I wrote the following for another group. Hopefully you and others will find it useful.
The following is a great overview for SEO. Read all the content through once or twice and take notes. http://www.wordsinarow.com/seo.html
. This covers the techniques for most kinds of tags, both those found in the meta tags and those found by the header tags within the text of a web site itself.
There is some debate about which meta tags produce SEO results. If you look at top pages, many use all typical elements. My interpretation is that itís better to have it and not need it, than the other way around. There is a consensus that each indexed page should have its own unique meta-tags, and not just a repeat of the tags on the home page.
Meta tags are not necessarily seen by visitors to a page as much as they are seen by the search engines. In addition to the meta tags, the use of header tags within the page(s) is seen by viewers and search engines. Header tags are the <h1>_______</h1>, <h2>_______</h2>, and so on tags that appear as page and section headers within the page content itself. Here is a link to a site that discusses this in detail. http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_hn.asp
. Note that for the best results, there needs to be a degree of redundancy between the meta tags and the <hx> tags.
Not all web pages can have the SEO content on specific pages. The pages for many sites, as example, were developed using dot.net and they employ what is called master pages. The following link shows something of how to program for that kind of environment. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/wtxbf3hh.aspx#HowMasterPagesWork
This site describes the kinds of meta tags that are used and their typical use.http://www.metatags.org/meta_name_keywords
The following link describes the kinds changes needed for some web forum based sites:http://www.vbseo.com/f34/understanding-seo-vbulletin-2628/
What I did was to use the top search engines and looked for specific key words in my searches. I then looked at the top pages that were produced from the searches, and used the developer tools that come with IE9 to do an analysis of the page. You can do this by pressing the F12 key and then look at the script tab. This shows the actual code thatís used by the page. Then, simply do what the people did who got the top results did, but improve upon it.
Also Google webmaster tools is a very good resource for a number of things. http://www.google.com/webmasters/edu/quickstartguide/index.html
In addition to above, one of the best ways to help boost oneís page rank is to have other sites provide a link to your site. But before this will be successful, one needs to develop a site map or site index and submit that index to the web search indexes. That way you can put your favorite content and links on subordinate pages at your site, and the search engines will find the content. The following link shows some basic info on what a sitemap is: http://www.sitemaps.org/