1. Use keywords in HTML heading tags.
Search engines can tell if the text is physically large, then it is a title, “so it must be important” they say. If you’re putting “Wolf Dogs” at the top of the page, instead of making it’s size “+1”, make it an “H3” heading. It doesn’t matter if it’s actually larger or not, just that it’s a heading tag. This may or may not be possible depending on your design and layout. If you can’t do this, the other tips are more important (namely, #6 – content).
2. Use keywords in links.
A link saying “click here” isn’t as good as a link saying “learn more about wolf dogs” because the latter has a keyword in the anchor text. It’s also more readable to your visitors this way, so you’re improving how your site is read by people as well as search robots! So never forget that your site is for people!
3. Use keywords in your title.
(The title is at the very top of the page, above your “File” and “Edit” and “Bookmarks” buttons.) It’s also what you see when you bookmark a page. Keywords in the title are very good.
4. Use keywords in your alt text.
Alt text stands for alternative text – this is what shows up when a picture isn’t finished loading, or for e.g. what a visually-impaired person might hear when their browser is reading aloud to them. The keywords you place here help tell the search engine bot what your picture and page is about.
5. Insert keywords in meta tags.
Even though most search engines (like Google) do not use meta tags, some still do. It couldn’t hurt to use meta description & keyword tags so there’s no reason not to.
6. Have keyword-rich content.
A keyword should appear at least 4 times in your text. So think about what the main keyword is you want to focus your article around and use it through out the content in a natural way.
7. Avoid frames.
Frames confuse search engine robots and they can’t navigate through your site or index it well. Usability studies also show that people don’t like frames.
8. Avoid Flash (or at least avoid Flash-only sites)
Not only do usability studies show that people consistently hate Flash-based sites because it slows them down, but search engines have no way of recognizing any of the text in a Flash file.
There are very specific audiences that can benefit from Flash (for example, educational applications and movie previews). To determine if your site falls in this category, ask yourself if you would be willing to watch a short video before being allowed to buy something. For example, would you be willing to stand in the milk aisle while the carton rotates slowly as a cow dances across the cover before you were allowed to buy it? Choose your animation wisely.
Another reason to avoid Flash is because people are increasingly using their smart phones, Blackberries, and tablet computers to access the web. Many of these do not support Flash. The iPhone, growing in popularity, is part of a trend of phones & mobile devices that do not support flash.
9. Line up your navigation along the left side.
Search engine bots can navigate pages more easily when they follow traditional standard page layout, which is usually a navigation bar along the left and a heading along the top. To see your site as the spiders see them, use the text-only browser Lynx (on a Unix system) when testing. Nevertheless search engine bots will also find your content when you use a horizontal menu bar.
10. Have navigation links as text (somewhere on site)
If your navigation is made of images, it’s a good idea to have text links somewhere on your site because search engines sometimes have difficulty viewing images. (I do this here with a footer of text links on each page repeating the regular navigation).