No matter how many times lawyers try to make sure they're getting social media traffic and good linking, web traffic today tends to boil down to one thing: organic search engine results. If your organic search engine rankings put you into the top page of searches, you'll probably prosper. If not, you'll lose out on the nearly 90 percent of web users who use the web to review products and services before they decide on whose to select. One of the simplest and earliest ways to increase your web traffic through search is with free website submissions. Doing a website submission for free is quick and painless, and can lay a foundation for your additional search engine optimization campaigns.
What is Free Website Submission?
When you register a domain name and start to put content on to it, there's no guarantee that search engines will notice the changes. That's because new websites tend not to be linked to many others, making it harder for Google's indexing programs (called “spiders”) to do their work. To level the playing field some, and to make sure that they're able to index as much web content as possible, search engines allow free website submission to their searches.
Typically, free website submission only takes a few minutes. The reason that search engines let you do your website submission for free is that if it cost money, only the websites with the biggest budgets would be able to get listed on search engines—and those aren't always the websites that will give people the best content. Free website submissions are so fast and easy that if you haven't been doing them yet, you'll wonder what stopped you.
Is Free Website Submission Really Helpful?
Free website submissions aren't always necessary. There's a chance that as part of your web hosting package, your hosting provider is already giving you automatic website submission for free. This is a commonly offered service by web hosting providers, since the process of doing a free website submission takes them hardly any time and gives them another place to do better than their competitors.
However, if your web host hasn't submitted your website to Google, you should consider doing so right away. Until you do website submission for free, all the amazing content you've been working on won't really be seen by any search users. Free website submissions are a great way to make sure that you're being seen, so that you can move on to more pressing concerns, like moving up in the search rankings.
How Many Free Website Submissions Do We Need?
It's easy to go completely free website submission crazy. Once you realize you can do website submission for free, why not do free website submissions for every website you need? This kind of desire to see your website on every search engine is admirable—but the truth is, you don't need to overuse the free website submission tactic.
Remember that if your website is linked by some other sites, chances are very good that it'll be indexed by search engines even if you don't do any website submission for free. Free website submissions are only a first step to getting search engines to like your website, so don't keep using this technique when you need to move on to more important and valuable ones.
Free Website Submissions to Directories: Be Picky
After finding they can do website submission for free on search engines, lawyers often find that they also are able to put their names into web directories for free or for a very low cost. While free website submission seems like a good idea, Google actually doesn't value all directories equally. In general, the more difficult it is to get onto a directory, the more it will positively affect your Google performance.
Does this mean you should never do free website submissions for directories? Not at all, but you should focus on doing website submission for free to directories that are contextually relevant to your practice. For instance, any directories that exclusively have attorney listings are probably a good place for your free website submission. However, even website submission for free is probably a waste of time on websites that simply accept all sites without any regard for their content or quality level.
Automating the Free Website Submission Process
While doing a website submission for free is very fast, there are actually ways to make it even faster. Free website submissions can be automated with special programs that work by having you put in your information just once.
After you give your information to the program, it will do website submission for free all over the web, on many directories and search engines. You can specify which places you want to put your website. Remember that you probably shouldn't do website submission for free to every single site that the program allows—try to keep yourself to a reasonable number of new directory submissions. In general, you shouldn't have more than twenty or so, at least not when you start.
Some directories are harder to do automated website submission for free with. That's because they require logins or maybe even membership in a bar association. You may have to do free website submissions to these sites by hand, rather than automating the process.
Next Steps After Free Website Submission
Once you've finished doing website submission for free, the real fun can begin! You'll next want to start building your inbound link presence, which will make it so that people are more likely to find your website, both on other sites and through the use of search engines.
You should also consider starting to use social networking websites. These sites give you a way to make new inbound links and a way to find new people online to network with. A huge majority (over 80 percent) of attorneys today use some type of social networking site like LinkedIn or Facebook.