10 ways to let people find your website

Let people find your website

This article describes a lot of ways to let people find your website on the internet. If you think people will only find you through search engines like Google, you’re wrong! So, besides Search engines, we will talk on Content Structure, SEO, RSS Feeds, Social Media, Sitemaps, Directories, Comments on other sites and Exchanging links.

Find your website via Search engines

Of course, Search engines have a big part of the pie concerning your website to be found. Personally I was only focusing on Google, but don’t forget the other 3 big Search engines Bing, Baidu and Yahoo. Checkout Wikipedia for more engines. The trick with Search engines is to submit your website. Use these links to submit your website to the Search Engines:

Content Structure

When people read your website, the want to see a nicely structured web page. This alone is reas0n enough to have a well designed Content Structure. But not only people will read your website, Search engines also! Besides SEO, it is important to follow the following rules for setting up Search engine friendly pages:

  • Effective on-page content structure begins with information structure, i.e. properly ordering the information on a page to draw attention to your key messages. Your most important messages should jump off the page. High priority information should lead at the top of each page and details should be pushed lower on the page
  • Tell the search engines what’s important by using HTML’s H2 headers to group content and by occasionally bolding or italicizing important phrases on the page
  • Use alt tags in links and images

SEO

Everyone talks about SEO. If you create your website with HTML yourself, this can be complex. But you are using WordPress! Then it is easy. Just download WordPress SEO by Yoast. (Please do not use your template’s SEO options, it is never so advanced and easy as WordPress SEO by Yoast). When you have activated the plugin, follow these steps when writing an article:

  • Fill-in all information on the ‘General’ Tab
  • Save your article
  • Execute the actions requested on the ‘Page Analysis’ tab

RSS Feeds

When you write articles regulary, people want to follow your website’s new publications. WordPress has the great ability to publish an RSS Feed automatically. Publish an RSS Icon on your website and make it a link to http://[yourwebsite.com]/feed. (Check out the top-right my homepage for an example). From now on, people can add your feed to their Feedreader (Checkout LifeHacker.com for a great article on Feed Readers) and when you publish new content, they will be updated automatically!

Social Media

Of course, we cannot forget Social Media. Systems like Twitter, Facebook, Google +1, LinkedIn and a lots of others are giving you the ability to let others know you have pulished something new. There are two ways to make use of social media:

  • Publish your links on it: You can do this manually but there are plugins for it also (Sharing with JetPack)
  • Let people publish it for you: By implementing plugins to let readers share your content, you can reach a big audience. When readers visit your website, they can click the icon of their favourite Social Media system, and your content will be shared to their friends. Check out these great plugins: Socialble, Social Media Widget, Digg Digg, Social Slider and Sharebar.

Google Authorship

As you know, your site can appear in the Search results of Google. Google finds it important to connect people to online content. Thats why they have introduced Google Authorship. This ensures that your Google+ profile is showed together with your page in the Search results. For more info, see Google Authorship

Sitemaps

One other way for Search Engines to ‘understand’ your website, are Sitemaps. A Sitemap represents the structure of your website in a machine readable format and make it more obvious for a Search engine what to crawl. To create the sitemaps, first install the plugin Google XML Sitemaps, which enables you to create Sitemaps for Google, Bing and Yahoo! Take the following steps:

  • Install the plugin Google XML Sitemaps
  • In the WordPress admin interface, select Settings — XML-Sitemap
  • Click ‘Create Sitemap’
  • It will be automatically send to Google and Bing (Bing also covers Yahoo!)

Directories

I don’t think people themselves are using directories a lot, but Search Engines do. Add your site to these directories:

Comments on other sites

When you write about particular niches, you probably are active on forums also. Forums are also crawled by Search engines. So from now on, add your website to every post you make. Make sure your website can be found from a lot of different websites about your niche.

Exchange links

When you have friends or business relations with sites about your niche, just ask them to create links to your website!

What more?

Do you have smart ideas what you can do to make your website even more findable? Please comment below!

About

Benjamin de Jong writes Smart Internet Applications based on WordPress. He is active on Twitter with several Twitter accounts about WordPress and has a day job at KPN in the Netherlands where he is an IT Consultant.

Posted in Authoring, Newbie Guides