Every client I have ever built a WordPress website for has always asked me the same question at one point in time or another. It’s the question that all developers see coming a mile away. And no. It’s not can you do this for free this time? (I’ll save that topic for future article) The million dollar question is…
What do I have to do to get search engines to find my new website?
This is such an easy question to answer but the person you’re giving the answer to never likes to hear the words that are about to come out of your mouth. You have brought this topic up at least ten times throughout the website build and it has gotten to the point where your client lies to you when you ask them how their content is coming along. Don’t lie to your developer! We’re only trying to do everything we can within your budget to ensure that your website is successful and that we have done everything we can to empower you with the knowledge so we can sleep easy at night after taking your money.
Overwhelmingly, the majority of developers that I know truly want your website to be the hottest, sexiest, new site out there since MySpace. If there is one thing us developers know all too well is how difficult it can be to create authentic content especially when we haven’t wrote anything original or creative since we dropped out of college.
Enough already, what do we have to do to get search engines to find our websites? In order for search engines to crawl (aka… find) our website… You must, regularly, update your website with new content at least 3 times a week, preferably 5 times a week.
You Expect Me to Write 5 Blog Posts a Week?
I know what your thinking, there is now way you can think up that much content in a week. If that’s right, you are 100% normal. Every person who owns a successful website, blog or online business has been in your shoes. We all believed that writing 5 articles a week would be flat out impossible or ridiculously difficult. I certainly used to believe it! If somebody would have told me three years ago that I would be writing 1500 to 2000 words a week for a job that is barely paying the bills. Well, I would have laughed in disbelief. Let’s face it, I’m not a writer, you all see that. I have never read an entire book from cover to cover in my entire life. Not even in my college years.
If you’re not a writer… Make sure they count!
Alright. We all know what we have to do in order for our website to be crawled by the search engines. Great! It’s just that easy, write 5 original, 400 plus word articles each week and we will eventually start to see our website climb onto the first page of Google? WRONG…
It’s just not enough. It’s only going to get you 70% there. The remaining 30% is all about tactics, and MAGIC! Fortunately, for you, I enjoy hanging out with terrible people who lie all day long. So… I have been around enough Snake Oil Salesmen and SEO people to know the rules of the SEO game and how to play it. I want to share these rules with you all.
What’s the Catch?
No catch… My goal is to provide the readers, YOU, with just enough knowledge of SEO to ensure that you won’t be ripped off by the “Snake Oil,” SEO salesmen who sends emails in which he consistently spells optimization with a “U!” in it.
Or better yet… The amazing developer or nice SEO person who is going to write original, authentic, articles for you for a small fee and then allow you to post those articles in your name… Sorry guys, I hate to say it but chances are those articles aren’t going to be as original or authentic as you thought…
What do we have to do to make sure our Blog Posts are found by the search engines?
- Make sure our posts are at least 400 words
- Generate a Sitemap
- Create Webmaster Accounts
- Create a list of Websites to ping
- Verify the bots can access the content we wrote using a text based browser like Lynx
That will be the topic of Part 2. I’ll have Part 2 – How to properly index your website up by Sunday evening. Forewarning, setting up webmaster accounts, getting your website crawled, submitting sitemaps and the rest can take a long time.
If this is your first time indexing your website. Make sure you have a few hours because this can be tedious work and it might take a while. The bright side is you only have to set it up once!
Until Part 2 this Sunday, Have a great weekend!