Having been a designer for several years and an SEO expert for a while I want to share a few little tips with you. These tips are pretty much common knowledge but every now and then when times get hard you will loose sight of them and so the tips will always help you increase traffic to your site. The only thing these tips require is some time and effort (and sometimes a bit of money), do all they say and take your site to the next level.
Have a Plan
Each and every website or blog starts with a vision and an ideal of what it will be in years to come and what services you want to offer and/or products you are selling (or maybe just how many posts you will write a week or month). So write it down on a piece of paper in bold black or red pen, then stick it above your desk or somewhere you always look from your desk!
Show the Love
A common belief (and rightly so) is that links a) bring traffic and b) are picked up by search engines and your site is ranked on this and several other factors. So this tip is simple, if you want a link give a link, its called Link Loving - your link to them doesn't have to last forever but its always nice to receive something in return for giving someone a link.
View the Bigger Design Picture
Unique Meta Tags (with Your Content)
Each page should have a unique set of meta tags (in particular: Title, Description & Keywords). So for each page use your title tag to emphasise your subject and appeal to the user to view you - the title tag is pretty much only used by search engines and the users of ... it is the first thing your user will see if clicking through from a search engine. Your Description should ideally be the first line of your main textual content, but if not you should use this again as a marketing tool to attract users from the search engine. Finally your keywords should actually me key-phrases - two or three words that sum up your content and more so terms people are likely to search for (eg. "Search Engine Services" or "SEO News").
Contextual Tone and Language
Take a look at your textual content, look closely at the language and "jargon" used. You may think this exercise is pointless but if you can remove any hardship from your text, remove all jargon and ensure your get your point across in the first few sentences then you will be able to draw your user in to your site and the content. Most sites start in a personal tone and move to be more business like in language, however you should try to stay personal speaking one to one with your user improves interaction and increases the memorability of your site/blog.
Increase or Decrease Your Coverage
Sometimes moving forward is hard either because you are not covering enough of a subject or enough topics or alternatively you are trying to include to much within your posts and you need to simplify and cover one subject in great depth. The first place to look in your blog is at the number of writers to number of categories ratio, if its roughly one to one then you are fine but if you find you are the only person covering 5 or 6 categories you may want to consider consolidating these into just one or two that you can concentrate on. Now you've done that focus on your content and adding more on a regular basis (bi-daily or weekly, either way stick to your schedule - also update static pages monthly).
One way to increase your visibility to search engines and users is to use social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumpleUpon and Delicious. This also shows your participation in the wider community and gives you a chance to interact with potential clients around the globe as well as gives them a chance to ask you questions & see what you and your site are doing at the moment.
Package it up
Whether or not you offer a service on your site/blog, package your content up, release it as a pdf e-book and either release it for FREE or sell it. If you offer other services release it for free but include various links to your site.
If you have questions about how to improve your site and/or you need help implementing the above why not pop by to TheSEOClinic - or tweet me @andykinsey