Number 1 is to create a site map. All of the major search engines encourage you to make a site map, which is not as complicated as it sounds. A site map is basically a list of all the urls on your website which makes it easier for the search engines to crawl, and then index your website. Site maps are generally submitted to the search engines in a format called XML, and there are various websites out there that will create an XML site map of your site for free. Google themselves have recently introduced a free site map generator, so there can be no better place to start.
Once you have your XML sitemap, it’s easy to submit this document to the search engines, and you can update this as often as you like. It’s important to point out that thanks to the complexity of the search engine algorithms, your site will probably be indexed anyway over time, and any new content will also be indexed fairly quickly but creating a sitemap – especially for a new website – is a big step in the right direction. Once your site map has been submitted, you simply need to wait for verification from each search engine (the most important being Google, Yahoo! And MSN/Live). That’s easy step number 2 taken care of.
Next on your priority list is to claim your Google Local Business listing (and Yahoo if you’re in the US). With the rise of Vertical Search, it’s important to index your website across all types of media that a vertical SERP might throw up. So the good news is that claiming your Local Business Listing is Free. Some websites might already have been listed in such results, which are a kind of local Yellow Pages and are accompanied by a street view of the town or city your business is located in, along with pin pointers, marking the location. Log on to your account at the search engine, and look for the tab of Local Business listing. As your site is a new website, you’ll need to complete some fairly standard check boxes, and complete the local details of your business, such as the physical address, etc. Verification is usually a quick process, although can take time if your website relates to a particularly scrutinised market (such as pharmaceuticals).
Number 4 on the list is probably going to turn into the most important part of your ongoing web project, and that’s to build a link. Building links to your website is probably the fundamental element to ranking high up in the search engines, and something you will constantly need to focus on, but for the purpose of simply indexing your site, then get a link from somewhere. Avoid low quality directories, and instead consider investing some money in a really beneficial listing such as the Yahoo! Directory. If your website has a link from an already-established site (it doesn’t have to be Yahoo!) then this means the search engines will find your site easier.
Finally, you need to find out if all of the previous steps have worked. Verification of your sitemap doe not necessarily guarantee that the whole of your website will have been indexed and will rank the SERPs. This all depends on the complexity and size of your site and can be influenced by on site factors such as in-site linking and also algorithmic qualities such as QDF (query deserves freshness) if your site is news-based or covers very current topics.
The quickest way to investigate specific page inclusion is to highlight and copy a unique piece of text from your web page and then paste that same text into the search bar of your preferred search engine (I suggest trying more than one). If the text shows up as number 1, then your page is indexed, if not, then you may need to wait and re-check steps 1 and 2.