1.) Have the right website host and setup
I wish more discussions about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) would touch on the fundamentals of website hosting and IP addresses. Before getting into code or content, we often forget the basics of how our web pages are going to be structured and served up to the public.
Most small businesses, unless they are web-based or software-based services, will probably have a cheaper shared hosting setup. This means the website will be on a server which has other websites it hosts. This option is fine, but making sure the website does not share its IP address with other websites is critical. If Google bans an IP address because it detects, for instance, malware being served from that website, it will ‘blacklist’ all websites being served from that IP address.