It's fairly comment to find clients who've worked with SEO firms in the past that really didn't understand all the factors that go into determining where a website ranks in the SERPs. Some people think it's merely a matter of stuffing your title tags and meta data full of random keywords and sitting back.
By reading industry blogs, practicing Chicago SEO and Internet Marketing since the mid-2000's, we've gathered a massing of data about SEO techniques and have shortened a 5 inch binder full of information down to the top 5 most important Google SEO in Chicago ranking factors you should be implementing on all of your websites.
Age of Domain
This sometimes can't be helped, especially if you just started a business, but domain age is incredibly important to the search engines. It means you're established, and by association are more trust-worthy. If you have the cash, you can purchase a domain name that's been around a while (for a few grand). Otherwise...you've got a long road ahead of you.
Content, Content, Content.
Content is king, content is king! Hail to the king of Chicago SEO. If you've got a beautiful website about Shoes, and all your content is about the great sweater you've got for sale, you can say goodbye to rankings for Shoes forever. The jist of the matter is this: write great, unique content using targeted keywords spread out naturally in your paragraphs. Never ever write solely for a search engine spider. It's a great way to lose customers and get black-listed at the same time.
Hidden Tags, Images and Internal Linking
Ok yes, this is three in one, but they're all important! A lot of SEO is unseen or brushed off by the human eye, but spider-bots read them all the time. Hidden tags include Title Tags, H1-H6, Alts, no-index, no-follow, etc. The most important of these are the Title Tags, H1 tags and Alt tags. They tell the spiders and therefore the search engines, what your website is about. Images? Important? Yes! Make very sure, when you upload an image to your website, that you include your keywords in the image name. Don't ever leave it the 'istock number' or the 'straight from the camera' name or even worse... header.jpg. As for Internal Linking, not only does linking internally show your visitors where to go, it tells the spiders where to go as well. Keep the clickable images to a minimum and make sure you incorporate the LEAST amount of flash as possible.
Keywords make the world go round. Without keywords, having an optimized website is worthless. Make sure you're doing your research and giving each specific page it's designated keyword based on the content and topic of each page. Example: If your page is about web design, don't talk about graphic design. Don't name your images graphic design related.
Inbound & Outbound Links
Inbound links are better known as backlinks. Think of them like votes for your website. The key to building great inbound backlinks is to not BUY them. Develop them naturally and more links will follow! Outbound links are links from your website to others. If they're not relevant, don't bother.