Or Search Engine Optimisation.
There are important areas of SEO that are not entirely under the web designer's control. The content creators will still need to target the right keywords and word their content effectively to achieve good rankings and ensure you can be found by web users.
There are things we can do to help our content editors with this task, however.
Page Titles, Keyword and Description Meta Tags
Our CMS is set up to allow content creators to enter page titles, a list of keywords and a description that are all used by search engines. This data is pulled from our database and dynamically inserted in to the page <HEAD> tag, making it easy to make changes all in one place.
Vanity URLs and URL Re-Writing
Every page has a memorable and easily linked url. Our site looks like it has a page called seo.html, but this is a trick. We're using Apache's mod_rewrite to map any url that ends in .html to a query string that is passed in to a single index.php file that deals with all the site's content (more on that in the PHP Section). I have worked on much more complex url re-writing in the past, such as emulating directory structures, eg. for this site it could be something like /techskills/seo to access this page instead of /seo.html.
RewriteRule ^([a-z|0-9|_|-]+).html$ index.php?q=$1
Is all the url re-writing code we need so that
Most search engines include the url in their ranking aglorithm, so we can customise these in our CMS to something relevant. It's also much easier for people wanting to link to your content to use, and inbound links are important to Google's Page Rank system.
Every web site needs analytics - no exceptions!
I'm using Google Analytics here. The code can be found in the footer of the site.