Part of every good SEO strategy includes the search engine marketing (SEM) practice of submitting your website and its individual pages to search engines and directories. When you do you make it easier for them, and your prospects to find you, which will improve your organic search results. You can submit for free and as part of a paid search campaign. I’ll cover both in this post.

If you only do one form of paid promotion for your web site, pay-per-click (PPC), otherwise known as paid search is the way to go. Google AdWords is largely considered today’s number one PPC program, but it’s a matter of debate because premium position costs more on Google than for other search engines. Often times the best ROI can be had elsewhere.

Other PPC alternatives to consider for your SEO and SEM strategies include:

  • Yahoo! Search Advertising: a highly professional, well maintained site
  • adknowledge: a network of partner sites powering over 2 billion queries per month
  • focuses on serving website owners that can not afford to pay over ten cents per visitor
  • a network of smaller search engines that combined produce over 20 billion searches per month
  • Microsoft adCenter: offers a great range of features, including the ability to target your ads to Live Search users who match your optimum target-market criteria

Each of the above paid search alternatives is unique in its own way. Depending on the popularity of the keywords you choose, the amount you’ll pay for a first-page appearance will differ drastically from one to the next. Take some time to research each one to decide what the best fit is for you.

If you have produced an optimized site and have submitted to the pay-for-inclusion engines and directories, then many of the crawler engines will find you even if you never submit to them because you’ll have more incoming links.

Of course the cheapest option of all is organic search, and one thing you can do to make sure your organic search is pulling well for you is to make sure that your site and main navigation pages are submitted to the important search engines and directories.

If you have the autocomplete feature on in your web browser and key in, “Submit your site to…” you’ll see a number of search engine options pop up such as Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Alexa, Lycos… and the list goes on and on. Each search engine has its own submission process, but generally speaking each one only takes a few minutes.

Make sure that you also submit your site to the Open Directory Project. The ODP is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory on the Web and is constructed and maintained by a community of editors.

Some search engines will list your site almost immediately, while others can take up to two weeks. If after that amount of time your site still has not been listed with them, it’s generally okay to resubmit.

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