Google offers a free service called Google Webmasters that is available to anyone with a free Google account. This is a must have for the webmaster of any type of website and especially for small business website webmasters. It allows you to see “behind the curtain” of Google to a certain extent and look at your website as Google sees it. It’s priceless.
One of the biggest challenges that new webmaster and new websites can have is getting indexed quickly in the major search engines like Google. What the Webmasters program does is allow you to hook your website into Google which produces a lot of nice results. There is no “silver bullet” out there to solve all of your website wants and desires however not using Webmasters would be, in my opinion, a serious mistake.
In my experience using the Webmasters service it has dramatically decreased the time it takes for my new sites to get indexed. The waiting time has gone from sometimes weeks to as little as less than 24 hours. The faster the better when it comes to getting indexed, right?
For those out there that are just starting out with running a small business website some of the more complicated aspects can be a bit of mystery. For example 404 Errors (also known as Page Not Found) errors can be tough to figure out at first as you tend to move pages around, change menus and the like. With the Webmasters service you can easily see where you have broken links and missing pages. Fixing these is a simple task when you know they exist and will help Google crawl your site better which in turn helps with ranking.
While this is a great program, one I highly suggest you use for your small business website, it is just a part of what needs to be done to raise your site in the search engine result pages (aka SERPS). Work on getting links to your site from sites, contact other webmasters of similar site to exchange links, visit other sites to learn helpful comments and encourage your visitors do the same.
When you have found the webmaster you want to take on, the next step is to arrange payment. Many people will require a 50% upfront or a deposit of some sort to show the webmaster that you are serious about this and want the working doing. If you are new to the freelance website/forum you will not have built any reputation or feedback so they may request full payment upfront to secure the job. Check their feedback before you make any payments but if it seems to be 100% positive then everything should run smooth.
You can use payment methods such as escrow or paypal to make things a little safer as if you don’t get what was promised you can file a charge back and have a good chance to get some, if not all of your money back. Try to build a good reputation on these websites so that in future if you need any work doing it will be a lot easier to have a smooth transaction.