Now that you have (hopefully) set up your website, you can add it to search engines. The sooner you do this the better. Google has the hard task of indexing an immense amount of new sites daily, your site will be indexed eventually. However, if you manually add your website to search engines, it will show up sooner in search engines.
If you are using WordPress this is a simple process. Read on to find out how.
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How to check to see if Google has indexed your site
To see if Google has already indexed your site simply type site: (your URL) and press enter. If it has you will see your site in the search results. If you don’t see your site listed, Google hasn’t indexed it yet.
Why is my site not on Google?
Sometimes due to the sheer amount of pages on the internet, some pages get missed. There are a few reasons why this happens:
- The site isn’t well connected from other sites on the web (this could be due to a low Domain Authority)
- You’ve just launched a new site and Google hasn’t had time to crawl it yet (you can speed up the process by indexing it yourself, which is the what we are going to do today)
- The design of the site makes it difficult for Google to crawl its content effectively
- Google received an error when trying to crawl your site.
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Why you need to add your website to search engines
Google will find your website eventually, the Googlebots (think little tiny spiders crawling the internet) find hundreds and thousands of new content each and every day.
However, you can speed up the process when you manually add your website to search engines.
It’s a bit like waving frantically and shouting, “Hello! I’m here!” whilst jumping up and down.
Google and Bing are two separate companies. If you add your website to Google, it won’t automatically be added to Bing. You will need to add it to both. It is a simple process that does take a bit of back and forth, but the end result is that you can be safe in the knowledge that search engines know your site exists.
You only have to do it once (well, once each search engine) and it is done for the remainder of your online career. Unless you decide to make a new website. Then you will need to add your website to search engines once more. But you will be an expert by then and fly through the steps.
You should still add your site to Google Webmaster Tools even if your site has been indexed. This way you get to see cool things like your stats, visitors, CTR (click through rate) and search terms that are bringing traffic to your site. You can turn into a stats addict like the rest of us.
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How to add your website to search engines | Google
You will need to create a Google Webmaster Tool account if you want to submit your site. Don’t worry, it won’t take you long and it is relatively simple.
Step One | Creating a Google Webmaster Tools Account.
- Go to Google Webmaster Tools
- Click ‘sign in’ in the top right-hand corner. If you have a google account it should automatically log you in. If you don’t you will need to create one
- Follow the steps on the screen
Now you have a fun new account to play with!
Step Two | Adding your website to Google with WordPress
Now that you have signed in you can add your website, or ‘property’ as Google calls it.
- Sign into Google Webmaster Tools
- It will take you to your homepage
- Click the lovely big orange button that says ‘Add Property’
- Type in the URL of your website
Now that you have added your website to Google, you need to verify that you are the owner of your website. You won’t be able to have access to any information about your site until you do this.
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Step Three | Verifying your website with WordPress
This is a simple process but requires some back and forth between Webmaster Tools and your WordPress dashboard.
Make sure that you have Yoast SEO installed and activated. This is a handy plugin that not only helps you up your SEO (search engine optimisation) game, but it can help you add your website to search engines as well as a whole bunch of other helpful stuff which we will delve into as time passes by.
There are three options to verify your website. Sometimes the first option won’t work (or the second one as was the case with my outdoors website) for some unknown reason so I will take you through all three options.
Once you have verified your property using one of these methods, you won’t need to add it to all the others. For example, if you verify your website using the WordPress Tools, you won’t need to go and add it to Yoast SEO as well.
Option One | Using WordPress Tools:
- You should automatically be taken to a page to verify that you are the owner. If you aren’t, go to your Webmasters Home and click ‘Verify this property’
- Adding a meta tag to your site’s homepage is the recommended method. It is also (in my humble opinion), the easiest way. To add the HTML tag to your website, copy the code between the parentese (or speech marks). Sometimes it will make you copy the whole tag. That’s ok, just run with it.
