The whole point of having a website for your business is so that customers using the internet can find your business.
Customers can find your business one of a few ways:
- ethey put your address into their browser (i.e. they already known your site address and want to go there)
- they click on a link from another site to your site
- they click on an ad you have paid for to your site
- they put your business name or a keyword related to your business into a search engine.
In order for customers to find your website through the last option, your site must be in the directory of the search engines, i.e. indexed.
In order for you go get links from other sites, usually those other sites have to find you and think your site is valuable, and so your site must be indexed for this method as well.
In order for someone who has never been to your physical business to put your url into their browser, it’s a safe assumption to think that they may have already heard about you some way, so you want your site to be indexed for this reason as well.
How to Get Indexed
DO NOT listen to those scam emails you are going to get from various scammers, asking for money to index you. That’s not how this works. You do not have to pay to get your site indexed. Ever.
If you are using an out-of-the-box site creator, the act of publishing your site will usually get it indexed.
If you are using WordPress, you can turn indexing on or off (though this is just a suggestion).
If you are using a larger CMS, they also have options to turn indexing on or off.
If you are unsure, just ask your developer to make sure your site is indexable or, if you are feeling tech savvy, check your robots.txt file.
Is My Site Indexed?
Especially with brand new sites, or small sites, it’s going to take some time for your site to appear for the keywords you want it to. (Depending upon the quality of your SEO, this might never happen.)
You can check to see whether or not your site is indexed in a couple of different ways:
- Check using google search
- Check using Google Site Manager (formerly Webmaster Tools)
Check Index Using Google Search
To search to see to what extent your site is indexed, go to google.ca or google.com and type in the following: “site:yourdomain.ca” The results will show all the pages Google has indexed.
Check Your Site Using Site Manage
If you have a site manager account (and you should) you can check whether your site is indexed or not based upon your sitemap or just by manually “fetching as google.”