If you haven’t done so already, read Where Do I Start? Part 1 & Where Do I Start? Part 2
Here are a couple of more things you need to get done to help jumpstart your online business success.
First, create an XML Sitemap and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools. This is an invaluable tool that Google offers for FREE. Here are some of the benefits of submitting your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.
- You can see how Google crawls and indexes your site, diagnose any problems your site may have.
- Get comprehensive data about internal and external links to your site
- Find out which search queries are bringing traffic to your site
- Allows you to communicate to Google which pages of your site are important to you and how you want your indexed url’s to appear
- Plus more…
If you haven’t signed up for an account, do so NOW! The process is relatively simple but if you are a newbie like I once was it can take a bit of time to work it out. Here are some general steps you can take:
If you have a static website, you would first need to create an xml sitemap. There are tons of free sitemap generators that will do this for you. I personally like XML-Sitemaps.com. It’s free for the first 500 indexed pages. If you have more pages than that on your site and you would like to get them indexed, you will have to pay $19.99 for unlimited pages.
Once you’ve generated your sitemap and downloaded to your computer, you will need to upload it to your public_html/ folder of your website (root directory). You can easily do this with your ftp program. Here are some free ones you can download, Filezilla and CoreFTP.
Next, go to your Google Webmaster Tools, sign up if you haven’t done so already, and add your site url. Once this is done, click on ‘site configuration’ and here you can submit your sitemap. For detailed directions visit Google support on Creating & Submitting Sitemaps. At the end of the day you should have something such as https://yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml.
Go ahead and do the same for Yahoo! Site Explorer and MSN – Bing Master Central.
Tip: Always backup your site before making changes to your files.
If you are on a blog platform or CMS (content management system), the concept for submitting a sitemap is same although the procedure is different. In WordPress, it’s just a matter of installing the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. This plugin generates a XML sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a new post.
I’ve only used WordPress, but I’m sure the process for other blog platforms and CMS are similar. Check in with your support forum to find out exactly what plugins/extensions are available.
I hope this information has been helpful. This ends our three-part series of ‘Where Do I Start?’ I look forward to sharing with you PLENTY of more tips and tricks of the trade.
To Our Success!