate Methods”. You will be given a code that you need to copy-paste in the meta tag of your home page.
Webware clients, to paste the HTML tag into your homepage, go to Website > Site Pages in your workspace and select “Home” page, or ask your Guru for help with this.
4) Once the site is verified, you will get an email from Google that looks like this:
This email will help you set up your Google Webmaster Account.
If you are unsure of how to do the set up, there are helpful links to explain the whole process in easy-to-follow-steps. Whether you make use of the other options or not, be sure to submit the sitemap of your online store.
Once you have set up your account, your website, along with all its pages, will get indexed by Google soon thereafter. And once your site is indexed, it will show up in search results for searches that are relevant to your business.
How is indexing different from SEO?
SEO is about page rank, which is the next step. First, your site needs to be indexed.
Note that indexing does not guarantee your website will appear on the first page of Google search results. It only guarantees that it WILL show up on relevant search results. It won’t be missed.
For a new website, it’s highly unlikely you will show up on the first page right from the start. You need to work on your SEO to get it moving up the Page Rank, hopefully to the first page, for your most important keywords.
Indexing your site with Google is a key and simple first step to getting your site noticed by Google's search engine.
Webware customers, we’re now offering an SEO marketing package, where we will make sure that your site has all the right title tags and meta descriptions, and we will take care of indexing your site on Google for you. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or your Guru for more information!