The art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is quite magical. I know that I have only just begun learning about it, and I suspect that no amount of study will ever give any web developer more than a glimpse at what its all about.
I consider myself a novice at both designing websites and SEO techniques. What I have learned about the process has come from information shared by others with far more expertise than I have, such as Mike Cherim over at Green-Beast.com. Mike’s article on SEO was very informative and really got me thinking about the process. Mike also gives a brief but accurate synopsis of why Google will love your website, too.
I think that most web designers and marketing gurus agree on one thing: a website designed in a semantically correct manner, using valid CSS and XHTML markup and regularly updated content, is far more likely to have a higher page ranking than a site that does not employ these practices.
With this in mind, I have been extremely happy with the page rankings I have achieved with some of the websites I have designed. In fact, my own website, Stoney Creek Web Design, has achieved what I consider to be very good page rankings by using the techniques noted in the previous paragraph. Here are a few of the results for my website:
As you can see, my success at Yahoo is a bit better than at Google. Yahoo has my site listed #1 on two of those searches and #2 on the third. Google has me listed in the 4th or 5th position, but as a rule the sites above mine in ranking do not seem to have anything to do with Rochester or Michigan. Go figure.
Note: As of October 17, 2007 each of the search terms above results in a #1 ranking with both Yahoo and Google! Yeah!
I have had similar success with some of my client sites, too. Although much remains to be learned about SEO techniques, which are ever changing, it does seem like common sense, good coding practices and fresh content play a key role.
What are your tips for enhancing Search Engine Optimization?