Many people are interested in how they can increase their website's earch engine ranking, or "optimize" their website for the search engines.
Research Current Analytics
Check your site's Google Analytics reports to see what keywords it is currently ranked and receiving traffic for.
(If Web Services supports your site, send us your website URL and your gmail account address and we can set you up with access to your site's Google Analytics reports).
Use a keyword research tool (like SEO Book's Keyword Tool) to get search terms being searched for on the top search engines.
Getting ranked for terms no one is searching for will not help drive traffic to your website. Search engine ranking is a means to and end. The goal is to generate qualified traffic to your website by being ranked - not just to get higher search engine ranking.
Research the Competition
This will help you determine what keywords your site can likely get ranking for and to work towards achieving those first.
Type the keyword of interest into a search engine and see what sites come up on the first few pages for that term. These sites have ranking for the term already. In order to compete with them and try to get ranking for the term, your site needs to have at least as many indexed pages as these sites.
To see how many indexed pages the ranked sites have, perform a Google search for "site:" followed immediately by the URL of the site you are interested in. For example, to find the number of pages for www.appstate.edu, enter "site:appstate.edu" in the Google search field. The results will tell you about how many indexed pages the site has.
Grow Your Website
Once you know what keywords you want to try to get higher ranking for, add content about these keywords to your website. Be sure to include the keywords in the page titles and body content. Link the keywords to other pages on your site that are related or about the keyword.
Some popular ways to grow content on a website include news, blog, and calendar features. These not only allow you to help grow your site for search engine ranking, but they are also great ways to provide information to and stay in touch with your users.
The truly best approach to increasing site ranking is having a site worth being ranked, which means having good content that your users are looking for.
Use Evaluative Tools
Other online tools, like Google's Webmaster Tools, can provide even more analytics and suggestions for ways to help increase your site's optimization and ranking.
Keep At It
Search engine optimization is a constantly evolving target because the internet is constantly evolving. Websites you are competing with for top ranking for specific terms are growing their websites and improving their content as well, so to stay competitive, you have to regularly perform this support on your site.