You’ve just launched your website, marking the end of a huge effort and the beginning of a whole new way of doing business. Now, all you have to do is sit back and wait for visitors to flood in, right?

But, wait, people have to know your site there in order to visit. So you go over to Google and search on your field to find your business. You don’t see anything on the first few pages. Disappointing, but that’s o.k. After all, your site’s pretty new. Then you do a search on your company name, expecting to see your new site in the first position.

That’s when the panic sets in…

Uh oh. Not only is your site not in the first slot, it’s not even on the first page! For your own name! What’s going on here? Did your designer do a bad job? Is your web host to blame? Why isn’t it there yet???

Calm down!

Before you have to start breathing into a paper bag, realize that getting listed takes time. There are millions of websites out there with more uploaded every day. The search engines browse all these sites, adding them to their data banks, and updating their listings if the site already exists. But they can only get through so many sites in a day. It may take a while to locate and scan your new site.

So how can you shorten the time it takes to be listed in Google’s results?

Unless you make it easier for search engines to find you, it may take time—even years—for this to happen naturally. To speed the process, take the following actions. They’re simple and well worth the effort.

1. Submit your site
Tell Google and the other search engines that you’re there! Look for the “Submit Your Site” links on their sites and follow the instructions. Go to dmoz.org and list your site there. Though these aren’t guaranteed ways to get listed, they’re free, they only take a few minutes and every little bit helps.

2. Make sure your site’s not an island
Search engines follow links to navigate around the Internet. If your site is not linked to other sites, you’ve greatly reduced the chance that a search engine will find it naturally. Make sure that other sites—business directories, article libraries, your clients—link to yours and you’ll get found more quickly.

3. Break down and pay
Some engines, such as Yahoo, also have paid inclusion plans. For a fee, they’ll visit your site immediately and list you promptly. If your business—a storefront, for example—depends on attracting visitors, you’ll want to pay for a listing.

4. Establish your presence with a blog
The search engines love, love, love blogs. Blogs give them exactly what they want, which is new text-based information. If you start a blog that also links to your site, you’ll be more likely to lead the search engines right to you.

If you take even 2 or 3 of these actions, you’ll decrease the time it takes for the search engines to find you. And visitors will rush to your site, just like you wanted!