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: SEO: Where do I start? Possible Duplicate: What are the best ways to increase your site's position in Google? I am primarily a software developer however I tend to delve in


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Possible Duplicate:
What are the best ways to increase your site's position in Google?

I am primarily a software developer however I tend to delve in some web development from time to time. I have recently been asked to have a look at a friends website as they are wanting to improve their position in search engine results i.e. google/yahoo etc. I am aware there is no guarentee that their position will change, however, I do know there are techniques/ways to make your website more visible to search engine spiders and to consequently improve your position in the rankings i.e. performing SEO.

Before I started looking at the SEO of the site I did the following prerequisite checks:

Ran the website through the W3C Markup Validator and the W3C CSS Validator services.
Looked through the markup code manually (check for meta tags etc)
Performed a thorough cross browser compatibility test.

From those checks, the following was evident:

No SEO has been performed on the site before.
The website has been developed using a visual editing tool such as dreamweaver (as it failed the validation services miserably and tables where being used everywhere!)
The site is fairly cross browser compatibile (only some slight issues with IE8 which are easily resolved).
URLs aren't very search engine friendly (e.g. index.php?page=home)

I can see right away a major improvement for SEO (or I at least think) would be to change the way the website is structured i.e. change from using dynamic pages such as "index.php?page=home" and actually having pages called "home.html". Other area's would be to add meta tags to identify keywords, and then sprinkling these keywords over the pages.

As I am a rookie in this department, could anyone give me some advice on how I could perform thorough SEO on this website?

Thanks in advance.

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@Lucifer - SEO isn't a constantly changing field, it's extremely consistent. As long as your website is useful to the end user, you will have an optimized site. That is what the search engines are looking for, not sites that show them what they 'want' their spiders to see, as such...

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the bare-basics is a good start

this is the checklist i use:

the full article is located here: Bare Minimum On-Page SEO


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Start here:

Google Webmaster Guidelines

Google 101: How Google crawls, indexes and serves the web

Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

Google SEO Report Card

Google Webmasters Help: Search Engine Optimization

and then follow this blog religiously:

Google Webmasters Blog

And remember, SEO is constantly evolving.

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Microsoft's free Search Engine Optimisation Toolkit is a really useful tool for cracking this issue. I would strongly recommend giving it a go:
Note: the tool can be used to analyze ANY website, not only IIS hosted ones.

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I highly recommend Google's SEO page, especially their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

Content is king with SEO. Build something interesting and they will come.

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Build something worth linking to (this cannot be emphasized enough)
Pretty urls (I'd go extensionless if given the choice)
Titles are very important
h1, h2 tags are important
You might want to make a sitemap.xml file

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