If you've ever tried to get directions to a friend’s house through street maps or Google maps and the house, or even neighborhood, wasn't there, you'll begin to understand the frustration for new website owners.
After your website has been completed you will soon learn that the website does not show up in Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engine you can put your fingertips on. Not even a direct address URL search of http://www.example.com will bring up your site. That is because search engines have not found your website or indexed it and they do not know your site even exists, much like a new neighborhood on Google maps. Only typing the full URL address in the browser window will bring your site up. These URL addresses are much like finding the GPS coordinates of a home address when you are searching on Google maps; it’s the exact location to your website.
As frustrating as this new truth is, there is an entire industry now that is dedicated to bringing high relevance in searches to your type of site. But beware of promises these search engine optimization (SEO) services make. There is no magic secret to getting your site to show up in searches. There is, however, a basic formula. One part is ALWAYS time. It can take a search engines up to six months to crawl the web and index your site. The major search engines will typically take 2-3 months once you submit a sitemap and request your URL to be searched (here is one link to start http://www.google.com/addurl/).
Aside from giving your site time, typically a site not coming up in a search engine is not the fault of the web designer/developer, it is based upon a variety of factors, one of them being demand or availability of the type of searches related to yours. If you have a large pool of competitors, nearly any search will be very hard to be on top without paying to be there.
If you’re in the market for a new web designer or already have a web designer, ask him/her if they can create or update your site for basic SEO. Then based upon the demand of your service or product decide if a Google Adwords or similar campaign is right for you. Afterwards, let your website designer know about your intentions and he/she can make sure the site and campaign words are similar. Remember to be skeptical of search engine optimization services (SEO) and give your site time to be recognized.
There are a number of other major factors that can contribute to your site being search engine friendly. A few are listed fellow:
- Using code to web standards, including HTML and CSS
- Limiting Flash based websites (incredibly search unfriendly)
- Number of backlinks and external Links
- Updating content regularly and not changing web addresses
- Software or free site providers that do not provide a dedicated URL for your domain name
Web designers and developers: Refer your clients to articles like these before starting your service to reduce any frustration later on. My clients sign a service agreement stating they understand what will happen when their site is live.
You can use my form for free at http://www.mightymarketing.com/forms/webservice_agree.pdf *
*Mighty Marketing is not legally responsible for use of form. Use at own risk.