How To Submit Your Site To Search Engines

Welcome back to Search Engine Optimization month on Amanda Cross Blog! Today we are chatting about how to submit your site to search engines and why it's so important. Before we begin let's take a look at our Search Engine Optimization month roadmap:

  1. Search Engine Optimization Basics: Using Keywords
  2. How to Submit Your Site To Search Engines (You are here)
  3. How To Properly Use Backlinks & Social Media For SEO Growth
  4. Writing A Post For SEO While Being Human

After you read today's post about submitting your site to search engines, check out last week's post about using keywords as they are one of the basics of search engine optimization. Without further ado let's chat about submitting your site to search engines.

How To Submit Your Site To Search Engines | One of the easiest ways to start your SEO journey is to submit your site to search engines. Click through for my advice on how to submit your site. In this post we will explore Google Search Console on a deeper level so that you can understand all the tools that come along with submitting your site as well as understand why blogs are great for SEO.

Stop, Amanda, why should I Submit My Site To Search Engines?

Simple, to speed along the SEO process. Google and other sites will get to your site--eventually. If you don't have to wait, why wait? Instead, take matters into your own hands and go through the simple process of submitting your site to search engines yourself.

By submitting your site and speeding along the process you can begin to see results from search engines faster than you ever would just focusing on your keywords. Taking this extra step will help you secure better search engine optimization right now instead of waiting for Google to do it on their own.

This is great if you are a smaller site or you don't have a big social media and backlinks presence. We will talk about how to grow that presence next week, but this week let's focus on getting you submitted to search engines.

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What does submitting your site even do?

So essentially you are giving Google (or whatever site you submit to) the keys to indexing your entire site by showing them exactly where your sitemap is located and sharing with them the full treasure trove of content that you have. Obviously the more content you have, the better, but you don't have to have hundreds of pages of content for this to be beneficial.

Google will be indexing every page on your site that you give it access to. Obviously it won't be indexing any nofollow pages, but everything else is fair game. Google is also indexing site images (which is why I told you last week to give your images the keyword treatment too.)

It may take a while for Google to process everything that you submit, but in the weeks after you submit you should see that indexing is complete (or as close to complete as it can get.) Some pages that you submit to Google may not be as indexible as you would like or have errors when Google is indexing those page so they won't be indexed.

If you want to stand out to search engines you need to be blogging

For any businesses or people who don't post on their site a lot--start blogging. Blogging truly does help you when it comes to SEO because blogs are very valuable and actionable. Obviously you don't want to post just to post, but it is very beneficial to consider blogging often. If you cannot blog on your own--hire out the blogging process. (I am a freelance for hire if you would like to chat, check out my hire me page!) If you are comfortable writing, try to write at least once or twice a week until you have built up a nice amount of content on your blog. After you have built up a nice backlog of content, keep capitalizing on that content.

Here are some ideas on how to write more blog content when you aren't a blogger. These are niche examples, so if you want some some help with this, be sure to comment down below or contact me!

If you run a boutique:

  • Gather customer photos, send them a quick interview question or two about their style and why they loved the outfit, share a few of those in a blog post and be sure to link the products and the social media handles for your customers.
  • Create some in-house photo shoots for outfit of the day pictures and be sure to tell a cohesive story around what the outfit would be perfect for while also linking your products.

If you run a podcast/video blog:

  • Create show notes for your podcast/vide blog and share a synopsis of your post while linking to any tools that you share in the podcast/video blog.
  • Get your podcast or video blog transcribed and share the cleaned up transcription as your blog content with the podcast/video blog at the top. This is great for anyone who is cannot hear and will be an easy way to create content around your podcast or vlog if you can find a good transcription service.

If you run a gym:

  • Share a blog featuring some easy workout routines. Be sure that these will be things that people can accomplish at your gym as well as at home while you showcase your gym membership.
  • Share a blog showcasing people who attend your gym often with their testimonials and fitness journeys.

Again, these are very niche examples that will only apply to you if you are in these industries, but thinking outside the box to produce blog content will really help you when it comes to search engine optimization. People don't crave sales pages, but they crave and share blog content.

Blog content is also helpful because it gives the search engines more pages to index. Google can rank your sales page, but if you have a blog you have a bigger chance of someone clicking that blog and then deciding to opt-in for something else or purchasing something else after they see your juicy blog content. You are sort of pigeonholed when it comes to creating sales pages. You can't focus on too many products. On the other hand, you can create a ton of blogs each month and you can rank for all of them.

enough small talk, let's submit our site to search engines

Okay, we may not have a million blog posts yet, but we are ready to add our site to search engines so we can start getting some traffic from Google. Once your site is up and verified Google will pull stuff from your site often so you don't have to worry about not having everything ready to go just yet.

Where do you go to submit your site

This tutorial will focus mostly on Google but you can also submit your site to Yahoo and Bing's search engines which I encourage you to do just in case. It's very simple and you can more than likely knock both out in one good afternoon of work.

