Search Engine Optimization is clearly an art, a science, but this does not mean any webmaster can not perform basic SEO. There are several things a webmaster can do to achieve a decent level of visibility in the Search Engine Results Page. Many of these tasks are simple yet often overlooked. I will give you my Top 5 tips which I believe every Webmaster should perform when designing a site.
1. “Meta Tags” – Should be included on all pages, remember though these tags no longer carry the same value they used to in the early search days. Today’s search engines have evolved and now have robust algorithms which take many factors into consideration. The days of “keyword stuffing” will no longer yield in better SERP. Google has gone as far as openly stating that they in fact do not even use the Meta Keyword tag to weigh in on their decision. That being said I strongly believe that all sites should leverage the use of <meta tags> appropriately.
2. “Friendly URL’s”- Make sure all pages on your site have a friendly URL. http://www.domain.com/about-us.html try and avoid long URL’s with many parameter passed. Most search engines can handle URI’s with up to 2 parameters but after that you run the risk that your pages may not get indexed.
3. “Sitemaps” – Create a sitemaps.xml and sitemap.html publish them to the search engines via their submission links. I like to create both pages some people say you only need one.
4. “Robots.txt” - Create a robots.txt file tell the search engine where your sitemap.xml file is located. Most search engines will respect the robots.txt file. BE SURE that you validate the file before publishing, a bad entry could potentially block the crawler from crawling your site all together.
5. “Unique Content”- I personally think this is the biggest of them all, have unique content for your visitors, if you have a site that is just repeating another site what is the incentivefor people to come visit you. Creating easy to read unique content will go very far, think about it, if you have a site that is interesting more people are likley to link to your site, the more “Relevant & Reliable” back links you get the better chance you will rank higher in SERP. I will cover this in more detail on my Top 5 Off Page SEO Tips