Once a new website is live, it becomes instantly usable but only accessible via a direct search. This means customers sent directly to the website can shop there, but potential customers using search engines will not find their way to those products or services right away.
The site won’t show up in Google, Yahoo, or Bing search results just yet—they don’t know it exists. A brand-new business website won’t rank on the search engines for quite some time. Before that can happen, the search engines must understand, organize, and index the site’s content for visitors.
Small business owners can speed up this process by submitting the site to these search engines, but the question is, how?
This article explains how to submit a website to a search engine so that it is crawled, indexed, and listed in the search results. Customers can then discover the website using search queries!
Step 1: Create an XML Sitemap
While many people choose to leave it up to the search engines to locate and discover their content without submission—this can take weeks, even months if the website has few inbound links. Why leave it up to chance?
To get listed quickly, site owners must create and submit something called a sitemap.
Sitemaps are great. They give the search engines an easy-to-crawl blueprint that outlines the structure and content of website pages. Once submitted, the crawler gets to work on the site.
Search engines are continually searching the internet, using scripts (most commonly known as web crawlers). A search engine crawler scans the web, reviewing everything they come across. They use links to follow pathways between pages and sites, hopping from one to the next.
A web crawler (or bot) has the power to scan and index millions of websites, building a vast library of searchable information as it goes. This is how search engines find terms— and how they deliver the most accurate results to users when they type in a search query.
Generating a sitemap for every new site, website redesign, or significant website upgrade ensures that the search engines always have the latest information on hand. For the site to appear in search engine rankings, all pages must be correctly mapped and indexed.
Create a structured XML sitemap using a WordPress plugin:
It’s common practice to include the generated XML sitemap in the footer of a business website. This must be done for submission to take place.
Step 2: Submit the Sitemap To the Search Engines
Submitting an XML sitemap to the search engines is easy. Once website navigation has been converted into the XML sitemap file (complete with all indexed URL pages), it will be ready to use.
- Click over to the web page hosting the XML sitemap.
- Copy the URL.
For Google Submission:
- Enter the Google Search Console > Select your property > Sitemaps > Paste > Click Submit
For Yahoo and Bing Submission:
- Enter Bing Webmaster Tools > Sitemaps > Submit a Sitemap
Yahoo Site Explorer was replaced with Bing Webmaster Tools in 2011.
Submitting takes a click or two, and the site will rank within a few weeks.
Step 3: Keep Your Sitemap Updated
A new website that has recently been submitted for a search engine listing will gradually appear in the search results, depending on the strength of the site’s SEO, business website design, and content.
To improve rankings and ensure that a website is continuously crawled, use these five known tactics.
#1: Regular Sitemap Submissions
After search engine registration of a mobile-friendly, e-commerce website, small business owners will want to update their sitemap submissions when significant changes take place regularly.
While the search engine will eventually update a new page or a new set of changes—speeding this along by re-submitting the modified URLs is a good practice, especially if page importance has changed. This can be done in the Google Search Console using the URL inspection tool.
Only submit a URL once to be re-indexed. Submitting it multiple times will not make the search engine index it any faster.
#2: Add Quality Content Pages
A business website must be continually updated with engaging content for search engine crawlers to review and rank. The more content the site has, the more ranking potential the site holds. In other words, if the website has 250 pages, that’s 250 pages carrying indexable search terms.
Quality content is best when it is longer (average of 2450 words on Google page one) because it contains more terms that rank and more reasons for others to link in and share its value.
#3: Keyword Optimize the Content
A new website must have search engine optimization working in its favor. Growing the quantity and quality of website visitors is a key priority for a small business starting online.
A single web page can be home to dozens, even hundreds, of indexable search terms that could attract visitors to the page. Every single page must contain relevant, researched keyword terms.
Use on-page SEO and keyword optimize your page content to attract targeted traffic to specific pages. Learn to correctly optimize your content with the right keywords to amplify sales.
#4: List the Website on Business Directories
If you are serious about your search engine ranking, you need to list your website in online business directories. This is great for SEO, as these top-ranking sites will link to the new business, giving it credibility and passing it traffic.
Online directories are beneficial with foot-traffic generation. People search for local businesses, and these directories promote the new site in their listings. Referral traffic is the result—leading customers to the website online and the business in-person.
#5: Exchange Links With Other Sites
In search engine marketing, small businesses benefit when they exchange links with higher-domain authority sites. There are techniques for doing this well that work and many that do not. Be careful about exchanging links with low-quality sites, link farms, and irrelevant companies.
A mobile-friendly website that is new to the online space can easily trade quality links through guest posting on other blogs and websites in their niche. This is a legitimate way to gain quality links and grow a community. Connect with other bloggers and build a close network for rapid online growth.
Make sure that your website hosting service keeps the site live at all times. Rankings fall when a website experiences downtime, and that translates into lost traffic and lost revenue.
Follow these three simple steps to submit a new website to the search engines so that you can rank your business. Then, keep the site updated using the five tips outlined to pave the way for a consistent flow of revenue-generating traffic online.