All of us want our sites to show up on the first pages of Google and top search engines. Google, Yahoo & Bing are the top contenders. The top pages get at least 50% of the clicks through There are many other sites but showing up in the top two pages will bring the most qualified traffic in our opinion. Unless you can follow the tips to improve your site rank, you probably don’t exist for some searchers.
Some of our clients add Google analytics (a method to measure your conversion rate) to the source code on their sites.  However, this does take maintenance to gage the effectiveness of this software.
What Determines Page Rank?
Top search engines determine page rank for your site by adding up the quality links on your site and the quality content. Both are important. Add great content several times per week if possible but no less than once a week. Be consistent and make sure the content you add is worth reading. If your content does not offer the information that search engines find worthy of scanning, full of targeted keywords, then don’t expect the post or article to end up on page one.
The content chosen to appear on the top pages, always presents the most compelling and interesting content. Posts should be at least 300 words long and the title must be catchy and clever. Make sure the title is no less than 72 characters long.  Please read the article here on Page Rank.  There is also a great video on this page which helps us to understand page ranking as it relates to SEO.
Adding Reciprocal Links:
Adding reciprocal links (those links that are not only on your site but link back to the host site) are ranked highest and will help to elevate your site to a higher position. When you receive link requests from other site owners, don’t automatically add the link. Do some research to make sure the link you add is valuable and relevant to your industry. If they are not, then pass and look for more relevant links.
Adding Page Titles:
Page titles are added into the html source code (behind the scenes). Normally, the site designer will add these. Trust but verify. Look at the top of your internet browser and make sure the title tags are there. If you find they are missing, call your site designer and have them added to the site. These unique title tags on each page will let the search engines understand what content will be displayed on each page.
Keeping website copy fresh and current:
How old is the copy on your website pages? The site copy must be freshened up at least once a year. Old copy may not be scanned by search engine. Also make sure the copy is relevant and the keywords are scattered throughout the copy in a professional and marketable way. If you need to hire a professional copywriter for this purpose, it will pay off in the long run.  If you think you can do this yourself then make sure you read a few great articles on what good copy should include.  Here is one of those articles I just found which might help guide you in learning to create great content.
Blogging Regularly, how important is this?
When you begin blogging on your site, the search engines soon determine your rhythm. They will return to scan the new content based upon this blogging schedule. Blogging only once in a while will not work. Hiring a professional to blog at least once a week may bring the best results. Some clients react quickly and jump to the conclusion that the website is not working properly if they do not receive results immediately. It takes time and a regular blogging method to get results. This is not a quick result so be patient.
Should I still have “Meta Tags”?
Yes… although the meta tags are not as important as they once were, some search engine spiders still use this information for search results to let the viewer know what the page is about. Meta tags consist of three things, page titles, keywords and your company description. The description tag consists of 160 characters which is used to summarize page content. Make sure the programmer includes this information in your website html source code (behind the scenes).
Even though Google may not be using the meta tags any longer to rank the page, to be safe, I would encourage you to have the designer add these into the html source code now rather than having to add them later should the search engine algorithms change again. Algorithims change constantly and you should be prepared for any change.
How Important is Backlinking (Internal Linking)
Linking back to pages on your site is very useful to viewers looking for helpful information. It helps also to make your site more user friendly. Linking from page to page on your site will also count toward a higher ranking postion. We sometimes call this “anchor linking”. The search engines frown on paying for links. Those links that are paid for will not receive high ranking on any website and may be penalized
Article by Jean Holland-Rose
InsideDesignOrlando.com