Following the setup of your CatN vCluster the next step is to have your website indexed by the search engines.

This is a fairly simple task that could take anything from a few hours to a couple of weeks In fact SEO is an ongoing task if you want to keep your website on the front page of Google for your chosen keywords.

The 4 main search engines at the moment are:

Google Logo Yahoo Logo
Ask Logo Bing Logo

The following steps will help you to get your website indexed in the major search engines quickly.

1. Get your website ready for indexing

In order for Search Engines to crawl your whole website they need to start with the homepage, this is the most important page to be indexed. It is important to have a good linking structure throughout your website, make sure all your navigation links are followed, and every page can be accessed easily from either the navigation menu or links on the individual pages.

Following these practices will allow Search Engines to crawl your entire site easily. Internal linking is a big factor when trying to get all of your pages indexed. Take your time, think about it, and do it right.

2. Submit your XML sitemap

The next step is to submit your sitemap to the search engines. A site map is a document or webpage that lists all the pages accessible to users and search engines. If you are using WordPress there are plenty of plugins that will generate a sitemap for you I recommend the WordPress Sitemap Generator

If you’re not sure how to install a plugin have a look at the next few steps. Otherwise you can skip forward to specific search engines

Installing the Sitemap Generator:

  1. Follow the following link to download the plugin.

  2. Once you have downloaded the plugin you need to install it. Login to your WordPress account and click the plugin tab and then ‘add new’.

  3. Choose the file you want to upload and click on the ‘Install Now’ button.

  4. When the plugin is installed successfully click the ‘Activate Now’ button.

  5. Once the plugin is activated a new tab will become available under the ‘Settings’ section named ‘XML-Sitemap’

  6. All the settings should be configured, you don’t need to change anything simply click the ‘build sitemap now’ link.

  7. The sitemap is now built and ready, the URL of your sitemap will be ‘www.example.com/sitemap.xml’

If your not using WordPress you can use this site to generate a sitemap: XML Sitemaps (when the sitemap is complete download it and upload it into your root folder and save the URL for later)

Now that you have a sitemap you need to submit it to the search engines. I have explained how to do this for each major search engine.

Google

Before you submit your sitemap you can add your URL here. Adding your URL to Google adds your site to the list of sites that Google will crawl. Essentially it tells Google that your site exists and is ready to be crawled. It speeds up the process of Google finding your site organically and ensures that Google will index you (even if it isn’t on the front page!).

Once you have added your URL you need to setup Google Webmaster tools. Login if you have a Google account if not you will have to create one (it’s free). Google Webmaster Tools gives you access to lots of useful tools to track your site, such as traffic and visitor levels. Once logged in click the add site button, fill in the details and then verify your site. I find the easiest way to do this is to add the HTML file into your root directory.
Once you have verified the site you will then be taken to the dashboard for that URL. On the left panel you will see a menu with a Site Configuration tab. Select this tab and navigate to ‘Sitemaps’. You can now add the URL of the sitemap you generated earlier, it usually takes around 48 hours for Google to update your sitemap.

Yahoo

You can submit your sitemap and URL to Yahoo! at the Site Explorer page on the Yahoo! website.

You will need to sign up to Yahoo! to submit your site. Once you have created an account you can verify ownership of a submitted site by uploading a file or adding page meta to your homepage. The verification methods are very similar to a Google submission.

In the left sidebar of the Site Submission panel under the newly submitted site is a link called ‘Feeds’. This is where you submit your sitemap. Just enter the location of the sitemap on your site domain and click Add Feed.

Bing

Bing has their own set of webmaster tools like Google. You don’t need to sign up to use their tools however.
If you head to the Bing Toolbox, you can see two options to submit a site to Bing, and to submit a site map. It’s best to start with submitting a site to Bing so it will be indexed next time ‘BingBot’ spiders.

Submitting a site is really easy. Enter you website domain name, and characters to avoid spam and you’re done! Now head back to the Bing Toolbox and navigate to submitting a sitemap.

The Bing process for submitting a site map is a little more complicated than other search engines. Here are the steps:

  1. Copy and paste the following address into your web browser address bar but don’t press enter, just leave it in the bar so you can edit it. http://www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx?sitemap=www.YourWebAddress.com/sitemap.xml
  2. Replace www.YourWebAddress.com/sitemap.xml with your own website and sitemap.
  3. For me it would be www.example.com/sitemap.xml, so the complete address would be: http://www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx?sitemap=www.example.com/sitemap.xml.
  4. Once complete you can press enter to navigate to the address in your web browser.

Phew, that’s Bing out of the way!

Ask

Ask doesn’t have any formal Web Master tools, and also doesn’t have a separate way to submit a site map and submit a website for indexing. The advice on their Web Master FAQ’s is to submit the sitemap and your site will be indexed shortly afterwards.

Q: How do I register my site/URL with Ask so that it will be indexed?

