A new website is like a newborn baby. And no, I’m not referring to feeling like you went through labor pains to build it!
A newborn is fresh into the world and relatively unknown except to its proud parents, although not for long. New parents typically spend the next few days broadcasting news of the baby's arrival to family, friends, and basically anyone else who'll make the mistake of feigning interest. The baby's network grows and extends, going from unknown to well-connected in no time.
In a similar way, your new site enters the world wide web (of approximately 2 million websites and counting) and the only person who knows about it is you. Obviously you want to remedy that situation - fast.
So just like a proud new parent, you need to go about getting the news out that your website has arrived. Here are our top five ways to broadcast your baby website and start building its network asap.
#1 – Links from established websites
When you have CNN reporting news of your baby's birth to the world, everyone knows about it in record quick time. Matt Cutts, arguably Google's most well-known engineer, confirmed that getting a backlink to your site from a high profile website is the fastest way to get your page indexed, adding that indexing can be done in fractions of a second.
So if you can arrange to get your site linked to from a well-known site with a good PageRank, then that's the best method of getting your site linked quickly. Some ways to get backlinks from authority sites include:
- Write and submit a press release to www.prnewswire.com about your new site
- Submit articles containing backlinks to your site to Ezinearticles, Wetpaint, HubPages and Squidoo
- Add linkbait articles to your site for adding to social bookmarking sites like Digg or Delicious
#2 – Submit your site to Google
Submitting your site to Google should be a standard part of your procedure for building a new site. In fact, we strongly recommend creating an account with Google Webmaster Tools, if you haven’t already, and adding any new site via this dashboard.
The advantage of submitting your website using Google Webmaster Tools is that you can also get insights into a range of other site search variables. It's probably about as close as you'll get to learning the inner workings of the Google search bots, and how they interact with your site.
Part of adding your site to Google Webmaster Tools should include submitting a sitemap.xml file. If you're using WordPress then there are plugins to automate the process of sitemap submission, and which will re-submit whenever you update your site. Very convenient.
#3 – Get listed in a directory
Getting listed in a directory is like making sure you're in the phone book. The key here, if you want to get indexed quickly, is to list with well-respected and widely-used directories. There are both paid and free directories you can list with including www.dmoz.org (free), www.lii.org (free) and dir.yahoo.com ($299 pa).
When you create your listing, you should aim to cater for both the search bots and human visitors by setting up an inviting site profile that encourages visitors to click through to your site.
#4 – Blog comments
While commenting on blogs is a technique that has been widely abused by spammers, it can still be an effective method for getting your site indexed. Just because most blogs are set to nofollow any links in the comments doesn't mean that search engine bots won't follow the link and index the destination page.
A great way to use blog comments is to make a genuine comment (not just 'nice post'!) followed by a deep link to a relevant page on your site that might discuss a similar subject. Deep links (links to pages other than your homepage) are a vital part of making sure your whole site is thoroughly indexed. Previously, we've discussed ways to ensure your entire site indexed by Google, so you may want to read over this post again in preparation for this step.
#5 – Create interesting and unique content
Secretly you were hoping we wouldn't mention the dreaded 'C' word weren’t you? But valuable content is just as important in getting your site indexed by the search engines as the other points I’ve mentioned.
While it might seem like spammers get indexed fast, Google's algorithms are focused on identifying these spam sites quickly, and then removing them from the index as quickly as they arrived. By developing valuable, unique content you can improve your longevity and success in the search index and increase your chances of getting backlinks from other sites.
How do I know when my site has been indexed?
Don't wait up expecting a phone call from Google to let you know your website has been indexed - you'll be waiting a long time. Simply run a site search and you'll known if your website is now in the great Google index.
Go to Google and enter site:yourdomain.com into the search box.
This trick will work for the other search engines as well. If the search doesn't return any pages, then your site hasn't been indexed yet. You can either check that you've followed the suggestions properly above, or just wait a bit longer.
Introducing your new website to the world starts with getting indexed by the search engines, and in particular Google. You can then start to focus on working your way up the rankings and getting your new baby even more publicity.
And you don’t even have to email your mum!