Getting your first Website on Google – Or At least Indexed

So you have a website and you got WordPress setup and installed, but Google has not yet decided you are are cool enough to add you to the search results… How do you fix that? If you just wait… eventually if you wait long enough, make a couple of posts that people see, and link to – Google will find you. But there is no fun in that, so lets jump start the process.

I know you have already tried searching on google, and may have even tried site:strt-nw.com just to be sure.  As of writing this post – no dice, so lets try something.

Create a sitemap(.xml) – i.e create a map for Google:

You are creating a map of your website that search engines use when finding and indexing your website. You can also use it to submit to google.

  1. Login to your WordPress site and pull up your Dashboard
  2. Click on the Plugins on the left hand side menu
  3. Click on the Add New at the top right hand corner of the page
  4. Search for Google XML Sitemap
  5. Click install
  6. Activate the plugin – it will automatically create a sitemap.xml file for you
  7. NOTE: You can check it out – so if your WordPress is installed at strt-nw.com/web/, your sitemap.xml will be at strt-nw.com/web/sitemap.xml

Add your website to Google & Verify you own your website for Google:

Google believes you have a website you want indexed, but it just wants to make sure you own or have proper permissions for the website.

  1. Go to: https://www.google.com/webmasters
  2. Sign in/Re-sign
  3. Click add Property – enter your website: strt-nw.com/web in this case
  4. Google will give you a verification file to upload to your website – download it. Note you probably want to right click on the link so your browser does not try to just open it because it is an .html file.
  5. Upload it to your website -using FTP
    1. You dont have an FTP client on your computer – get FileZilla or WinSCP
    2. Grab your FTP information in the email your web hosting company probably sent to you (dreamhost sent you an email with a password – which you have hopefully changed at this point)
    3. Use the client to connect your website. Logging on will put you in a user directory. Your website is probably in a folder with the name of the website. For me that is strt-nw.com, I then have to go to the web subfolder.
    4. Drag and drop the verification file using the FTP client
  6. Confirm you have uploaded the verificaiton file – google will confirm you did it correctly.

Add your sitemap to Google:

This step is somewhat optional as Google should find it, but it should help jump start the process. Google also lets you test your sitemap to check for errors.

  1. On your landing page at https://www.google.com/webmasters, click on your one and only site listed
  2. Click the submit
  3. Enter your sitemap.xml file location. It should already have your site filled in. So google gave me strt-nw.com/web/, I added sitemap.xml
  4. Ensure you get confirmation on the upload

If you care to follow the other instructions google sends you a message about, go ahead. Now you can take a step back and get to creating content. In a couple of days you should be indexed by Google. Be patient.

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