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How To Submit Your Website To Search Engines Without The Hassle

Once you have put in all the effort of creating your beautiful new website, it’s time to submit your website to search engines. There’s an old saying “build it and they will come”. Well, this does not apply to the Internet. Not at all!

The importance of submitting your website to search engines cannot be overstated and there are many reasons why you’d want to do this quickly, but before you jump ahead, make sure you can answer “yes” to the following:

  • Is your website finished, or at least 90% there?
  • Does your website look professional enough to be considered respectable to new visitors?
  • Have you included a privacy policy within the contents of your website?
  • Do you have at least 5 pages of content or blog posts?
  • Do you have a sitemap of your website (a list of all page links)?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, rectify the problem immediately.

You may have been thrown a curve-ball by the privacy policy question. While this is not 100% essential for all types of websites, for most it is. Google wants to see that you care about your website visitor’s privacy, especially if you are collecting information for an e-commerce store, email subscriptions, have contact forms on your website or collect any other visitor data.

Without the privacy policy, indexing your website could be delayed by Google while they wait for other signals pertaining to your respectability.

Are You Ready To Submit Your Website To Search Engines?

Don’t expect results overnight, let me be clear right from the start. This may be a shocker but it may take up to 3 months for your website to be listed in any meaningful way after submitting it to the search engines.

Google and other search engines wait for other signals to determine whether your website is respectable enough to get a good ranking.

I’m only going to talk about two search engines and one directory, and you won’t need to submit your website to any others. Why?

Well, for the most part, these 3 cover 95%+ of all search traffic you’re likely to receive to your website. Also, because over time those other 5% will index your website without any intervention on your part.

Create A Sitemap

“What is a sitemap and why should I care?”, I hear you ask. A sitemap is simply a list of all the pages of your website. If you don’t have a WordPress website, you can create a sitemap manually using a text editor.

A simple sitemap just includes one link per line in a plain text file, for example:

You can name the file anything, let’s say sitemap.txt. Upload this file to your web hosting, sitting together with all other files in the main folder so that it can be accessed at

If your website is running on a CMS like Joomla or WordPress, a sitemap is already created for you automatically in XML format. You can find a WordPress sitemap, depending on your plugins, at or

So, that’s sitemaps. They’re important. Keep them up-to-date.

Now, let’s get to the fun bit so we’ll start with the obvious…

Add Your URL To Google

Submit your website to Google here

Pretty simple, right? Well, there’s something else you should do before ticking off ‘submitted to Google’.

Get yourself signed up for Google Webmaster Tools, add your website and verify it using the methods described.

Once your website is fully setup in Webmaster Tools, your domain should be listed on the Home page. Click on the domain to manage it, then click on the Optimization section.

Click on Sitemaps and then Add/Test Sitemap. Enter the full address of your sitemap and click Submit

You only need to do this once and Google will frequently check your sitemap for any updates automatically. This ensures all your website’s pages are included in Google’s index.

Google Webmaster Tools is great for checking your website’s performance in Google, providing different statistics than Google Analytics, so I recommend checking in there often.

Add Your URL To Bing

Submit your website to Bing here

Pretty simple, right? Well, just the same as what we did for Google, we’ll need to do for Bing, Microsoft’s search engine that powers Yahoo and Facebook search.

Go ahead and sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools

You will find a similar interface to Google’s Webmaster Tools.

Once you have added your website and verified it, your domain should be listed on the Home page. Click on the domain to manage it, then click on Configure My Site

Click on Sitemaps and then enter the full address of your sitemap and click Submit

Same as Google, you only need to do this once because Bing will frequently check your sitemap for any updates automatically.

Bing Webmaster Tools also has some interesting statistics to give you an idea about your website’s performance, so check in regularly.

But don’t just stop with Google and Bing…

DMOZ Open Directory Project

D-whats? Never heard of DMOZ? It’s a directory curated by humans where your submission is checked by a real-life, breathing human-being before being added to the directory.

DMOZ garners an enormous amount of respect and authority from Google and other search engines.

All search engines scan DMOZ for new additions to the directory and will add those websites to it’s own index.

Getting your website listed in DMOZ is a big deal. It’s also quite difficult.

