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There are, of course, a million things you should be doing to keep on top of your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy. However, sometimes it all feels a bit overwhelming, doesn’t it?

Let’s keep it simple. Here are (in my humble opinion) the five most important fixes you can do in minutes to improve your sites.

1)    Validate your code

Pass your code through a validator and ensure that it’s up to standard. Yeah, I know your coder told you that it doesn’t matter if you don’t close the odd tag or complete the odd detail, but the more errors, the less the spiders like you.
Any broken link is a big fat ‘no no’ (whether to images or other pages) so fix it fast.
Check out the W3C free code validation tool:

2)    Build a site map

Smacky botty if your site doesn’t already have an HTML site map to make it nice and user friendly. You should, of course, have an XML sitemap, too.
Check out this free xml sitemap-generating tool:

3)    Check your robots.txt file

Question 1: Do you have one? If ‘yes’, go to question 2. If ‘no’ then bloody well build one – it takes five minutes.
Question 2: Does it have at least one disallow statement? (Spiders like these.) If ‘yes’, well done, you. If ‘no’, then read the article below.

4)    Review your page content

Okay, this is not exactly a quick fix but it must be done. Basically, spiders give extra hugs for pages that:

  • Have unique titles and meta descriptions.
  • Have unique content.
  • Have content that is relevant to what your site’s about. For example, if your site is about cheese, have a page that describes different cheeses.
  • Are updated regularly. You can’t just plop it all up and leave it for a year and expect people to care.

5)    Add some links

Common sense dictates that if you have lots of other sites linking to you, you’ll get more traffic but, of course, it makes Search Spiders love you, too. Lots of links means you’ve created a site which is all lovely and interwebby (rather than a tedious brochureware silo). So get linking! Make use of all those free social media opportunities, ask your mate to add a link from his blog, get some PR, add your site to social booking-marking sites – go crazy. The more the merrier.

The above is NOT a be-all and end-all list of things to do. Nor am I saying they are the MOST important and will guarantee success. There are chat rooms raging right now about the best SEO tactics but they’re too boring to read.

The above fixes have worked for me (and my clients) and you can’t say fairer than that.

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