"I've opened my store and created a website. How do people find my business in search engines?" This is a valid question we receive daily. Want to add a business to search engines? This is your first step to search engine optimization. If you're a small business with a limited budget (we can do this for you, for a nominal fee) or want to take full ownership of your digital presence, Rust Creative has some handy tips for getting your business discovered in search engines. Fear not, this is not a complicated process. You won't wreak havoc on power grids if you input an incorrect value. You should do it correctly though. So, set aside an hour or so, grab a coffee, and start getting discovered in search engines.

Getting Started - Add your business to search engine Webmaster Tools

If your website is live, the first step in getting your business in search engines is to submit your website url (www.mywebsite.com) to Google Webmaster and Bing Webmaster. Create webmaster accounts with both Google and Bing with a business email address that you won't lose or forget (it happens). Both processes are easy to navigate, with helpful tips along the way.

Add a business sitemap to search engines

If your website operates on WordPress or another CMS (content management system) you likely already have a sitemap (a directory of all your web pages) stored at an address similar to www.mywebsite.com/sitemap.xml. If you don't, you'll have to create one. Once your sitemap is created or discovered, you'll want to submit that into your Google and Bing Webmaster accounts as well. This sitemap gives search engines a detailed overview of your website pages. From the sitemap, search engines will send "spiders" to crawl your website for content - and indexing those pages with high quality, original content.

Add your business to search engine business listings

Using your business email address, sign up for search engine business listings. Once logged in, you'll need to add photos of your business, your address (you will be mailed a verification postcard) and other info like your phone number, hours, and accessibility. These listings help to improve your local search results.

Integrate analytics to your website

For even more control over your web traffic, add an analytics code to your website. Again, go to Google Analytics and Bing Analytics to create accounts, get your tracking code, and helpful information for how to add this code to your website.

Ask for a link from your local Chamber of Commerce

Lastly, ask your local Chamber of Commerce to add a link to your website. Oftentimes, CoC's websites have been around for a long period of time and have good domain authority (a term used to determine the value of a link). These links will help your website climb up search rankings.

These are just the foundations of getting your business discovered in search engines. You will need to continuously monitor your traffic, analyze the data, and add high quality, original content to your website to both maintain and increase rankings - and traffic.