Choosing a domain name
Older domains are better, newer ones can be seen as potential spam sites by the search engines, therefore although it is ideal to have a keyword in your domain name do not feel tempted to buy a new domain and redirect your old website to it. You are better off optimising your original site.
Research your keyword phrases by asking others what they would put into Google to get your website to appear in the list. When words or phrases are very common, eg photography, travel etc, use short 2 or 3-word phrases instead. Discard any key phrases relating to the name of your business unless they are descriptive of your type of business, then make a list in order of priority. Select 6 to 8 different keywords for each page. Then optimise your site for your visitors, not for the search engines. Make sure your content, URLs, Headings, alt tags and meta tags include the phrases and words your potential customers would put into a search box.
Meta tag page titles
These are very important for search engines and you should make sure your keywords for that page are in the Title meta tag, with the most important words earlier in the title.
Design your site structure and navigation based on your keyword research. Have pages for specific themes that your potential customers would search for. When researching your key phrases, it should have become clear how people unconnected with your business see it so choose your categories or pages based on what you have found out. Do people look for your services by brand or type eg Designer Name or Skirt/Trousers etc.
Search Engine Spiders
Make sure the page content is interesting, informative and constantly updated. Changing content keeps the visitors and the search engines coming back. Use your keyword phrases within the page text but do not overdo it as visitors will not want to read stilted and artificial paragraphs.
Old-fashioned link exchange no longer works, what you need to do is create interesting, wonderful content that everyone will WANT to link to. Join forums where you can give useful help to others and if they like what you say they may well link to you. Use social networking like Twitter to draw attention to articles or information on your webpage and drive visitors to your site. Add a blog to your site and write interesting articles about your industry, make useful comments on other people’s blogs within your industry. Soon everyone will want to keep in touch with your current thoughts and will bookmark, Digg and Delicious your site. When people naturally link to your webpage they are, in effect, giving you public internet votes and these have far more value than link exchange.
Online tools and analytics
Once you have carried out these suggestions monitor how your website performs either in your site stats, Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools. Changes can sometimes take a few weeks to have an effect so do not rush to tweak your webpage until you have seen the effect of the last changes. Keep records of what you have changed so that you can see what has had the most impact.