Here is a list of the main things I have used to keep my sites consistently in the # 1 ranking for my chosen keywords in Google:
Content is king. The more content you have on your site, actually related to your site, the more Google will like you. Google loves content. And you cannot trick them. This is the number one way to get your site listed as high as possible in search results. A problem with content is that spiders like text content. This makes flash based content not as readable.
2. Site Analyzers
Go to: http://www.widexl.com/. Use the SEO tools on the right hand side to test how your site is currently doing. Most importantly, the meta tag analyzer. Your meta tags should be as close to 100% as possible, no less than 90%.
Make sure your meta tags and title correctly match your site.
Meta tags go in the <head> html tag usually just after the title. There are 4 meta tags I always include on my sites: keywords, description, author, and robots. Here are examples:
<meta name="Keywords" content="keyword 1, keyword 2, keyword 3, etc" />
For the keywords, you need to write keywords that match your site.
<meta name="Description" content="describe your site here/>
For the description, you need to write a 1-2 sentence description of your site.
This should include as many of your keywords as possible.
<meta name="author" content="write author here" />
For this, instead of a name, I usually write the site name here
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />
This section remains unchanged. You are telling the spider to go to the index page and follow all the links.
The title should match your site.
4. Site map
Have a site map somewhere that will link all of your pages. Having an additional, xml sitemap can help as well.
5. Links to your site
Have other related sites link to yours. The more sites that link to yours the better Google will like you and the higher your page rank will be.
Make sure the code of your site is clean – lots of css and no tables. Better code = higher ranking. No dreamweaver templates (unless you create the template yourself, this means NO premade ones from anywhere but your code). No dreamweaver code unless you wrote it. Google doesn’t like made up code. You need to write the code yourself and make sure you debug it. Otherwise the spiders will not like you.
Some rules for step 6:
No dreamweaver, code only
Only external CSS
No tables only div tags
Please debug the code
No hidden code – this is a huge no no. You cannot trick Google they are smarter than you think
Flash is great but cannot be seen by spider. Text is best.
7. My links
Make sure any links to external pages work.
Straight from Google on their rankings: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769