Key steps to build a successful website

Designs belongs is a kind of art, but it does not mean you can design something whatever way you want, unless you design just for individual entertainment and there is no need to cater to anyone, you can do whatever you want and there will be no interruption at all. Website design is not of this kind, and you must take how visitors view your website and what they perceive from your website into consideration. In addition, you must take how search engines scrawl your website into consideration. So, one thing I need to mention here that if you want search engines scrawl your website as many pages as possible, please be careful to build a flash website, especially full flash website. Search engine does not index content in flash.

Website design, to put it simple is to keep it clean, simple and elegant.

Visitors should not have to think about what your website is about, or worse, how to use it. They should intuitively grasp your message, as well as be able to navigate within seconds upon landing on your web page. Study and internalize websites that are commonly held in high regard. Reflect on how and why they “work” and develop your designs and creative eye based on that. Always design appropriately to fit your target audience and industry.
Navigation and site architecture should not exclude search engine spiders. Minimize Flash to banners and graphic animations and avoid using Javascript menus. Always include a text link based sitemap so the entire site structure is accessible for the search engines.

Always ensure that your coding is clean and concise. Use 100% CSS whenever it is possible. Push the important stuff (content) as high up in the HTML code as possible. The repeated blocks (e.g. Left column menus, horizontal menus etc) should be kept as low in the HTML code. All CSS stylesheets and javascript should be kept externalized.

Meta Tags, Keywords, On-site SEO
Research your industry, competitors and tools thoroughly to compile a list of keywords for your website pages. I find Google's Adwords Tool to be very useful in determining keyword traffic, competitiveness and relevancy. Be realistic about the keywords you want to target.
Once you have compiled your target keywords, be sure to follow these basic on-site SEO rules.
• Unique title and description meta tags for each page.
• Spread your keywords in the title, description and H1 tags, but don't over do it.
• ALWAYS ensure the keywords you choose are relevant to the content on that specific page.

Quality content is key to a successful website. Content that is topical, compelling and well composed will always acquire links naturally over time. Research is vital for creating quality content. You don't need to have insider information or doctorate's degree in your field. The information is out there, you just need to be smart about how to piece it together. For example, you can compile information that has not been presented before.

Quality always trumps quantity. It is better to have 10 solid articles, than 100 mediocre ones.

Always try to get a dedicated IP for your domain. And ALWAYS use a host company that is reputable (doesn't host sites from undesirable industries) and has a solid up-time.

Link Building
If you can afford it, submit your site to Yahoo Directory and Dmoz is also a highly recommended directory; however, getting listed in one of the main categories is next to impossible these days. Try to drill down to a smaller or localized category for a better chance of inclusion.

Nearly all keyword sectors has an authority web hub or directory. Take the time to review their guidelines and submit your site.

Reciprocal or link exchanges, do not work as well as it once did. But that doesn't mean you should totally avoid doing this. Research and contact sites that are “authoritative” or ranking well in your desired keywords, and ask for a link exchange. Your success rate will be low unfortunately, so I leave it up to you to decide the time vs reward ratio.