You’ve created a new site or just published your blog. Now what? Now, it is time to submit your XML sitemap and submit your URL to Google.
You want people to be able to find you. And that begins by making sure that Google finds you and lists your site in organic search results.
Yes, Google will eventually find you. But wouldn’t it be better to make this happen as quickly as possible?
First, let’s go over the basics of how Google works, such as how web pages are crawled and how content is indexed. Then, I will show you how to submit your URL to Google, as well as, a step by step guide to getting your site indexed today.
What You'll Learn in This Post
How Google Works
What is Web Crawling?
Each search engine has a crawler or automated script that browses the web in a systematic manner to search out and provide data to the search engine.
It goes from website to website, finding new and updated information to be added to the Google index.
What is Googlebot?
Googlebot is Google’s web crawling bot (sometimes called a “crawler” or “spider”). According to Google, Googlebot uses computer programs to determine which sites to crawl, how often, and how many pages to fetch from each site.
How does it find new sites, pages, and blog posts?
Think of the internet as a highly sophisticated network of roads. When a new road is built we find it by traveling old roads.
Googlebot starts by traveling the roads it is familiar with from previous crawls. Then adds new pages when it encounters new pathways. A new pathway here would represent a link from an existing site.
But if your site is brand new, it probably doesn’t have links on other sites.
So what do you do?
You provide your own road map to Google in the form of a sitemap. Google will then crawl our site specifically, adding it to its index.
What is an Index?
Once the Googlebot crawls all of the billions of pages available, it compiles a massive and searchable index of all the sites and the words associated with those sites.
When you think of the enormity of the project, it really is an amazing feat!
How Does Google Decide Where to Rank a Site?
Now that Google has a massive searchable index, it needs to organize it in such a way as to provide valuable and accurate content to those using their search engine.
Although no one knows exactly how Google priorities information and pages, we do know that it is a compulation of cues picked up while crawling a website.
Our job is to give it as many cues as possible.
This can be done by strategically placing relevant keywords throughout a websites content, as well as, adding keywords to image ALT tags, headings, and meta descriptions.
Submitting Your URL and Getting Your Site Indexed
Now, let’s get your website indexed.
I’ve broken the process down into five easy steps. Don’t worry, I have included screen shots of exactly what to do for those who are well, let’s just say, a little less tech savy.
The steps you will follow, include:
- Create an XML Site Map
- Google Analytics Tracking
- Submit Your Site Map to Google
- Submit Your Site to Search Engines
- Add Your Url to Social
1. Create a XML Site Map
The first thing you are going to want to do is create your XML Sitemap. This can easily be done by using a free online sitemap generator, online tool, or with a WordPress plugin.
Using Yoast SEO to Create an XML Site Map
If you already have Yoast SEO installed, you can generate an XML Sitemap using Yoast. Here’s how:
In your WordPress admin panel, click SEO from the left side menu.
Choose General from the Yoast SEO options.
Click the Features tab at the top of the panel.
Under the list of features, find XML sitemaps. (Be sure this feature is enabled.)
Now, click the question mark icon to the right.
A description of this feature and several links will appears. Click See the XML sitemap.
A new browser window will open showing your XML Sitemap.
Make a note of the URL for this page, as this will be what you enter in Google’s Search Console.
2. Google Analytics Tracking
Here are the basics instructions from Google Support.
Setting Up Google Analytics
- If you have not already done so, create a property in Google Analytics. Create one Analytics property for each website you want to track. Creating a property generates a tracking ID, which you’ll use in your gtag.js tracking code snippet.
- Find your tracking ID, as described below. You’ll use this tracking ID in the tracking code snippet.
- Copy and paste the gtag.js tracking code snippet to each web page you want to track. Add the tracking code snippet right after the opening <head> tag on each page.
Finding Your Tracking ID
To find the tracking ID:
- Sign in to your Analytics account.
- Click Admin.
- Select an account from the menu in the ACCOUNT column.
- Select a property from the menu in the PROPERTY column.
- Under PROPERTY, click Tracking Info > Tracking Code. Your tracking ID is displayed at the top of the page.
Tracking code snippet
Paste the following snippet right after the <head> tag on each page of your site. Replace GA_TRACKING_ID with your own Google Analytics tracking ID:
Verify that the tracking code is working
To verify that the tracking code is working, visit your website and check to see that your visit is being registered in the Real-Time reports
Note: Most WordPress themes have a feature that allows you to add the Google Analytics Global Site Tag either into a global header field or widget.
3. Submit Your XML Sitemap
To submit your sitemaps start by signing into the Google Webmaster Tools.
This will bring you to the Search Console.
If you haven’t already, add your website by clicking on the red Add a Property button at the top right.
Enter your website address.
Be sure to repeat this process and add all versions of your website address that exists including http://, https://, www.domainname.com, domainname.com.
Once you have added your website, click on the hyperlink URL next to thumbnail image of your site.
Then, from the left menu select Crawl.
Click the red button in the upper right labeled Add/Test Sitemap.
Enter the URL of your XML sitemap.
4. Submit Your Site to Search Engines
Submit Your URL to Google
To submit your URL go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url and enter your full website address.
Submit Your URL to Bing
To submit your URL go to https://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url and enter your full website address.
5. Add Your URL to Social
You will also want to add your new website or blog address to all your social media profiles.
As mentioned above, Googlebot finds new sites while crawling the web via links. Adding your website URL is a quick way to create these links.
This includes Facebook pages and groups, Twitter profiles, Pinterest profiles, YouTube channels, Google+ pages, and LinkedIn profiles and company pages.
BONUS: How to Confirm Your Site Has Been Indexed
There are two ways to confirm that your site has been indexed.
First, simply go to Google and enter “site:your-domain.com” into the search bar. A list of all webpages indexed for that site will be displayed.
The second is through your Google Search Console.
Inside Google Search Console, choose your primary property.
One the left hand menu, click Google Index.
Then click Index Status.
And you should see the number of URLs Google has indexed from your site.
BONUS: What if you are not seeing any URLs indexed?
You will only see a total next to the property that is set as your preferred domain. This should be the URL that defaults when you enter your domain name in the search bar. As you can see, mine defaults to https://janetmchilds.com.
Setting your preferred domain
Inside the Google Search Console, choose the property you wish to set as your preferred domain.
Then click the gear icon.
Click on Site Settings.
Then set your preferred domain name.
Again, this should be the URL that defaults when you enter your domain name into your browser search bar.
And that’s it! Now you have created and submitted your website’s XML sitemap to Google, installed Google Analytics, submitted your URL to Goolge and added your URL to all your social media profiles.
Hope you enjoyed this step by step guide on How to Submit Your URL to Google and Get Indexed Instantly.
Have questions? Feel free to contact me.