Although it’s completely possible to have a successful website without being indexed and ranked on the major search engines, it sure helps a heck of a lot. After all, how cool would it be to get free, effortless, targeted traffic to your website? It’s pretty great, in fact, niche websites thrive on it. So what are you waiting for anyway?
Submitting Your Websites To Search Engines
The first, and perhaps, the most important step to getting traffic to your website, is to submit it to the major search engines. To be honest, the only notable search engines worth submitting to are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Many other websites use portals of other search engines, which display their own results.
Search engines like websites with content, so I wouldn’t submit until your website has at least 15 pages. Once it does, go to these links, and submit your site. It could take weeks before it is indexed, but be patient, and do not submit multiple times. If you want to monitor the progress, sign up for Google Webmaster Tools.
Once your pages are indexed, you will start receiving targeted traffic from search engines. Yep, it’s that easy. But if you want to rank well and get crawled often, you’ll want to make it easy for the search engine robots. Which brings me to my next point…
Making Your Website Spider Friendly
Now that you’ve submitted your site to the major search engines, it’s time to check your website, and make sure the search engine spiders will be able to read it without running into any problems.
First of all, search engine spiders can not read content inside of a frame, so if you plan on using them, don’t put any valuable text in there. Images are ok, because search engine spiders can not interpret images either. They will however, use the image’s alt tag to try and determine what it is, but generally images don’t make a huge difference.
Secondly, it is important to have a lot of text per page. You don’t need a ridiculous amount, but each page should have at least 250 words. The spider needs to be able to determine what the web page is about, and with very small amounts of text it’s hard to do so. As a result, you tend not to get ranked as highly as you could be.
This is especially important if you plan on displaying Adsense ads on your website. Google crawls your page and tries to display ads relevant to that page based on what is on it, and with minimal text, you will have less relevant ads. Which means less clicks, and less money for you.
However, this absolutely does not mean write a bunch of bad content in order to increase your word count. Write for your visitors, not for the search engines. If an article can only be summed up in 200 words, write it in 200 words. If it’s too short, perhaps you could include it along with another similar idea and combine the two posts to make one good post. Anyhow, moving away from that..
It is also important that your website is easy to navigate. Search engine spiders will crawl a page, then navigate to other pages linked from that page. You don’t want a spider having to go through 7 other pages to get to the page you want to index. It’s annoying for your visitors as well. If you’re having trouble with spiders finding certain pages, make sure they can be accessed by following links from your home page. If you are still having trouble, submit a sitemap.
Finally, it is good to use keywords in your hyperlinks. Let’s say for example, I had a page that was linking to another page that was about folding pants. Instead of having that says “click here to be sent to that page” it’d be better to have something like “click here to learn about folding pants”.
Now that you’ve submitted your website to the engines and made it spider friendly, now you just got to wait, and keep publishing great content. I promise, the search engines will notice you and start ranking you, and you’ll feel great.