A: We appreciate your interest in having your site listed on Ask.com and the Ask.com search engine. Your best bet is to follow the open-format Sitemaps protocol, which Ask.com supports. Once you have prepared a sitemap for your site, add the sitemap auto-discovery directive to robots.txt, or submit the sitemap file directly to us via the ping URL. (For more information on this process, see Does Ask.com support sitemaps?) Please note that sitemap submissions do not guarantee the indexing of URLs.

Right, so Ask need you to submit your sitemap in a similar way to Bing. Again, it involves using a URL in your web browser. This time the URL looks like this: http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml

Simply replace the http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml bit with your own URL. In my case it would be www.example.com/sitemap.xml, so the complete URL is:

http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=http://example.com/sitemap.xml

3. Speeding things up

There are a few additional things you can do to speed up your site being indexed, and improving it’s rank in your target search engines.

Submit your site to online directories related to you niche

A web directory is not a search engine. It is a list of websites sorted by categories and sub categories, not keywords. Also, web directories will display an entire site, instead of linking to a single page that has relevant keywords for the search terms being submitted.

Post in a related forum with your link in the signature

Posting in a forum not only raises awareness of your website and involves you in the community surrounding your niche, but you can also add a link to your website in your signature. When Google next spiders the forum it will follow this link to your site and index it. Remember though Google doesn’t follow no-follow links which are commonly used in comment sections and forums.

Setup Google Analytics

Officially there is no benefit to using Google Analytics regarding getting your site indexed. However, there are plenty of SEO comments reporting improvements in indexing speed, and it makes sense that a site being tracked by Google Analytics will be indexed by Google more rapidly.

Ping your website using Pingomatic

Using a service like Pingomatic is a great way to update blog websites about new content on your own blog. Linking to any new content through these blog sites is a great way for Google to find you, and index your site.

Use social networking sites with do-follow links

Remember I mentioned no-follow links earlier and said that Google wont follow them? Well, do-follow links let Google follow them, and hopefully to your website! Social networking sites that let you create do-follow links out to your blog are a great way to speed up the indexing of your site as they are regularly crawled by Google. here are some good sites to try:

Try to gain a Backlink from a high traffic blog or website

Gaining a back link from a high traffic web site is like a vote for your site. Google sees it as an endorsement and will improve your page rank as a result. Regarding speeding up your site being indexed, the more links coming in to your site, the higher the chance of Google indexing your site quickly. This is particularly true if you receive a back link from a site that is crawled by Google regularly such as a news website or high traffic blog.

Submit your site to who is websites

WhoIs websites, such as the following examples, store data on the owner of a website and will link to the site in question. Using WhoIs websites is the fastest way to gain back-links for new websites, Google also regularly crawls WhoIs websites, so submitting your site will increase the rate at which Google indexes your website.

The following URL’s can be used to submit your site to the major WhoIs directories. Just replace the yourdomain.com with the URL of your website.

  • www.alexa.com/siteinfo/yourdomain.com
  • www.getwebsitevalue.com/www.yourdomain.com
  • www.who.is/whois-com/yourdomain.com
  • www.alexa.com/data/details/?url=yourdomain.com

4. After you’re indexed

On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO will help the search engines determine what your website is about and what keywords to rank it for. On-Page SEO involves you optimising your website for the keywords you are trying to target. This is an extremely involved topic that is beyond the scope of this article. There are plenty of resources all over the web for improving your on-page SEO. Here are some of the best:

Keywords

You have a shoe shop and the main keyword you are trying to target is ‘Buy Shoes Online’ and your website’s homepage currently shows your page title as “Buy Shoes Here”. To optimise the homepage for your chosen keyword simply change the page title to ‘Buy Shoes Online’. But you shouldn’t just put the keyword in the title you should use them wisely and as much as possible throughout your site BUT don’t over do it, that would be bad. Google classes sites as spam if keywords are over used, and you really don’t want google to think your site is spammy!

Navigation and out-bound links

On-Page SEO also involves making your website easily accessible for the search engine bots you can do this by having a clean navigation and a good internal link structure. Search engines also take note of who you’re linking to, be careful not to link to spam sites or ‘Bad Neighbourhoods’ as they call them.

Here Is a brilliant forum thread explaining On-Page SEO in great detail.

Off Page SEO

Off Page SEO is a bit more time consuming then on-page SEO, the main part of off page SEO is building ‘backlinks’ to your site. This is tedious and can be annoying at times but it comes with great rewards if you do it right. You should target trusted domains with no spam, the higher the page rank the better.

There is a lot to learn regarding off-page SEO, this guide will teach you a lot.

When you start your SEO campaign you need to track your progress so you know what works for your site and what doesn’t, for this you need SEO tools and the best place for them is SEOmoz, they offer a range of paid and unpaid tools so its worth checking them out.

Ricky Dawn SEO and Content Executive

Ricky was an SEO and sales expert with a long string of successes to his name. He focused on producing targeted content for SEO benefits.