5 Best Ways To Make Your Website Visible To Search Engines

Every website owner needs to make sure their website is visible to search engines but it's a task that is easier said than done. Here are 5 of the best ways to make sure your site is visible to the major search engines.

1. Accessibility

Accessibility means that your site is available to the visitor and to search engine spiders. First, make sure you have reliable hosting. If your site is down or very slow when and a search engine spider visits it, your chances of being indexed thoroughly lessen. Also, in terms of accessibility, make sure you have a robots.txt file available to search engines and that it allows the search engines to crawl around the pages of your site you want them to index. If your robots.txt file says "disallow" for a certain file or directory, then the search engine spider will ignore that page. In addition, you'll want to make sure that any pages with Flash, frames, are mostly graphics or that include fancy navigation schemes allow the spiders to enter properly and find other links to your website.

2. Friendliness

Friendliness just means that your site is friendly to search engine spiders and provides them with enough information for them to properly index and rank your website for your desired keyword phrases. This includes integration of proper meta-tags, like the meta description tag, meta keywords tag and meta copyright tag, as well as integration of your keywords in the page title, file name and image ALT tags in the HTML code. It is also very important to include your keyword phrases with enough frequency and density in the text content of your web pages.

3. Navigation

Having proper navigation on your website is crucial for both your visitors and the search engine spiders. Navigation is basically the linking structure of your website. Most sites should have one set of plain text links as navigation, usually at the bottom of every page. Include links to every page of your site or at least every key page of your site, regardless whether you use a javascript, DHTML, image map or other linking structure in your pages.

4. Sitemaps

Include a sitemap in your website to help the search engine spiders crawl all the pages of your website without having to travel to them link via embedded links on the page. A proper sitemap will include links to ALL the pages of your website, clearly marked with what the page is about. Some people even include a description of each page as well. Sitemaps are so important to Google, that they recently introduced a free service where you can create and submit your sitemap directly to Google to facilitate the indexing and crawling of your pages. You can find out more about this free Google service at: www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/

5. Linking

Once your website is ready, friendly and accessible to search engines, you need to let the search engines know about it. One of the best ways to let the search engines know that your site is ready for visitors is to begin building your links. You can do this by submitting to large and important directories like Yahoo Directory or DMOZ, by exchanging links with other webmasters of authority and closely related sites, by submitting to general directories and by generating your own content and distributing it whether through RSS or by writing articles. No one bothers to submit to Google, Yahoo or MSN these days, it's all about letting them find your link on another website. These methods of linking are an important start to getting search engine spiders and visitors alike to notice and visit your website.