How to Submit Your Website to Google: 2 Options for Website Owners

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Pre-pandemic, Google saw an average of 3.6 billion searches per day. As COVID-19 drove more and more people and businesses online, that average number of searches jumped to about 6 billion a day by March 2020.

There’s no question that having a strong online presence is important, especially for small business owners. Tapping into the ecommerce market was the difference between survival and permanent shutdown for many companies.

But simply having a live website isn’t enough to bring in any of that web traffic.

The demand for online content is surging, and if your website isn’t being picked up by Google, you need to take immediate action to ensure people can find your content online.

How Do I Make My Website Appear on Google Search?

In order to climb the search rankings and make your website appear on Google’s search engine results page (SERP), a variety of factors have to work together.

First, you must have a good website. It needs to load quickly, have a user-friendly layout, be optimized for mobile, and feature content that is keyword-focused and well-organized with subheadings and lists. A strong content marketing strategy is based on valuable information that either informs, entertains, or solves a problem for its audience.

All of this put together is referred to as search engine optimization or SEO. The overall optimization of your website, both for human visitors and Google’s bots, send signals to search engines about the quality and trustworthiness of your site – which is important since consumer trust is at an all-time low.

Great SEO website with valuable content that’s engaging readers? Good for Google.

Clickbait articles, spammy pop-ups, poor layout, and obnoxious keyword stuffing? Google will take a hard pass, as will your readers.

Once you have a great website ready for viewers, you need to make sure Google is aware that your site exists.

Do I Need to Submit My Site to Google?

Technically, no.

Google automatically crawls websites and indexes them, so if you have a brand-new website, chances are that Google will find it all on its own.

However, you can speed up the process (and have some extra peace of mind) by submitting your website directly to Google.

To start, check to see if your website is already indexed. Search site:yourdomain.com in Google.

If search results populate, then Google has indexed your site. If no results are shown, there’s either a typo in the search, or Google hasn’t yet discovered your website and needs an extra nudge in the right direction.

How to Submit Your Website to Google for Indexing

Google relies on bots to “crawl” your website. These bots analyze the value of your pages and report back to Google with any potential errors or information that could impact your SEO ranking.

For both of the options we’re about to cover, you will need to:

  • Be the owner of an active website OR have full access to the site
  • Create a Google Search Console (GSC) account
  • Add your website as a property in GSC and, if necessary, verify ownership 

If you can check all of the above boxes, you’re ready to submit your website to Google using one of two methods:

Option 1: Submit a Sitemap

This is the best option for a brand-new website that still needs to be indexed. Start by searching for your sitemap using one of these URLs:

  • yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml
  • yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml

For WordPress users, an SEO plugin such as Yoast or All-in-One SEO is the easiest way to generate a sitemap if your results come up empty in the step above.

Inside Google Search Console, navigate to the Sitemaps section and upload the sitemap URL. If you have more than one sitemap, repeat this process for each one. Don’t forget to click Submit after pasting the URL.

Option 2: Inspect a URL and Request Indexing

This choice is ideal for websites that are already established and need only certain pages indexed. For example, if you published a new article or revised old content on your blog and want to make sure that Google crawls your new content quickly to make updates.

At the top of Google Search Console, you’ll see a search bar for URLs on your website. Paste the page URL you want to be indexed.

Note: this process was formerly called “Fetch as Google” and had different steps in the past.

If Google has already indexed the URL, you’ll receive a message that says “URL is on Google.” You can prompt the bots to recrawl the page by selecting the “Request indexing” option.

Since this page-by-page option is more tedious, it’s best reserved for a case-by-case basis when you want specific content to be indexed rather than the entire website. Remember that Google crawls and recrawls pages on its own, so you don’t need to keep doing it manually.

"Let me help you sort out all of the factors necessary to acheive high rankings!"

Is Your Website Ready for Google?

With all this talk about SEO and submitting sitemaps to Google, managing a website can feel overwhelming at times. But at the end of the day, the most important rule to remember when it comes to Google and SEO is that you need to provide a good user experience.

This is what drives high rankings in Google. If your site is easy to navigate and chock-full of valuable content for your human visitors, then it will be in good standing with Google’s bots as well.

Are you ready to start ranking in Google? Learn more about how my proven SEO strategies can be applied to your website.

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