It is that time of the year again. You can feel it in the air and see it everywhere you go. The lights are on the neighbors’ houses and the stores are getting more and more crowded as we get closer to the 25th. For children, Christmas is a magical time where they dream every night about that special thing they hope Santa will bring them when he visits on Christmas Eve.
You may also feel some of that Christmas magic hoping for a miracle of your own. Perhaps you are a business owner who has launched a new website this year and that one thing you want for Christmas is to see it rank on page one in Google for some targeted search terms. Here is some advice to help you see that Christmas miracle come true.
Create an XML Sitemap and Submit it to Google Webmaster Tools
Google has given webmasters a great way to tell Google about their website. In Google Webmaster Tools there is a place where you can submit a sitemap in XML format. The sitemap will tell the Google crawlers about the pages on your site and help them to index everything much better. I have seen brand new sites get indexed within a week of submitting an XML sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools. Just be sure to update the XML sitemap whenever you add or remove pages from your site.
Submit to Social Bookmarking Sites
There are several social bookmarking sites on the web that can give your site a quick link and help others discover your website. Create accounts on sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious and Reddit then submit your website to them. Include a social bookmarking widget on content or product pages of your site so visitors can quickly and easily bookmark the pages of your website on their social bookmarking profiles.
Submit to High Quality Paid and Free Web Directories
Submit your website to DMOZ and a few high quality paid directories like Yahoo, Business.com and Best of the Web. Since these directories have been around for a long time and have established a good reputation, they will give your site some good credible links. When you submit to DMOZ try to find the most relevant category that has an editor. Getting a submission approved in DMOZ can take a long time but the waiting time can be shortened if you submit to a relevant category that has an editor.
Optimize Content Using the Most Relevant Search Terms
Make sure the pages of your site are optimized for the most relevant search terms to the content of each page. Don’t get distracted by high volume search terms that might be partially relevant to the site content. It is the content that will help Google to determine what keywords to rank your site for, so consider the long tail search terms when optimizing the content. The long tail terms are often the ones that are most relevant and will have better conversion rates when the site ranks for them. Include the keywords in the HTML elements like the title, Meta description, heading tags and the content body.
Allow Google to Index the Site
Often people might block Google from indexing their website without knowing they did. Check your robots.txt file and make sure you didn’t disallow the entire site. Check the pages of your site and if you are using noindex Meta tags, make sure they are only on the pages you don’t want to show up in the search results.
Getting more organic search traffic to a website might be the one thing that many business owners are wishing for this year. If you are one of those business owners then this advice will help that wish come true in 2010.