1. Great Look!
Your site should look fresh and modern, while upholding the same brand image that you have offline. Choose similar colours for your website as you use in other marketing materials, as well as the same logo. The site should be visually appealing, with plenty of interesting features, but not too fussy or distracting. The layout should be easy to understand, letting site visitors easily navigate to the pages that they want.
2. Put Your Customers First
Thinking about search engines, and how your page will rank in Google is great, but there is no point if your visitors will simply click away from your site within a few seconds of landing. Your goal is to convert visitors into customers, so you should make sure your site is customer friendly. Keep popular items and contact details easy to find, and avoid multiple menus where visitors have to click several links before finding the information they need buried within your site structure.
3. Don't Be Spammy
This follows on from the point above, that your site should be designed primarily for visitors, with SEO as a secondary consideration. Don't stuff your pages so full of keywords that the content doesn't make sense. You should also steer clear of bad tactics such as adding lists of keywords to the bottom of your pages, and cluttering up the site with too much advertising.
4. Make it Fast
Visitors online want information fast, and they have no patience to wait around while a large image or fancy graphic loads. Make sure that your pages load quickly, with the most important information loading first. If you are using large image files or videos, place them in a position where the reader can still browse the rest of the page while the bigger elements load. If you have a flash site think about offering a plain HTML alternative link for visitors with a slow internet connection.
5. Does Your Homework
Think long and hard about your target keywords before you start your website as this will make your SEO challenges a lot easier in the long run? Take the time to find out what keywords your customers are searching for, and how much competition there is.
6. Quality Content
Visitors and search engines alike love genuine, quality content. Fill your site with plenty of interesting information about you, your company, your products and services, and your industry.