How To Get Your Website Listed In The Search Engines
I must hear this question from every client I talk with. “How do I get my website to be listed in the search engines results pages (SERP)?”
The short answer to this question is by submitting your website to the major search engines through their search engine directory submission page. Note: By doing so does not guarantee that your website will be listed, let alone be shown in any search results pages.
MSN (now known as bing): http://www.bing.com/docs/submit.aspx
Now that we have that out of the way for the people who are looking for the quick and easy road to riches, I will answer the question to the best of my ability.
While the formulas and algorithms used by search engines is rapidly evolving, the concepts to get your website listed in the SERP’s are the same.
First, you must understand why search engines exist in the first place. Their purpose is to help users of the internet find the most relevant information to their particular interest at any given moment.
While their are literally hundreds of search engines, the big three are Google, Yahoo, and Bing (formerly MSN). At the time of this writing, Google has the largest percentage of unique searches, with the new Bing, from Microsoft nipping at it’s coattails.
With billions of websites on the internet these days, it requires a “robot” to do the work of indexing websites and sorting them. When a search engine robot or spider, crawls the web in search for new websites or information, it looks for specific details in the structure of the websites it comes across.
Search engine robots find these websites through hyperlinks. In case you didn’t know what a hyperlink is, it is an object on a website, such as text or an image, that you can click on and be transferred to another web page. This is how the world wide web is connected.
Every time the search engine spiders come across a link to your website it counts it as a vote. The basic concept here is that the more votes your website receives, the more popular your website must be, therefore better rankings in the SERP’s. Each vote for your website either contributes to or reduces your website’s Page Rank (PR). It depends on the PR of the referring website.
Page Rank is the score your website receives based on the quality of the content it contains and the number of quality and relevant websites that link to it. It is the number that determines how well your website ranks in the SERP’s and ranges from PR1 to PR10. The higher your PR, the higher your web page will be listed in the SERP’s. In this calculation, the search engines will also take into account the websites that you link to as well.
Other factors that determine how well your website ranks in search engines, is the structure of your website. The use of optimized page titles, meta-tags, and headings.
Page titles are the actual links that get displayed in the search results and are at the top of your browser. The optimal length for page titles is around 60 characters. Be sure to use keywords in your page title and give each page of your website a unique title. Note: Make the page title make sense to the reader. Rule of thumb, write for your audience first, search engines second.
Next thing you want to optimize is the meta-description. This is the text that is displayed under the page title on search engine results. The length for your meta-description should not exceed 250 characters. Use keyord rich descriptions and always end with a call to action.
The least important of all of your website’s meta tags are the meta-keywords. While most search engines don’t take this tag into account anymore, you should still carefully consider what keywords to use for each page. Limit each page to no more than 9 keywords for the meta-keywords tag.
Finally, the rest of the factors on your website are referred to on-page Search Engine Optimization. This includes such things as <h1>,<h2>,<h3>, or heading tags. The number of times a keyword appears that you optimize a specific page for.
While this is by no means a complete explanation of search engine optimization (SEO), it covers the basis of getting your website ranked well by search engines.
Optimizing your website for search engines is an ongoing process and takes an extensive time committment, but when done correctly, can prove very profitable.
I will post a future article for readers who are looking for a more immediate result for utilizing the search engines for increasing website traffic. In the meantime, happy optimizing!