I was recently asked on linkedin for some key tips to improve Google PageRank and SEO performance. The individual asking had covered some of the key areas but hadn't addressed all of them.
Many of the aspects of good SEO are common sense, but it's not an exact science. If you're looking to address your site's performance, think about the following:
- Content is king.
- Have a keyword strategy, and understand what your keywords are, and which are popular. Daniel Kehoe wrote a great blog post on keyword research. (These keywords are for your content, not meta-tags. The tags aren't so important any more.)
- Consider the structure of your site and pages. Are they easy for a crawler to read? Are you using H tags correctly? SEOBrowser can give you some insight.
- Make sure your code is W3C compliant.
- Avoid excessive use of images where text could be used.
- Flash objects can be interpreted by Google now, but are is still likely to remain a barrier to effective SEO. Avoid using them excessively.
- Sitemaps are good. But make sure you have human-readable and XML sitemaps.
- Create your site with an SEO-friendly URL-space. Why use awkward IDs when you can use words?
- Get some good analytics tools so you know what's going on. (Google Analytics is great, but what about some of the clever tools at www.seomoz.org?)
- Keep up to date on SEO practices at one of the many SEO community sites.
- Make sure your homepage doesn't redirect from / to another URL.
- Avoid your site's pages being available under more than one address: for instance, mysite.com and www.mysite.com, or mysite.com/home and mysite.com/index.html.
- As ever, get help from people who know what they're doing, even if it's just to support the process of taking on an SEO agency.