One of the very first things you will need to do after you create a new Website address (a.k.a URL or Domain name),is to submit it to search engines.

Why submit your website address to search engines?

This little detail can make a world of difference for you as a website/business owner. Submitting your website address to search engines can mean the difference between whether customers can find your website/business or not, thus affecting your profitability. This is why….

Many people don’t know there is a difference between the “address bar” (where they are supposed to type a website address) and the search engine “search bar” (where they are supposed to type in keywords-topics they are searching for). They are different! This is a very common mistake and you shouldn’t feel silly if you don’t know the difference. We’re human and we have to learn at some point…right?

To give you a visual of what I’m talking about….In the picture below where you see the URL (www.Google.com) typed in, that is the “address bar”. See the empty box just below the big Google word, that is the “search bar”.

Search Engine Optimization for Small Business

When a customer types your website address in the “address bar”, it will take them directly to your website. If they type it in the “search bar”, it will give them a list of search results which may or may not include your website. Since many people think they are same thing, they naturally type a website address into the search bar instead of the actual address bar. You need to assume your customers are going to do this.

Below is an example of what your customer will see if your website has not been submitted yet and they’ve typed it into the “search bar” vs the “address bar”. (For the sake of giving an example, in this case I am using a website I know has not been submitted to search engines yet).

Search Engine Optimization for Small Business

As you can see there are no relevant results and no sign of the actual website. Your customer may even click on the first result thinking this is your site and be very disappointed or think they are actually ordering from you (when in fact they are ordering from someone else). Even if they start clicking on all the results and digging, it will be very frustrating to your customers to try and find your site. It shouldn’t be this hard for them. If they can’t find it easily, they will give up and you’ve lost business.

Below is an example of the search results if the website has been been submitted. (In this case I am using a website I know has already been submitted to search engines).

Search Engine Optimization for Small Business

Notice how the website that was searched for actually comes up at the top of the list. This makes it easy for customers to find and assures they don’t give up or end up on someone elses’ site.

How long does it take to show up in the search engines? It generally takes up to 8 weeks for the search engine to index your website, so submit your website address ASAP. Many people think their site will eventually start showing up naturally. In some cases that’s true, but it will take a very long time. It’s not worth it to wait.

Best part is – most search engines are FREE to submit to and it takes very little time to do!

Where to submit?
Here is a list of the big search engines. (Click on the links and it will take you directly to the submission pages for that search engine)

    Google (#1 Search engine) http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl 

    Bing (formally MSN and live.com) http://www.bing.com/webmaster/SubmitSitePage.aspx

    Yahoo ! http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html

    Ask.com http://about.ask.com/en/docs/about/webmasters.shtml

There are many more search engines (which can be found at Wikipedia) and most will have this option.

Tip: #1 – Make a list or spreadsheet for yourself so you can keep track of the Search engines you have submitted to and what website you submitted (especially if you have many to submit).

Tip #2 – Read the instructions, so you can do it right the first time.

Doing this will not only help your customers find you easily, it also will greatly improve your search engine optimization.

It’s fast, simple, free and worth your time!

Jamie Bates