- Now go into your WordPress dashboard and click on ‘Tools’ and ‘Available Tools’
- Paste the HTML tag into Website Verification Services under Google Search Console. If you didn’t manage to just copy between the parentese, delete the surrounding code until you have just the bit that you need
- Save changes
- Go back into Webmaster Tools and click ‘Verify’
- You should get a success message. If that didn’t work head on down to Option Two
Option Two | Using Yoast Seo:
- Follow the same steps as above but instead of going into WordPress Tools, this time go into Yoast SEO
- Click on Yoast SEO > General > Webmaster Tools
- Paste the section between the parentese into Google Verification Code
- Save changes
- Go back into Google Webmaster Tools and click Verify
- Hopefully, you have the success message
Option Three | Using All Meta Tags:
If that doesn’t work, have no fear! Don’t despair! There is option number three.
All Meta Tags is a plugin that allows you to add meta tags to your website without being all techy. You can use this plugin to verify your website with Pinterest, Alexa, Google + and other services that require you to verify your website.
- Follow the same steps as Option One but instead of going into WordPress Tools, this time click on Settings > Meta Tags Inserter
- Add your HTML tag to Google Webmaster Tools
- Click save changes (the blue icon top left)
- Go back into Google Webmaster Tools and click Verify
By now you should have your website verified.
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Step Four | Add your XML sitemap using Yoast SEO
Another step you can take when you add your website to search engines is to add a sitemap. A sitemap is exactly what it sounds like. It is a map of your site that search engines use to find their way around. You only have to do this once as Yoast SEO will update it every time you add or change a post or page.
You don’t need to submit a sitemap but it is a good idea to do so anyway. It means that your entire site is added to search engines and it will make it easier for the search engine to crawl (or find it’s way around).
Creating a sitemap with Yoast SEO
- Install Yoast SEO
- In your WordPress Dashboard click Yoast SEO > General > Features and enable XML Sitemaps to enable
- Save changes
- You can view your sitemap by clicking on the question mark above where you enabled your sitemap and clicking ‘see the XML sitemap’
Add your XML sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools
- Go back into Google Webmaster Tools
- On your Search Console home page, select your website
- In the left sidebar, click Crawl and then Sitemaps
- Click the Add/Test Sitemap button in the top right
- Enter sitemap_index.xml into the text box that appears
- Click Submit
You are all done. It takes a little while for you to be able to see any action but all the statistics and so on will be up and running in no time.
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How to add your website to search engines | Bing
Bing and Yahoo are one and the same so you only need to do this once to add it to both. Huzzah!
Step One | Create your account
As with Google Webmaster Tools, you need to create an account with Bing Webmaster Tools. The process is very similar to Google. You have done that, so this should be a piece of cake for ya.
- Go to Bing Webmaster Tools
- Click sign in or sign up. Since you have created a Google account already, sometimes it is easier to use the same account across the board. You can log in using your Google account or choose another one if you prefer. I use my Google account for everything.
Step Two | Adding your site to Bing
- On your homepage near the top will be an option to add your website. Enter your website details
- You will also be given an option to add your XML sitemap. If you have Yoast SEO installed and activated this step will be easy. If you haven’t installed Yoast, now is the time to do so.
- Check to see if your Yoast SEO settings are correct. To check go into Yoast SEO > General > Features > Toggle XML sitemap to on > save changes
- Go back into Bing and add your sitemap XML. It will be your website URL with /sitemap_index.xml on the end. You can see mine in the example below
- Click add
Step Three | Verify your account
You will be taken to a page to verify your account. Follow the same steps as you did for Google but this time add all the information to the Bing Verification. There you go, that wasn’t so hard to add your website to search engines now was it? Now give yourself a pat on the back and grab a cuppa and a piece of chocolate to celebrate.
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By now you should know how to add your website to search engines and why this should be on your to do list. It does take a bit of back and forth between webmaster tools and WordPress, but once you have done it, you don’t need to do it again.
If you have any questions about how to add your website to search engines, feel free to contact me or leave a note in the comments and I will get back to you asap,
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