Websites: Not the Field of Dreams

Almost everyone has heard, quoted, or mis-quoted that famous line from the movie Field of Dreams;
“If you build it, he will come”.

The strange thing is that most people who are new to online marketing, or even the Internet in general, seem to believe that this applies to websites. Build a website and he will come – “he” being Google, Bing and the other search engines.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Having carefully crafted your first website, blog or sales page, uploaded it to your host server, that is where it will stay, gathering digital dust, unless you do something about it.

You see, the Internet, or more specifically the World Wide Web, is based on hyperlinks (AKA links). One web pgae has a link to another, which might link to another and so on. This means that the only way that somebody can visit your site is if they follow a link to it from another site. That linked site might be Google, Bing or another search engine, or it might be another website whose owner has seen fit to link to your site.

Of course, people can visit your site if they know the address (URL), but they will need some means of discovering it. Most people rely on search engines or other links unless they see your site address written down somewhere, such as in a newspaper, billboard or on TV.

So you need to get as many links to your site as you possibly can, and especially from the search engines. But guess how the search engines work? Well just like any human, the search engine “robots” discover new sites by following links to them. So as long as a site that already exists in Google’s database has a link to your site, the Googlebots will find it.

The problem then is how do you get the search engines to index your site if there are no other sites that link to it?

There are a few ways you can do this and the following list is not exhaustive.

  • Create a Blogger blog and add a link to your new site. Google owns Blogger so they automatically know about new Blogger sites and index them.
  • Submit your site directly to Google. Personally I never do this – it can take weeks for your site to be indexed.
  • Add AdSense advertisements to your site. AdSense belongs to Google, so they have to know about your site to place ads on it.
  • Sign up for Google Analytics and add analytics code to your pages.
  • Create a WordPress blog and post on it. By default,your blog will “ping” the search engines and several other directories.
  • Find somebody else’s blog that is relevant to the topic of your website and make a useful comment on that blog. You will be able to provide the URL of your website which will be added as a link with your comment.
  • Submit articles to article sites and add links to your site in the Resource Box.

The more of these techniques you use, and the more you repeat them (commenting on blogs is quick and easy), the more links you will get and the search engines will index your site more quickly.

September 5, 2011 · Phil Rogers · One Comment
Tags:  · Posted in: Training

One Response

  1. Lee Walker - September 16, 2011

    Some sage advice there Phil, advice I will certainly be following. I have let my website lapse over the last month or so, I just haven’t had the time lately to work on it 😉

    Anyway, some good advice, some of which I have already followed (in fact I have probably followed most of it) and will definitely be working hard on it from now.

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