I have read on multiple blogs that with October and the fall season upon us, this is the time when many of us renew our websites and make changes for the upcoming year. Today, I’d like to tackle one specific area that should definitely get some attention: website indexing.
Why Is Indexing for SEO Important?
There are many reasons why indexing is so important, but it all funnels down into one. If your site is not properly indexed, you are not as visible as possible in search engines. If your best customers can’t find you, they’ll miss the opportunity to do business with you and you will miss the rewards of offering something of value to people who need it.
When your site is properly indexed, it is instantly visible to hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands more eyes than it would be implementing any other online or offline method of driving web traffic. This is why I want to focus on this particular area of SEO right now.
How to Index Your Site for SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital element to any successful website. One of the first and most important steps in the SEO process is getting your site indexed. If you do not have a webmaster and, like many freelancers, are doing “everything yourself”, here is a step-by-step guide to help you get your website indexed.
There are several steps to getting your site indexed, and it all begins with a properly organized and structured website. Here is a brief sketch of what major search engines like Google expect on your end to be able to discover and index your site:
The first step in the process involves creating a sitemap. A sitemap is an XML document that is placed on your web server. It alerts search engines whenever you add new content and also provides information on how often the search engines should check back to find more. If you are using WordPress, you can download a sitemap plugin for your site.
Once you have a well-developed sitemap, you then need to submit it to various search engines‘ Webmaster Tools. Google and Bing are your best friends at this stage of the process. Both allow you to submit your site to their search engines via Webmaster Tools applications. A Google account is required for this step.
You will also want to follow up by creating an account with Google Analytics to monitor your sites and gauge the overall effectiveness of your SEO efforts thus far. This can sometimes get a little overwhelming, so I will devote a future blogpost to it.
You prefer a step by step guide? Great! I filmed one
If you know a friend or colleague that is struggling with his / her website, please forward this post. It could really help!