First things first – the most important factor in your search engine ranking is determined by other websites link to your website.
That said, there are several things you can do to insure that your website is setup correctly to rank well in Google.
Here is my shortlist
- Take a look at your website in Lynx ( A text only browser ) or use firefox and turn the styles off as an approximation. This shows how your site looks to the Google search engine
- Make sure your website code is valid http://validator.w3.org/ – a few errors are fine but having lots can cause problems.
- Have a descriptive title that includes your keywords and a url that is easily readable and also includes your keywords.
- Setup a Google sitemap – product suggestion XML-Sitemaps – Free for less than 500 pages
- Setup a regular sitemap for your website – Note this is different than a Google Sitemap.
- Read and then reread the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Remember the search engine crawlers that crawl your website are just programs and they need descriptive information in a format that is readable to them in order to decipher your website. Think from their perspective and you will have an advantage in understanding of your own website rankings.