AltaVista's Scooter spider may visit your site only once every few months. Therefore, it's critical that you completely prepare your site before you submit it. Without question, the better you prepare your site, the higher it will rank in the search result listings. The most important steps you need to take to get your site ready are making sure your site is finished and tested, creating keywords and search phrases, and making sure you have used metatags correctly.

Make Sure Your Site Is Finished and Tested
Before you begin attracting customers to your site, you must ensure that it is fully functional, that links are working, and that download times are acceptable. There are many tools that can help you in this process. Some of these tools include HTML validators, link checkers, and metatag generators. Many are available online, and most are either free or come with a free trial evaluation period.

Use HTML validators to check your HTML code for syntax errors. Although both Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator tend to overlook many minor errors, certain mistakes can cause a browser to stop responding. When that happens, you frustrate your users, which means no sales and no return visits. Running your code against a validator before launching your site and again after each major upgrade is a great way to ensure that your site is browser-friendly. Here are a few HTML validator sites to check out:

Use link checkers to ensure that your links work correctly. Think back to the last time you clicked on a link and received a "page not found" error message. Readers form quick and lasting impressions about your site and your business when links don't work. Link checkers ensure that your intra- and intersite links work correctly. Here are several online link checkers that you can review:

Make Sure You Have Used Metatags Correctly
AltaVista will index your site according to its metatags. As previously mentioned, metatags are special HTML tags that provide information about your Web page. They provide information about who created the page, how often it is updated, what the page is about, and which keywords represent the page's content.

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