1. Build sites in html or another simple language the search engine spiders can read. If your webmaster or ad agency wants to build a cool Flash website with no attention to search engine optimization, I recommend you find a new webmaster or ad agency. Google and the search engines can’t always read Flash. (Note – this is slowly changing, Google announced in June 2008 that they are able to decipher some of the Flash code)
2. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Matt Cutts, a Google Engineer and search expert, recommends adding a page of content to your website each day (or every week) to keep the website strong in the eyes of the search engines. You will definitely be rewarded for adding fresh relevant content.
3. Make sure your site has a “site map,” a page with links to all of the most important pages on your site. The search engine spiders will look for the words ”site map” on any page they land on and follow the links to read and index all of the words on all of the pages on your site.
4. Have a strong on-site link strategy. Try to name main pages of your site with important keyword phrases and use these phrases as navigational links and activated links from other pages on the site to these important pages.
5. Add meta tags to each page on your site. The meta tag “title” is important to search engine results and it should include up to 12 words, the most important one to two keyword phrases and either the company name or website at the end of the title.
6. The meta tag “description” should be 25 to 35 words giving a short, one to two sentence summary of what’s on the page. Include a call to action as this often shows in search results. The meta “keyword” tag can include 12 keyword phrases, including the company name/website. Do not repeat any single word more than four times.
7. Header tags are also very valuable for search engine optimization The H1 tag forms a headline on the page and tells Google the words in the tag are important. It should be three to six words, and form the title of the page. Include main keyword phrase in this tag. H2 tags are the subheadings on a page and additional section headers. The H2 tags can be 6 to 12 words long and they should include secondary phrases in these tags.
8. Every image and hyperlink on a page (and there are typically many) offer an opportunity to introduce keywords to the page. Add image names and alt-text. Naming images on your website and including the “alt tags” helps search engines because the engines can’t “read” pictures, but they can read the names of pictures, links and the alt-tags.
9. Target a keyword density of approximately 5 percent. Keyword density is the ratio of the number of occurrences of a particular keyword or phrase to the total number of words in a page.
10. You can break up a keyword phrase. Using best health insurance coverage as the example, separate keywords with a period. For example: It’s not always easy to find the best health insurance. Coverage can vary depending on the provider.
Flickr Photo Credit marciookabe