I highly recommend reading How To Get A DMOZ Listing For Some Google SEO Love

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Tags:  submit to bingsubmit to googlesubmit your websitesubmit your website to search engines


Image Search Causes Huge Upswing In Website Traffic

Often for new and old websites, search traffic can be hard to come by. The problem might be that your website doesn’t have enough backlinks or you’ve got a bad selection of keywords. Commonly, webmasters are making SEO mistakes that can damage their Google ranking.

Traffic to your website can come from many sources, such as social media, mailing list blasts, direct hits and of course from search. However, not many webmasters are taking advantage of image search and you could be missing out on a lot of traffic to your website.

There is the argument that you shouldn’t have your images indexed, either to protect your copyrights or to reduce bandwidth usage through your web hosting. There is also the argument saying that a user searching for an image can view it on Google’s image page and never visit your website at all. Yes, that is certainly true, but I have proof that image search can result in real traffic and click-throughs to your website.

If you haven’t done so already, I recommend signing up for Google Webmaster Tools (it’s free), linking up your website and start collecting stats. For new additions, you’ll need to wait a few weeks for data to be collected. These stats are different from the type of statistics you’ll find in Google Analytics.

Once you’re in Google Webmaster Tools and looking at your domain, go to Traffic > Search Queries. I want to show you this graph:

This graph depicts the number of impressions one of my test website’s content is getting, whether it’s images or links in the ‘normal’ results pages. An impression means my website has come up in results, but not necessarily been clicked on.

You can see that in a matter of days, impressions shot up from nothing to 40,000 per day. I’m guessing the reason clicks are less than 10 is the because these results are largely from image search and not from ‘normal’ search engine clicks. But the real click through rate can be determined through Google Analytics. Here is a screenshot of the same period.

Google Analytics screenshot

NOTE: When I first noticed traffic increasing on Jan 25, I decided to tweak the website and try leverage this incoming traffic. I inadvertently killed my Analytics code, so you can see a dip on the next day. I only fixed it the day after when I realized my mistake :(

Image Search Can Increase Website Traffic

So what’s going on here? First we should realize that image search is wildly popular and generates a lot of impressions. My results here is from ONE image. Just ONE.

That one image brought in 435 individual people to the main website (or probably around 30 more, taking into account my Analytics mistake). Clearly, those visitors went on to browse the site with an average of 1.72 pages visited.

Let’s not get crazy though. The click-through rate works out to be just 0.5%, but when your image is getting 40,000 impressions a day, it can be a really good day.

Image Search Lessons Learned

It was not my intention to run tests on image searches. Originally, I just had a short 200 word article with an image in the post. Nothing special. The original post had been online for 3 weeks prior to this huge upswing. So what did I do in the days prior to this huge upswing?

1. Image alt tags

A few days before the upswing, I ran a website analysis through Woorank that told me, amongst other things, that none of my images on the website had image alt tags. This was sheer laziness on my part because it was just a test website so I wasn’t putting in the full SEO effort. Including image alt tags have been recommended in SEO circles since the dawn of time.

On the same day, I had just signed up for the free trial of Market Samurai (affiliate) to use as my primary keyword research software. I had a quick keyword research session and found some nice longtail keywords that I used in the image alt tags.

2. Image file names

Just the same as I did for my image alt tags, I renamed some images to the keywords I had found through Market Samurai. eg, long-tail-keyword.jpg
As a matter of prudence, I created a redirection from the old image filename to the new one, so that I wouldn’t lose that traffic.

The result, as you can see in the graphs above, was phenomenal. I believe my keyword research, changing the image filename and adding the alt tags boosted impressions and subsequently brought in more ‘real’ traffic to my website where visitors continued to browse around.

3. Submit an image sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools

Did you know that your website’s sitemap doesn’t just contain links to pages and posts, it can include images as well? If you are using WordPress, Yoast’s SEO plugin creates a well formed sitemap perfect for submitting to Google Webmaster Tools. The plugin can also submit sitemaps for you automatically and will update whenever you create new posts. If you don’t have Yoast’s SEO plugin, get it because it’s great for other SEO tweaks.

Are you having success generating traffic with images?


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