Before I begin, let me make something perfectly clear. Write your content for your readers, clients, and customers first and the search engines second.
Your readers are the ones interested in the content you have to offer. If they have a hard time understanding the concept of your content then they will find another source that suits them better and you will loose them forever.
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The SEO Basics
Separate your site structure and content with cascading style sheets (css). Part of site structure is having good navigation. It is important to have a site that is easily navigated.
Many search engines do not use meta keyword tags in their algorithms but they DO use meta description tags.
Tittle tags should be key word and key phrase rich for the individual page you are optimizing. Do not make your title tags extremely long. Only include the words and phrases that are relevant to that particular page.
Good Content Titles
Headings for your content should also be key word and key phrase rich. Your content headings should be a good description of what the content is about.
Content should be well written, unique, and informative. Key word and key phrases should be used very naturally throughout your content.
Images should be saved in a compressed format such as jpg. gif, or png. Images that are not optimized for the web will be large in file size and cause your pages to load slowly.
An xml sitemap is different than an on site sitemap. xml sitemaps are submitted to the search engines either automatically or manually. You can install a plugin or code within your website that will automatically submit your xml site map to the search engines when new content is created in your site.
A robot text file will tell the search engines whether or not they are allowed to index pages within your site. If you have files or folders within your site that you do not want indexed or included in the search engines you can include this in the robots.txt file. Be careful with this file. An incorrectly written file can tell the search engines not to index your site at all and your site will not be indexed or found in any search.