I’m consulting with a client on search engine optimization (SEO) for their sites and was asked to prepare a few key points they can take to a client that’s new to the web. Now, I’m not an SEO expert, and in fact feel that many people try to sell some magical solution that doesn’t actually deliver results, but I do know what’s worked for me and others over the years. Here are my thoughts…

Content is king. Good, relevant content is the best way to get your site in front of your target audience.

Be active, update regularly. Don’t spam users, but push out meaningful, quality content on a regular basis to drive visitors to your site.

Clean, well-structured markup in your code makes the site more accessible and visible to both users and search engines crawling your site.

Be wary of people selling SEO packages that promise #1 results. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic switch to rocket your site to the top, but the above tips will certainly help get you there.

Be realistic, be patient. Seeing results takes time, and you are at the mercy of the search engines crawling your site. Don’t give up, and don’t stop posting because you’re not seeing immediate results. Keep at it, be consistent, and you’ll see results.

They’re really very simple, everyday things you can do to help boost your visibility and get your content out in front of those who matter most: your visitors. For further reading, Google has a great knowledgebase article on search engine optimization, as well as a cute and incredibly informative Search Engine Optimization Guide (PDF). Now, go forth and create great content!