Commandment 1: There are no Rank Guarantees. (Period)
Search Engines alone control their indexing and ranking algorithm. Do not try to trick Search Engines. The only way to improve your Search Engine Ranks is by playing by the rules. And the rule is very simple: make it logical. Web content is primarily for the site visitor and not crawlers. If your Search Engine Optimizer sold you magic “Top rank on google in 10 days flat”. Forget it. There are no short cuts. Top ranking in Search Engines Natural Results will take time. Hard work is imperative especially for the content on your website and the links to your site.
Commandment 2: Ranking is not the end, it’s the means.
Ask yourself what will Top Search Engine Ranks get you? Most businesses are interested in increasing sales on the website or in the least driving qualified traffic. Ranking for the right keywords (keywords used by your target audience) is important. There are SEOs who would try to show case results for keywords that occur only on your website. Beware such gimmicks.
Commandment 3: Know your competition.
“Rank” is relative position and more so in the Search Engine’s natural results. How well you do in the Search Engine Results is a function of how much hard work you have put over competition. Analyze competition’s keywords, links, keyword density and spread. But be sure to never copy your competition.
Commandment 4: Use Search Engine Friendly design.
A search and visitor friendly design is must for any successful website. Your website should be compelling enough for repeat visits by search engines and potential customers. Make sure you have Search Engine friendly urls and avoid those long URLs with query strings (http://my/website.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=5&a=z&f=g). You should also make sure that your web designer follows global coding standards like w3c (http://www.w3.org/).
Commandment 5: Select Keywords that are worth.
You must research the keywords before targeting. There are tools that give you good idea of keyword’s search potential for example (http://www.wordtracker.com/, http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/, https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordSandbox ). It is important to know the number of searches for a keyword in the last month, last 6 months and last year. You should also find out the number of web pages that are targeting the keyword. It is advisable to start a campaign with keywords with moderate competition and high number of search.
Commandment 6: Write Great content.
Even if your website site is technically perfect for search engine robots, it won’t do you any good unless you also fill it with Great content. Great is contextual and has editorial value. Great content brings repeat visits and increases the chance of conversion. Great content is factual and appeals to the target audience. The web page should have desired action embedded in the content.
You must ensure that the content is fresh. Keep adding and editing the content regularly.
Commandment 7: Use good hyper linking strategy.
Hyperlinks make the content accessible and contextual. You must hyperlink in the right context within the website and to the other websites. Good links are appreciated by the Search Engines and by the visitors. No one likes to be taken to a mall selling “Macintosh” when shopping for “apples”.
Commandment 8: Write relevant and original Meta content.
Meta content is like business cards. Just as your business card tells who you are and what you do Meta content tells the Search Engines the relevance and context of a web page. Resist the temptation to include everything in the Meta content, but make it detailed. Confused? The idea is to include only what is relevant to the page in the Meta Content but include everything that is relevant.
Commandment 9: Acquire Relevant Links.
The Links you acquire are the roads to your web page for Search Engine Bots and visitors. Good links increase your webpage’s equity on the World Wide Web and bad link make a dent to the equity and credibility. Be selective in reciprocal linking. Both reciprocal and one way links work, if you are prudent in selecting the links. Submit your website to the relevant sections in relevant directories.
Commandment 10: Consult experts, if you need to.
If you have the competence there are two ways to learn. Learning from one’s own mistakes and learning form other’s experience. You could choose either. If you have the time and can wait for the online dollars do it yourself. If you want to get started now it may be useful to consult the experts.