Gaining organic search traffic for your startup or blog is a lot of work, time consuming, and slow. You need to create lots of quality content that others will link to, and you need to market your site. And you need to wait.
But there are a few quick and easy tasks that you can do in a few minutes today.
- Check to see if your site is indexed by Google by going to google.com and searching like this:
site:lauradhamilton.comDo the same on bing.com. If you don't see your site in the results, then you need to submit your site for indexing. Here are instructions on how to ask Google to crawl your site. And sign in to Bing webmaster to ask Bing to crawl your site.
- Use descriptive page names (in the urls). For example, "lauradhamilton.com/5-quick-and-easy-seo-tips" is a good descriptive, human-readable url. On the other hand, a page name like "lauradhamilton.com/posts/15" is not a good page name. The number doesn't tell us anything about the content of the page. You can read more about good page names here. Be careful not to stuff keywords in the page names, though. Just write naturally, focusing on your human readers.
- Create a sitemap.xml file or an rss feed like this one and submit your sitemap or rss feed to google. This will ensure that Google spiders all of your pages periodically.
- Submit your site to the Yahoo and DMOZ directories. But don't go overboard and submit your site to a bunch of trashy fly-by-night directories that accept everything. For more information, watch Matt Cutts' video on how Google views website directories.
- Optimize your images for SEO. Use descriptive, human-readable filenames. (banner20130716.jpg is NOT a good filename.) Also, be sure to use fill out the title tags and alt tags with brief but descriptive phrases. You can read more about image optimization here.
There is a lot more to search engine optimization that just the five points I've listed above. For example, Google looks at how quickly your site loads, so it's important to make an effort to speed up your site. And, of course, creating quality content that draws natural, organic links is absolutely necessary.