Checklist

Before you proceed with the next step, make sure that you can tick all boxes in the checklist below:

5 things that you should know:

Search engines want to show useful websites with a lot of content in the search results. As the absolute minimum, your website should have 6 pages. The more pages your website has, the better.
Search engines must be able to find out what your website is about. That means that each page should have at least 200 words of visible text. Flash content and text on images usually doesn't lead to high rankings.
The pages of your website should be linked so that search engine robots can find all pages of your site by following the links on your site. A fancy website navigation with Flash links and JavaScript links can cause problems.
Do not use frames on your website. It is very difficult to get high rankings with frames. Avoid welcome pages that mainly contain a link to your main site.
Most HTML errors don't cause problems with search engines. Some errors, however, can prevent search engines from indexing your website. The Top 10 Optimizer can tell you if a web page has HTML errors.

3 things that you should consider:

Your web pages should be optimized for search engines but they should also look attractive to human web surfers. Read 'Conversion rate optimization' to learn how to optimize your pages for real people.
Would you prefer your website over a competitor website if you were a person who is not affiliated with you? If not, you have to make your website more appealing.
A single spam element can destroy all other efforts. If your website contains spam elements (hidden text, cloaking, other shady tricks) then all other efforts can be in vain.

4 things that you should do:

Optimize as many pages of your website as possible with the Top 10 Optimizer. View details...

Optimize as many pages as possible

Optimize different pages of your website for different key phrases. The more pages of your website you optimize, the better.

Start with very targeted key phrases that consists of many words; for example, "find inexpensive hotels in Miami." When you have top rankings for these targeted key phrases, proceed with more general keywords such as "hotels in Miami."

Optimize your pages with a clear focus

Do not optimize a single web page for more than one or two key phrases. It is much better if one web page is highly relevant to one key phrase than somewhat relevant to many key phrases.

In general, targeted keywords have a much higher conversion rate than general keywords, i.e. you will get more sales with "inexpensive hotels in Miami" than with "hotels."

Do not change pages that already have high rankings

If a page of your website already has high rankings for a keyword, do not optimize the same page for another keyword. Optimize another page of your site for another keyword.

Submit your website to Google Places and make sure that your submission information contains all the elements that are needed for high rankings in Google Places. Read chapter 'Local SEO' for detailed instructions.
Optimize your web pages so that that they turn as many website visitors as possible into buyers. Details can be found in the chapter 'Conversion rate optimization'.
The navigational links on your website should contain your keywords. The pages of your website should be linked in a meaningful way so that search engines can categorize your web pages.

Continue with 'The importance of backlinks'.