What Do you need to submit your site?

The main process of submitting your site is pretty easy. You need to sign up for an account with Google and Microsoft (which Bing is a part of) or use an existing Google/Microsoft account.

Then after you sign up you will start the process of getting your site submitted. 

They will more than likely ask you to verify that you are the owner of the website you are submitting and this is done through adding some code or text to your website for them to verify your ownership.

Then you will move into the site addition process in which you will need to find your blog site map. A site map is just a condensed XML page that showcases all of your blog posts in a simple to read format for the search engine to digest. This is their roadmap to understanding what is on your site so they can add your content to their search engines. 

Once you find your site map it is really as easy as submitting it quickly to Google Search Console and letting it do the rest. You can't rush the steps it takes unfortunately--you just gotta trust in your keyword research and wait on Google to work it's magic.

SEO Site Map

So as you can see on Google Search Console I went to Crawl-->Site Maps and then you can click the button in the corner to "Add/Test" Sitemap. Your sitemap should be an extension of the URL that you have already submitted so you only have to add the part behind your base URL.

For more information check out this article from Google titled Build and Submit a Sitemap.

How To Test That Your Site Is Submitted

After a while you should be able to go to your sitemaps section and see a blue bar for submitted and a red bar for indexed. This is a good indication that it is indexed. If you want to double check go to Google and enter the words (obviously replacing yoururl with your url.) Once you do that you should be able to easily see content from your site on Google. The above image is just the top of my search results when I type this phrase into Google for my blog.

How To Submit Your Site To Search Engines

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Now, Let's Chat More About Google Search Console

Google Search Console does SO much more than just allow you to submit your site. There are many tools embedded in Google Search Console that I love to use. I am going to walk you through some of my favorite parts and how I use them to grow my blog:

Search Analytics

Google Search Console Results

On the other side of this image you can see the top 15 results for The Happy Arkansan at the moment. Obviously, I get quite a few clicks from sorority related stuff over there, but this tool is so helpful because it makes me realize what is really working for my blog when it comes to SEO.

My top 15 are pretty great because I can associate each search result in my top 15 with a blog post on my site. 

When I move further down the list this isn't always the case so I challenge you to look at your search analytics after they start rolling in and looking for those opportunities. Google is constantly learning so it may rank you for a keyword that doesn't quite fit your blog so people may see you in the search even though the keyword is a bit off. I like to scroll through the list every blue moon to get ideas if the search keyword doesn't match any content that I have on my blog. This is subjective because even though I feel it doesn't match, Google and the reader could still think it does.

If you find a bunch of those words in your search analytics consider adding a post or two with that keyword in mind in the near future. Sometimes these words are all over the place and not as helpful, but sometimes you get a real gem and you are able to grow with that and create content around that word or phrase.

From this you can also click on those little arrows and open up another window that showcases the search results for that keyword. When you are there you can click through and see how you are ranking on that keyword. You can also scope out the competition to see what they are doing to rank so high for the keyword if you like that keyword. Then once you know why they are ranking so high you can figure out how you can take the lessons learned from their post and add to your post.

Links To Your Site

Another great section on Google Search Console is the Links To Your Site section. It allows you to see all the times that your site as a whole or pages of your site have been mentioned by other bloggers and websites and this is GREAT for blogger outreach.

I really suggest that you comb through this every few weeks and look for new links that you haven't seen before. You are able to quickly go to the actual site your content is linked on. Take a few minutes to read their post or resource and then leave a thoughtful comment to thank them for mentioning your blog and sharing your content.

Often people will share their content and the last thing on their minds is to contact the person they linked. I know that I link a TON of people without reaching out and letting them know. This is a great way to build relationships with people who already love your content because they shared it on their blogs and websites. 

Miscellaneous Tools

Google Search Console also offers many miscellaneous tools to help you grow your SEO. It really is like the control center of all things SEO because it allows you to see what's performing and what is not performing.

This tool has an entire section dedicated to Search Appearance which is great because it helps you determine how you could be seen more in search results by tweaking things and adding Structured Data. I am still a newbie at this part of SEO but that is a big task I want to accomplish in the next few months so that I can have more detailed results when I show up on search engines.

Google Search Console features a section dedicated to security issues as well which can be really helpful because it will let you know if it has seen any security issues which is a great feature to have on your side!

There are also many Google Index features which gives you the opportunity to remove URLs, see your index status, and figure out what blocked URLs you have on your site and figure out why exactly they are blocked which is quite helpful for you if you are trying to maximize SEO payoff.

Final Thoughts

I hope that you enjoyed this lesson on submitting your site to search engines. Submitting your site is the best way to speed along the process of getting picked up by search engines. You don't have to wait forever to be picked up and in fact I encourage you not to do that. Start your SEO work as soon as possible. Google will continually crawl and update your site with all your new blog content and pages as long as you tell them they can follow those pages so there is no reason not to start implementing SEO right now.

Again, don't forget to check out the first post in this series all about the basics of SEO and using keywords.