How to get your website listed in Search Engines

There is a lot of misinformation about how to get listed in search engines. On this page we will try list some basic and solid ideas about how you should try to get your site listed.

Concentrate on the Major Search Engines First
Google, Yahoo and MSN account for over 90% of all search engine use so focus your efforts on these first.
Google, Yahoo and MSN will also list your site for FREE. It is the goal of these search engines to list as many websites as possible so they give the best possible search results.

5 Steps to Getting Listed in the Major Search Engines

  1. Research Your Keywords

    Keyword Research is the first and most important aspect in Search Engine Optimisation.
    What are keywords? Keywords are what someone would type into a search engines to find a product, service or information. They can be just one word but much more likely are going to be keyphrases. Example: If looking for a hotel I would not just type in "hotel" but probably "hotel in dublin city centre".

    Keyword Research is important because you can be get a lot of traffic from search engines but if it is for the wrong keywords the traffic is unlikely to generate any business. Focused key phrases help increase your chnages of being ranked in search engines and deliver highly targeted traffic resulting in a higher visitor to customer conversion ratio.

    The keyword research has 3 main steps

    1. Prepare a full list of Keywords - Start by writing down all the individual search terms you can think of.

    2. Analysis - Using the above list look at your competitors websites and see what terms they use frequently. Also there are various tools available online to help you determine the popularity (amount of traffic) search terms get. Combine your initial list of keywords and what you have learnt in step 2 to create a revised focused list of 15 to 30 keyphrases. Note: If you have a large website perhaps split the list into topics/subject.

    3. Inclusion - How that you have a defined list of key phrases to use make sure they are included on your website for the search engines to see. Most important is to make sure that the content on your website is as keyphrase rich as possible. Also make sure that your page titles, meta description, alt tags, H1 tags etc are all keyword rich as well. Be careful not to over do it, avoid over-repetition of keywords and keyword stuffing (putting in lots of keyphrases just for the sake of adding more keyphrases to a page).

  2. Ensure your website is as Search Engine Friendly as possible

    The major search engines have been working very hard to stop websites that "con" or try to trick them. There are no "do this and you will definitely get listed" techniques. Nor are there any real great hidden and mystic techniques that search engine companies use to get you listed. Sorry
    The truth of the matter is you need to build a good high quality website, with clean code, good content, lots of links and well researched and optimised keywords. This alone is enough for most businesses to get a good listing in the major search engines.
    Here is a list of some additional tips:

    • Clean Code - Try to make sure your website is XHTML complainant.

    • Unique Page Titles - Make sure every page on your site has a keyphrase rich title

    • Sitemap - Sitemaps are pages which list every page on your website. This is very useful to search engines as it helps make sure they see your whole website.

    • Local Listings - To be listed in the local results (EG the pages from ireland in Google) make sure you have a local domain name and the ip address your hosting companies provides is also local/Irish.

    • Avoid overuse of Flash - Animation, video, music, etc are usually done using Flash which hinders a search engines ability to "understand" your site

    • Avoid ANY Possible Black techniques - Black techniques are methods for tricking the major search engines. There are lots of websites with "guaranteed to work methods" or we will list you on 10,000 websites. Avoid all of these. The golden rule is if it even sounds slightly unethical or dangerous do not do it. If a major search engine thinks you are trying to trick it repercussions are very serious and can include black listing your site.

  3. Create Unique Compelling Content

    The major search engines love unique content, they consider you are providing something of value to the Internet community.
    Also people want new and unique content (would you read the same newspaper every day?). Unique, well written content will not only increase the chances of getting listed in search engines but it will also make your website that much better and more interesting to read.
    The quality of the content is also one of the most underrated aspects of website development. Companies often plagiarise content from competitors or suppliers websites, major search engines hate this. A similar failing to not put in much content at all, would you send out a salesman to a potential customer just to read out two lines describing the product?

    How do you create unique compelling content?
    If you ever think you have figured out a shortcut to creating new content for the search engines, please stop. There is no shortcut; creating unique content is difficult, but not impossible.
    Effective communication requires hard work, and the results look easy. Such is life.

    To point you in the right direction consider this example:
    Imagine developing a website for a company that simply distributes a range of products for a given area. What can their website say that the manufactures website does not already say? Yes they can just rewrite the content but ask yourself, “How can we create more value for our visitors?”

    1. Can you write case studies with industry-specific examples?

    2. Can you have visitors add reviews about the product or service?

    3. Can you create an FAQ page that only talks about the product or service from the buyer’s perspective?

    4. Can you write a buyer’s guide?

    If you simple cannot write your own content, then all is not lost. You can hire a copy writer to create it for you. If you are interested in this service please contact us.

  4. Links, Links, Links

    Google and other major search engines have only two main ways to determine where to list your site in their index.
    1. The site itself and steps 1, 2 & 3 tell you how to maximise this. However people can put anything on a web page so the search engines need a way to measure a websites relevancy, reliability and trustworthiness. The do this by looking at what other websites links to yours.
    Links play a MAJOR factor in where your site is listed on search engines and here is why:

    Consider links as votes in a democratic society. Example: if one site has five websites linking to it, but another has 100 that link to it, then most likely site two is a better choice. It is also important to consider the relevance of the link. Example: If a website sells clothes and a fashion magazine publish and article with a link to their website this is very useful because the fashion magazine website is in a similar industry and uses similar search terms, where if a holiday travel website links to clothes sites this is of less benefit.

    To begin with look for as  many links as possible from reliable websites. Ask business associates, manufactory sites, industry websites etc to put a link to your site and in return if you have a links page return the favour. Here are some tips on how to get links:

    • Directories - Yahoo, DMOZ, even the Golden Pages are all directory websites and many allow free submissions

    • Search for you most important search terms and see what sites appear on the results page. If you see any directory or non competing sites listed, ask them to link to you.

    • Ask industry related website to link to you. EG if in the tourism business and board failte approved make sure their site links to you. Similarly if you have suppliers or manufactures sites often have a directory of suppliers and make sire your site is listed.

    How many links should you have?
    As many as possible so long as they are quality links. A website should never stop getting more links, as it grows more and more links will help maintain and improve your search engine position.

  5. Getting your site Indexed on Google, Yahoo and MSN

    A question we get asked all the time is how do I get my website into Google or other major search engine? The answer is your probably already are listed but if your not get people to link to your site.
    To be listed in the Google’s, Yahoo's and MSN's index you need to get as many authoritative links pointing at your site as possible. Each of the major search engines do have submission tools but forget about these as they can take months to index your site it at all. With the right links pointing at your site you can get indexed in a week or less, so go beg, borrow or steal to get those links. See step 4 more more advise on how to get links.
    To check to see if you site is listed on a search engine, search for your specific domain name. EG companyname.com and the results page will show if the search engine has any links direct to that domain name. 

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