What’s the single most critical factor that determines whether your site will be successful or not? It has to be the fact that your site has to be indexed by the major search engines. If they don’t know about your site, then nobody will come knocking at your door. Last night I was working on a site my wife is putting together called Shopaholic? Me? and noticed that I hadn’t yet optimised the site. There were no meta tags, and it probably hadn’t even been submitted to search engines.
There are a number of websites out there which aim at helping a webmaster in just that sort of situation. Places like esubmissiondepot.com provide a comprehensive toolkit including a meta tag generator, a spider that checks conformance, load times and other critical attributes of your website. It also includes tracking software to measure your site traffic. And most important of all, it provides one common place where you can manage and administer submissions to the various search engines.
Personally, I opt for free tools because I prefer knowing exactly what I’m doing. For example, SubmitExpress have a tool that will submit your website to a number of search engines. For stats, there’s a choice of Google Analytics, myBlogLog has stats and your hosting provider will usually have something built into their offering. There are a number of meta tag generators around too