Search engines are getting smarter, but they still need a nudge in the right direction. Even the simplest SEO basics go a long way in giving Google’s algorithms that little bit of extra help they need to deliver the best possible results.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, isn’t just one technique. SEO is a general practice that makes your website appealing to search engines so traffic arrives at your site naturally through organic searches.
Boost Traffic (Quantity and Quality)
Search engines deliver fast answers. That’s what internet users want from them and that’s what they do. When you type an inquiry into Google’s search box, complex algorithms crawl countless websites to find the ones with the most relevant, high-quality information.
When your website is highly optimized, you’re signaling to Google that the site should appear on the first page — and ideally the first position — when someone searches for keywords or phrases related to your industry. That’s basic SEO in a nutshell.
For example, let’s say your company sells handmade ukuleles. When someone’s shopping for a new uke, you want your brand to be at the top of the list if someone searches for “ukulele for sale” or “handmade ukulele.”
SEO techniques help you hone in on your target demographic. They allow you to corner the market. You can funnel traffic directly to your site organically through SERPs (search engine results pages).
Besides just increasing the number of visitors you receive every day (and in turn decreasing visits to your competitor’s sites), SEO basic practices ensure that your site is receiving visitors who genuinely care about your product or service.
7 SEO Basics You Need to Know
If you take nothing else from this article, just consider these important bits of information:
- Content is still king. The best thing you can do for your website is to create quality content that connects with visitors. Before you even think about optimizing your content for search engines, think about how to tailor it to the end user. This is the single most important step you can take.
- Keywords still matter. In the age of Hummingbird and RankBrain, exact keyword usage isn’t as critical as it used to be. However, our own research has found that keyword research and usage still hold tremendous value for SEO. Yes, you want to include organic variations of your keywords, but the keywords should still be well-represented in your site content. As noted by Brittney Lorenzo, Lead Digital Producer at Coalition Technologies: “Keywords are a hyper-focused way to allow Google to understand what’s going on within a particular page of a website.”
- Backlinks can help, but they aren’t everything. In the SEO days of yore, links were the primary ranking factor. The more links that pointed to your site, the higher your rankings. Today, links can still help, but they don’t matter nearly as much as they once did. Strive for natural backlinks, and avoid buying or trading unnatural links (as this can result in penalties).
- Internal links are essential. You can’t always control the number of inbound links you receive from other websites, but you have absolute control over the links on your website. For instance, let’s say you run an online business. Product pages should link back to their parent category, blog articles should link back to any products they mention, and the homepage should link to any featured products or categories. When possible, your anchor text (the text being hyperlinked) should be the main keyword of the desintaton page. So if you’re linking from the homepage to a category entitled “Ecommerce SEO,” you might have homepage content that reads, “Visit our Ecommerce SEO page to learn more.” (See what we did there?)
- UX and SEO go hand in hand. On the surface, you might not think that issues like site speed, usability, and design are important for search engine rankings. But while these issues on their own might not hinder your rankings, they do influence the number of users who visit your site and the amount of time they spend on each page. This, in turn, can have a major impact on your rankings. So keep your site in excellent working order.
- Don’t neglect your backend obligations. When discussing SEO basics, it’s tempting to focus on content. But the technical aspects of your site will also make a huge difference for your rankings. For example, every site should have an HTML sitemap, an XML sitemap, and a robots.txt file. Dead and outdated links should be redirected, and your site should have a logical URL structure. Some of this will require the help of technical SEO experts, but some of it can be managed using plug-ins that are available for most CMS and shopping cart platforms.
- Consistency is key. SEO isn’t a one-time project. It’s an ongoing process. The websites that dominate the SERPs are constantly optimizing, testing, and fine-tuning. When it comes to SEO, you can never let your guard down. Think of it like a muscle that constantly needs to be exercised.
SEO 101: Why Hire SEO Professionals?
There’s no single SEO technique that will make your site magically rise to the top of SERPs. Good SEO that generates real results requires a multifaceted approach. So, if you’re looking for shortcuts that you can use to immediately transform your site, you’re not going to find them. However, with the right team on your side, you can drastically increase sales with SEO.
SEO has come an incredibly long way since the early days of cramming as many keywords into a paragraph as possible. Today’s SEO basics demand a certain nuance that only comes with experience. Additionally, there are technical requirements that simply require an expert’s touch.
Fortunately, as long as you partner with a qualified SEO agency, it should pay for itself over time. Coalition Technologies has a 99% client satisfaction rate and a 97% client retention rate because we implement SEO strategies that increase traffic and boost revenue. The proof is in the numbers — we make your bottom line grow.
Request a Quote Now
If you’re ready to take your online presence to the next level, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. SEO basics can only get you so far. We have an extremely in-depth knowledge of the ever-evolving SEO landscape, and we can make sure you’re able to stay ahead of the competition both now and in the future. Call (310) 827-3890 or contact us online to get started.