Last update February 21 2019
Unfortunately, the harsh reality is your website will not immediately attract visitors. It’s only logical, no one knows about it yet! So, after you told your family and friends, you probable want to reach search engines next. Google and Bing are probably the biggest.
Some search engines are FFA; free for all. They accept all links and might not even check the website, when you submit it. Others let a person check the website first. However, most search engines user spiders. They have robots that scour the web in search of websites. Sometimes, you can point them into your direction by submitting your URL, but most of them find your site, automatically. You help them, by using Meta-tags on your site. The information stored in Meta-tags, and the rest of your content determine the position of your site among the search results. This process is called indexing.
META-tags are placed within the HEAD-tag, but after the TITLE-tag.
The most visible meta tag is the description. This is not just for robots to index, but this actually shows as a short description to accompany your link in the search engine. You’ve seen it before. In Google, it’s the description shown beneath the link.
To add a description, you use the following code:
<meta name="description" content="This website includes a HTML course and other webdesign
Place your own description in the CONTENT-attribute. Make it brief and make sure it applies to your website’s content. Try to mention some of the keywords you think fit your website. A search engine cross references the rest of the content from you page to create keyword matches it thinks are logical. So, make sure you are consistent.
There are so many rumors about whether this META-tag is or isn’t still being used by search engines. Most of us, still add it to our website, just in case:
<meta name="keywords" content="webdesign, html" />
Place your own keywords at the attribute CONTENT. You can add as many keywords as you like, separated by commas. Do keep them on-topic of the page they are used for. Even if search engines index keywords, they will probably accept a limited amount.
There’s one META tag that could probably be the most important to use. This is the one specially for robots. By using this, you can tell a spider bot if he’s allowed to index your site. You should see this as a direct communication with spider bots. You can tell it to index everything, partially or nothing at all.
Mostly, you will add this tag to each page with settings especially for that one page, but if you want it to index all the files, you use the following code and you’re done:
<meta name="robots" content="all" />
But, these are the other options for the CONTENT-attribute:
<meta name="robots" content="none" />
This will index nothing located on this domain
<meta name="robots" content="index" />
Index this page
<meta name="robots" content="noindex" />
Don’t index this page
<meta name="robots" content="follow" />
Follow the links mentioned on this page to see if they are allowed to be indexed
<meta name="robots" content="nofollow" />
Don’t follow any links to other pages to see if they are allowed to be indexed
You can also combine options:
<meta name="robots" content="index, follow" />
This will allow indexing of the page and following the links on the page to index those as well.
Submit To Search Engines
Once you’ve added your META tags, you can submit your site to search engines that still allow a manual submission. Most of these engines allow you to submit a site for free. Others ask a fee.
You can surf to each search engine and manually add your site. You could also use websites that allow you to add your site to various search engines at once. Some software is available for this too. Do be weary about all of these services. Most are out to gain your e-mail address for marketing purposes.
Some search engines take a while before they add your site. Most of them will not let you know whether they’ve accepted or declined your site.
A good way to let the world know about you is not free. An Ads campaign on Google or social media can really help get you started.
Another free option to promote your website is a banner-exchange program. This means you add a banner to your website to advertise other sites. A banner of your website will be featured on theirs.