If you’ve recently developed your small business’ website, congratulations. You’ve taken the first and hardest step to being found online. But in order to be found, search engines need to know your site exists. Every few weeks, the spiders (think of tiny bots that crawl the web looking for new content) will come across your website, but if you want to be found sooner, you can manually submit your small business content to the major search engines.
Start With Google
I’m a Google girl, so let’s start there. In addition to providing you a link where you can submit your URL for easy discovery, Google has plenty of other free tools you may want to take advantage of. If you are a local business, you can incorporate Google Local into your web marketing strategy, which will allow you to add contact information, a map, location description, website and, most important, customer reviews. Anyone who visits your Google Local page can create a review of your location, which can help more customers find you.
Google offers other tools that may enhance your findability online, so check them out to see what you can incorporate.
Bing and Yahoo
Bing and Yahoo don’t offer the plethora of small business tools that Google does, but it’s still important to be found on these search engines. Bing offers a simple form to add your URL, and it does double duty, as Yahoo now used Bing for its search results. So submitting to Bing also gets you listed on Yahoo.
Other Places to Be Listed
In addition to getting your website listed on search engines, you might consider adding it to directories like DMOZ and industry-specific directories online. The purpose of doing this is: the more places your website is linked to from other sites, the more search engines like it. (The caveat is that these should be reputable, high-traffic sites that link to yours). When a search engine deems that your site is a “good” site, it will move you up in search results.
There are sites that will submit your URL to multiple search engines, including smaller, less frequently used sites, either free or for a fee. One example is Submit Express, which appears to be free. The added bonus is that this site offers a free Meta Tag Generator, which can help you better target the keywords you have on your website and behind the scenes so that more people find you when searching online.
By taking the time to submit your website to search engines and directories, you are helping grow your business faster. The sooner people can find your website online, the sooner they can buy from you.
Looking for more tips on being found online? Attend our FREE webinar, “Why Your Business Needs to Get Found Online” on January 22, 2012, at 1 pm eastern.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur Tips andInternet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as Small Business Trends, CorpNet, and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.