After you’ve created a beautiful new website, we want to make sure people will find it. And here’s how. This article covers using PINGS, encouraging other websites to link to your site, and taking advantage of Google Services. Each day, Google’s search spiders travel far and wide looking for newly posted information. In general, the entire Internet is indexed every 90 days. However, the more often your site is updated, and those updates are noticed, the more often spiders are sent to your site to search and index, and the more your search ranking improves.
What Are Pings?
What are pings, how do they help you, and how do you do put them in motion? Normally, search engines take months to find and “index” the content on your new site. But, if you “ping” the search engines right away, it’s like tapping them on the shoulder and having a virtual conversation. They’ll give you attention much sooner.
To send these “pings” you submit your website information to third-party websites that are created to “ping” search engines. Many of them are free and some will handle this service for a minimal charge. The trick is finding good websites for this practice. There are articles that list “Free Ping Submission Sites” but many of them are outdated. Even though this article is from two years ago, we found most of the sites it recommends are current: https://www.wpseotricks.com/best-pinging-websites/
Forms on the Ping Sites
Here are some categories you’ll fill in on these third-party Ping Sites:
Step 1: Title – also known as “anchor text”, should be book title, author name, and a few words on the category/audience.
Step 2: Website URL – put your website homepage. If the form allows you to list other pages on your site, put them in as well.
Step 3: RSS Feed. If you have a blog set up with an RSS feed, put that URL here.
Step 4: Services/Affiliates. This is about picking individual platforms and syndicate sites who feed search engines. We always ‘select all’ because we want our content to be found as widely and as easily as possible. When wouldn’t you? Mostly for legal reasons. For example, we have some alcohol-related clients and we know that alcohol content cannot legally be found related to youth/education content. So, when that choice is offered, we un-select it.
Step 5: Topics. Here’s where we recommend you be choosy. Don’t ‘select all’ because then suddenly you’re sharing your content with the wrong audience and it will be ignored. Select up to three topics that closely resemble your book’s audience, and be sure to click the + box for sub-categories to be more specific.
Step 6: Click ‘Send Pings’.
Congrats! You’ve just shared your brand-new website content with search engines.
We suggest submitting on as many sites as you can make time for. Each one helps. Submitting to at least six would be our minimum suggestion to help bring you results. Within a week or so, Google will start retrieving your content in search results and now the hard work pays off!
If this process sounds complicated or time-consuming, you’re not alone. Many people choose to farm this out to digital marketing companies like ours (www.UD-a.com). We spend hours each day pinging sites (i.e., when a website is new, when a website has been renovated, when a blog has been updated, or when a new third-party ping site has been created). Because search algorithms change, we’re constantly adapting to keep our clients’ pages highly-ranked.
Site Content Pro Tip: Keep in mind that you need to have your site “put its best foot forward.” When a search engine spider indexes your website, within fractions of a second, it will read every word on your pages (except typos that become illegible errors), every word in the captions and “alt tags” of your pictures, every word in the title, summary and “alt tags” of your videos, and every word and keyword in your website’s headings and subheadings. It will also learn your website’s organization by reading your website’s sitemap (see more about this at end of article). The better you set up each of these sections, the more information you are giving the search engine.
Link building is getting other websites to direct their audience to your site by posting a link to your website. This sends traffic to your site and gives you credibility with the search engines, because other sites are recommending you as a good resource. The higher the ranking of the other website linking to yours (an important high traffic website from the search engine’s point of view), the better.
How can you do this? Launch a promotion on the other website (i.e. book giveaway or contest). Guest blog on someone else’s site in exchange for them including your author bio (with your website link). Include your website links in all interviews. Share your knowledge on UGC sites (user-generated content) like Facebook, Google+, Yelp, Google Business reviews, Quora, and About.com.
You definitely want to take advantage of the numerous free services Google has set up to help get attention for your website. Here are three of them. You will need a Google account to sign in.
Google Search Console – For new domain names, this is a quick way of telling Google that you exist (very important). The Search Console checks for page errors and “makes your site shine in Google Search results.” https://search.google.com/search-console/about
Submit a Sitemap to Google – If you don’t have a sitemap yet, you can create one using this free tool: https://www.xml-sitemaps.com. After you set up the Google Search Console, submit the website sitemap to inform Google of all your site pages. Note: This requires an XML file to work.
Google Analytics – Google gives you code to install on each page of your website to track visitors to your site (and offers many categories to analyze where they came from and what they did on your site). https://www.google.com/analytics
Google Ads — Advertisements bring traffic. When you create an ad campaign (be it $5 or $100), you can choose the words, visuals, placement, time, and target audience. Google gives you many tools to analyze what ad copy works and how to target your audience.
While you may be feeling overwhelmed by some of the SEO practices mentioned here, they are valuable. Think of it as passive marketing. Although, ideally, you should blog/post/tweet daily, this can be done less frequently and the results will accrue for months. The more of these SEO practices you perform, the more targeted exposure your books will get. I’m excited to find you in my Google search results. But for now, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out and we can help!
(For tips on Building Your Author Website on a Budget, see Part 1 of this series by Caroline O’Connell, https://citybookreview.com/building-your-author-website-on-a-budget/.)
Joe Wehinger’s company, United Digital & Associates, proudly celebrates 10 years in service. They provide digital marketing services for a variety of clients, including social media and SEO. As Joe explains, “SEO is a vital component of digital marketing and necessary for strong website awareness and sales.” If you’re interested in strengthening your website and sales, find their company at UD-a.com or contact him directly at Joe@UD-a.com.
CAROLINE O’CONNELL founded her author publicity firm 25 years ago, so she’s well-versed in traditional media pitches and has booked her clients on every major national TV show and print outlet. She has also written five travel guidebooks, so she understands an author’s priorities.
JOE WEHINGER graduated from Chapman University with a BFA in Film Production. He is a member of the Directors Guild and has spoken or hosted workshops at dozens of entertainment, marketing, and technology seminars. Joe’s company, United Digital & Associates, specializes in creating ‘Remarkable Results in the digital world’. He has produced hundreds of YouTube and online videos for influencers, charities, authors, and lifestyle brands.