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How do I get my site to appear in search engines?

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This is a very common question we are asked all the time. Most people think that as soon as you get a website up it will be on the search engines, this just is not the case.Think about this article as search 101 to understand how top search engines like Google, Yahoo, Live, and MSN work. Once you understand the basics it will put you towards building a strong search ranking.

To get started, your website with us has been optimized to help search engines read and understand the structure and content of your site. Even some questions/information you entered during your site creation process was designed to help with search ranking. With this in mind gives us a key advantage over other website providers that you benefit from having a website powered by our platform. When you first create your website it can take a few months before the website is even looked at by a search engine. Once the search engine finds you it will begin indexing your website content for their search index at this point people may start to find you when searching. So it is very important that once you select a domain name to use you stick with it otherwise it is like starting the whole process over.

You can speed this process along by submitting your website to the search engines. This can easily be done by taking advantage of one of the many places online that allow you to submit your website for free.

Now that your site is index you are competing with 1000's of websites for similar terms. So this part will help you beat their positions and out rank them when someone does a search. (Out rank means you will be closer to the top position when someone searches)

All search engines list sites by 3 basic factors; Times Indexed (Search Spiders find your pages via links and index your pages into the search database), Page relevance (Your content in relation to the search terms used), and site content (Content keyword density, Meta Tags, How often you update content, Etc). While beyond this formula that is used by search engines varies greatly.

The big question; Do you want to have a top listed site on search engines?

I am sure you answered yes. Everyone does and build traffic with search is an area few people know how to do. So I will start out on what you should not do first and then go from there;

Some important don'ts about building search traffic;

  1. Do not change your domain name often;
    1. Google, Yahoo, and all other engines store your index by your site domain name. Pick an name and stick with it.
    2. Don't delete your website! Keep it even if you don't use it. That site will build traffic over a long period of time and all search engines look how long a domain is in their index as a position factor. Beside when you are bored one day you may want to update it.
    3. Creating a site, and building it to something great takes a long period of time and dedication. The longer your site is up and is maintained with fresh content the better your ranking becomes over time.
  2. Do not muck up your site with keywords that are not related to what your site is about;
    1. Many people use Keywords that are terms not directly related to your site content.
    2. Find your target Keywords; use a list of no more than 10-12 words or phrases and focus on them. Pick words that are a close match to what your site is about.
    3. Do not use general keywords or phrases. If your site is about classic cars do not use cars or autos as your keywords. It is doubtful that based on keyword competition you would make it event close to the top 100 for those terms. Use Classic Cars, Vintage Cars, Cars as a Hobby. A recent study indicated the average number of words used for a search was 6. The more words a user uses to search, that match your keywords the higher your search rank.
    4. Set your site keywords and stick with them. Remember indexing does not happen overnight.
  3. If possible stay away for all image or flash based content and sites;
    1. Sites that are completely flash sites are not indexed well with search engines. While they look nice, the loss in search related traffic is not worth it.
    2. Remember search engines need your site content to find out what you are about. Search engines cannot read images or flash. They can only read text and html tags, the more text you have on your site and subpages the better.
    3. If you place images in your content use the alt tags with them.

Some important do's about building search traffic and for the most part they are simple;

  1. Promote your domain name everywhere you go
    1. Add your site URL/Domain to your forum posts, blog posts and comments, etc. The more places you are posting will bring more visitors and the search engines will be able to find your site more often.
    2. Search engines need a way to understand that your site is still active. When it finds a new link back to your site this helps your ranking.
    3. Update your website often, at least once a week with a new blog post, page update, etc.
      1. An updated website shows the search engines that your site is still active. Have you ever notices when you search on Google it always gives you sites on the first page that are very active? The search engines value to their users is to return relevant, and active websites.
      2. Updates do not have to be very in-depth. Just some minor changes of 20 words or more would do.
      3. Exchange links or buy links on other websites that link back to your website
        1. This pretty much goes into the first 1 their about promoting your website and this is much quicker then posting your site all over the place. There are many places you can buy links, site sponsorships, exchange links, or free site directories.
        2. The more places you are linked from the better. That gives the search engines more ways to find your site, the more times the search engines visit your site will impact your search ranking in a good way.

        There is so much more to building a site that is a search engine magnet. But if you follow this information you will be doing more then 99% of people that have websites.

        If you would like to know more about Search Engine Optimization and Building more traffic for your website let us know.


Published:Sep 13th 2010
Modified:Sep 13th 2010

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