Site Promotion and SEO
So you've launched a new business website or you have an existing one.
You could just wait for search engines such as Google to index your web pages and hope that they give your pages a high ranking.
Alternatively, you could actively help customers find your site without the search engines, as well as optimising your site for better search engine performance.
Read on to
- find out the 5 main factors influencing your site's ranking in search engines.
- use our action plan to promote your site and optimise it for a better search engine ranking.
Before you can begin to improve your business site's performance, it helps to understand the main factors influencing where your web pages are positioned in the search results:
- The age of your web address. The longer your site has been on the Internet, the better, as it takes time for the search engines to index and evaluate your web pages and credibility.
- The number and quality of inbound links that point to your website
- The text content of your website
- The level of competition within your industry, including the willingness of your competitors to pay for online advertising, search engine optimisation and off-line advertising.
- The changing methods used by search engines to rank web pages. The search engines regularly update the algorithms they use to rank web pages. Whenever they do this, business owners may find that their sites rise — or fall — in the search results. This is one reason why you can't afford to rely solely upon the search engines to bring customers to you.
See our action plan to find out how you can increase your inbound links, improve your site's content and promote it.
It can take 3 to 12 months for the search engines to index a new website. It also takes time for the search engines to assess the 'worth' of your web pages and decide where to position them in the search results.
During this time, you need to promote your website off-line, improve your inbound links, advertise online and make your site as appealing to the search engines as possible. Your SiteSuite website management tools allow you to refine and update the content of your web pages, which is important for improving their ranking in the search results.
It can take weeks or months for the search engines to index and evaluate improvements that you make to an existing site, so it's important to promote your website off-line, advertise online and improve your inbound links so that people can find your business.
You can resubmit your site for indexing when you've made major changes, but don't do this more than twice a year, because the search engines will treat repeat requests like spam e-mails.
Action plan for promoting and optimising your business site:
- Submit your site to Yahoo! Search and Live Search
- Promote your site off-line
- Get good quality inbound links
- Fine-tune your website content
- Improve your page titles
- Advertise online
- Update your website content
- Add interactive features to your site
- Examine your site's statistics
- Consult a Search Engine Optimisation specialist
When SiteSuite completes your business website, we submit it to Google for indexing. You can also submit it to other search engines, such as Yahoo! Search and Live Search. This is only a request to have your site included in the search engine’s index; the search engine will determine if and when they add you to their index. This is no guarantee that your pages will rank well in the search results, which depends on other factors.
Submit your site to Yahoo! Search
Submit your site to Live Search (formerly known as ninemsn search)
Resubmitting your site to Google
Don't do this more than twice a year. The most appropriate time to do it is when you've made substantial changes.
- Log into your SiteSuite website
- Go to 'Statistics / Promotion'
- Select 'Google' and follow Google's instructions
How do I know if my site has been indexed (found and put on record) by the search engines?
- Go to Google Australia, or Yahoo! Australia Search, or Live Search Australia (formerly known as ninemsn search)
- Type this into the search field and hit Enter:
site:yourdomainname.com (or .com.au, or .net, or .net.au, or .info, etc)
- Don't include in the 'www.'.
- Remember to include your full domain name.
When you do this, if the search engines have indexed your site, they will display a list of pages from your site. They may not have indexed all of your web pages. The search engines have billions of pages to analyse and do not keep a record of them all.
If your site is only a few months old, you may find that the search engines have only indexed a single page. Over time, the search engines may index more pages from your site, particularly if you increase the number and quality of your inbound links. The search engines take time to assess your site's credibility because many unreliable, spam and short-term promotion sites spring up every day.
Don't rely solely on the search engines to bring people to your website. This is not a sound business strategy, as the search engines are constantly changing the way they rank web pages and search engine marketing is highly competitive.
Promote your site off-line by including your web address in all advertising, on your stationery, signage and vehicles.
Tip: Using SiteSuite's e-mail services, you can create e-mail addresses on your domain name (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). Every time you give people your e-mail address, you draw their attention to your website address.
Good quality inbound links are extremely important for improving your search engine ranking and also help customers find your business on the Web via other websites, blogs and directories.
Read our detailed article on inbound links to find out what they are, which ones give the best results and how you can increase the number and quality of your inbound links.
The search engines use inbound links and the text information within your pages to categorise them and give them a ranking.
For detailed tips on providing better information for your customers in a format the search engines can understand, see our article, How to Create Search Engine-Friendly Content.
You can advertise your business via websites, blogs and online directories (e.g., the Yellow Pages) and through the search engines. Advertising through the search engines is called Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC advertising). You may also have heard PPC ads being referred to as Sponsored Links. You set a daily advertising budget and pay each time someone clicks on one of your ads. You can run a PPC campaign yourself, or hire a search engine marketing company to do this for you.
It's tempting to take a 'set and forget' attitude towards your business website once it goes live, but it pays to update the text often and to add more informative text because the search engines reward this.
Why? Firstly, the search engines are trying to deliver the best, most up-to-date information to people searching the Web. Secondly, the search engines can't 'read' images and graphics, so they can only evaluate the text on your site.
Encourage customers to return to your site and tell others about it by giving them the opportunity to contribute comments, ask questions, submit product reviews, vote in a poll, or forward links and images to friends.
Interactive features such as forums and blogs encourage your visitors to generate something that the search engines love: more text information (in the form of comments on your blog and posts on your forum).
Tip: If you are going to use a blog to drive traffic to your website, update it at least once a week and link your blog posts back to relevant pages of your site, so that search engines and people who find your blog can follow the links to your site.
Your SiteSuite website statistics reveal which sites and search engines are driving traffic to yours. The statistics also show which pages within your website are the most popular.
- If you have paid to have your site listed in a particular directory (e.g., the Yellow Pages online), check your website statistics to confirm if that directory is driving traffic to your site.
- If you are paying to advertise through the search engines (Pay-Per-Click advertising), check your site statistics to see which search engines are driving the most traffic to your site.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO (the ongoing process of increasing your inbound links and refining your web pages in order to improve their search engine ranking) is a specialist industry and we recommend that you consult an expert.
SiteSuite has formed a partnership with Melbourne IT, a major web services company, to provide specialist SEO services. Melbourne IT can also run your pay-per-click advertising campaigns, if you don't have the time to do this. SiteSuite clients are eligible for discounted pricing for Melbourne IT's SEO services. Please call 1300 130 875 to be referred to Melbourne IT for a quote.