So you have a shiny new website and you are excited to start showing it off but when you search for it in Google nothing comes up? Never fear, there’s a relatively painless process you can use to kickstart your site’s search results. And we’re about to tell you.
Start Here: https://www.google.com/submityourcontent/
When you get here, you’ll have a few options that might apply, but today we are going to focus on increasing your website traffic.
Choose the option for “Website Owner”.
Now click “Add your URL”. This is the most basic option and one that you will definitely want to do, especially if this is a brand new site! Click the button, type in the address that you use to get to your website, and submit! Phew, that was an easy one!
*NOTE* You can go deeper into this process by using Google’s “Webmaster Tools”. If you want to make sure that all of the pages on your site, including videos and images, are being crawled by Google you can submit a sitemap of your website from the Webmaster Tools. In order to do this you will need some access to the “backend” of your site, and for many that will require contacting your Web company and having them put a code into the administration portion of your site. Your web master should be able to do this for you without much hassle.
The next simple step for increasing your Google results is to add your business information to Google’s database. Go to https://www.google.com/local/add . Note, for you veterans, this used to be referred to as “Google Places” which is no longer a term Google uses anymore. This is now just a search result that shows up on the right hand sidebar when you Google search for a business.
If you don’t already have a Google account, you will have to create one for this step.
Type your physical business address into the search field and search.
If your address “cannot be found” try typing in your business name too. Or, if you get easily frustrated like me, just click the option saying that you correctly entered your address and you want to finish filling out the form!
Verify that you are authorized to manage your business on Google.
Google will mail you a postcard within a couple of weeks with a PIN on it. Don’t worry, the postcard will remind you how to get back to the place you need to enter it!
You can continue the process of setting up your company information on Google while you wait for your postcard to come. Add photos, a description, hours of operation, and more! The more information you provide, the better your listing will be.
Update: the exact process of verifying your business information may have changed since this article was originally written back in 2014. Google may no longer send you a post card and instead require you to verify yourself using the business phone number, or text messaging verification. Other information in this article remains correct and useful, however.