Following SEO guidelines will help search engines such as Google to (a) find, (b) index, and (c) rank your website better.
Latest: Your website should be mobile friendly. Recent reports suggests that the sites which are not mobile friendly have shown the drop in ranking in the Google search engine and hence sharp drop in traffic.
Since most of the search engines only understand the text-based content, it is suggested that the links in the web page should be text based. Many webmaster uses an image instead of text to display a link that should be avoided. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the “ALT” tag to include the main keywords which represent the descriptive text. Below video from Matt Cutt explains the importance of ALT tag https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NbuDpB_BTc
Every page in the site should be reachable from at least one static text link.
Keep the outgoing links or the links to other pages of your site within the reasonable number.
It is good to ensure that there are no broken links. You may use the tool Xenu to check that. http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html
It is a good idea to have a sitemap for your website with links pointing to the important parts of your site. For example, in our site SITEMAP
<title> tag should include main relevant keywords and it should be preferably under 65 characters.
Not every search engine crawl dynamic URLs ( i.e. with “?” characters) so it is best not to have them in your site. However if you decide to use them, it is preferable to keep them short and few.
If you know technical aspects, then use the robots.txt file on your web server. This file tells crawlers which directories can or cannot be crawled.
It is good to test your site to make sure that it appears correctly in different browsers. Many times you may be surprised to find out that your website may appear in Firefox but may not in Internet Explorer or in a different version of explorer or vice a verse.
Test your site’s performance and loading times. Faster sites increase user satisfaction and improve the overall quality of the web (especially for those users with slow Internet connections). Google webmaster tool shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world. https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Strictly remember to avoid any manipulative black hat SEO techniques by SEO cowboys. Deceptive or manipulative techniques simply lead to a permanent ban by search engines. Following are some of the black hat techniques which should be avoided at all cost.
(a)Avoid participating in link exchange schemes (which claim to improve your link popularity or page rank).
(b)Avoid sending automated queries to search engines to determine how your site ranks in search results.
(c) Avoid creating multiple pages, or domains with duplicate content.