Tie the site's overall architecture to keyword research. The marketing department may have some ideas on which keywords attract which consumers, but "make sure you're building a Web site that actually has pages devoted to the keywords," Jackson says.
The content management system (CMS) in place needs to jive with SEO, as sometimes these platforms can create long, non-search friendly URLs and page titles. Also, try to avoid what Jackson calls "Flashturbation"--or the usage of Flash for no reason. The ideal design would be a site that's heavy on textual content and light on code.
For the actual text, Jackson says to shoot for about 400 words on the homepage and 250 on internal pages. And for the big day--"Don't launch your Web site until you've checked to make sure your entire legacy (old) pages/URLs are redirected to the new URLs," Jackson says.