Seo basics: 22 essentials you need for optimizing your site


Here we’ll take a look at the basic things you need lớn know in regards lớn tìm kiếm engine optimisation, a discipline that everyone in your organisation should at least be aware of, if not have sầu a decent technical understanding.

Here we’ll take a look at the basic things you need to know in regards khổng lồ search engine optimisation, a discipline that everyone in your organisation should at least be aware of, if not have a decent technical understanding.

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One of our most popular articles of all time is a post entitled SEO Basics: 8 Essentials When Optimizing Your Site. It still does the business for us in terms of traffic, however it was first published in April 2013, so you can treat this as its long overdue and expanded update.

What is SEO?

Quite simply, SEO is the umbrella term for all the methods you can use lớn ensure the visibility of your trang web và its nội dung on search engine results pages (SERPs).

The methods vary from technical practices you can achieve behind the scenes on your trang web (we tend to lớn refer khổng lồ this as ‘on-page SEO’) khổng lồ all the promotional ’off-page’ approaches you can use to lớn raise your site’s visibility (link-building, social truyền thông marketing).

For the purpose of this article, when we talk about visibility, we mean how high up the SERPhường your trang web appears for certain tìm kiếm terms in the ‘organic’ results. Organic results refer to those that appear naturally on the page, rather than in the paid-for sections…


Paid tìm kiếm is also a large part of tìm kiếm engine kinh doanh. You can read more about this in our recent beginner’s guide lớn paid search and PPC.

Why vị you need SEO?

Building a strong site architecture and providing clear navigation will help tìm kiếm engines index your site quickly và easily. This will also, more importantly, provide visitors with a good experience of using your site and encourage repeat visits. It’s worth considering that Google is increasingly paying attention to lớn user experience.

When it comes to lớn how much traffic is driven by search engines to lớn your trang web, the percentage is substantial, và perhaps the clearest indicator of the importance of SEO.

In 2014, Conductor suggested 64% of all web traffic comes from organic search, compared to 2% from social, 6% from paid tìm kiếm, 12% direct và 15% from other referral sources.

This tallies with our own data, with approximately 70-75% of SEW traffic coming from organic.


Analytics Searchmetrics Vi xử lý Core Web Vitals Study

Of all organic traffic, in 2015 it was found that Google accounts for more than 90% of global organic tìm kiếm traffic. So obviously you need a svào presence on Google SERPs, but how strong?

Well, according to this study from Advanced Web Ranking (which I’ve sầu trotted out before when discussing how to dominate Google) shows that on the first SERP, the top five sầu results trương mục for 67.60% of all clicks & the results from six to lớn 10 trương mục for only 3.73%.


It’s therefore vital that your site appears in the top five results.

How are you going lớn achieve sầu this? With the following tips, which I’ve split inlớn two categories: what tìm kiếm engines are looking for and… drum roll… what they’re not looking for.

What are search engines looking for?

1) Relevancy

Search engines try to provide the most relevant results to a searcher’s query, whether it’s a simple answer khổng lồ the question “how old is Ryan Gosling?” (the answer of which Google will likely provide without you having lớn leave sầu the SERP) khổng lồ more complicated queries such as “what is the best steak restaurant nearest khổng lồ me?”


How search engines provide these results is down khổng lồ their own internal algorithms, which we’ll probably never truly determine, but there are factors that you can be certain will influence these results and they’re all based around relevancy… For instance: a searcher’s location, their tìm kiếm history, time of day/year, etc.

2) The unique of your content

Do you regularly publish helpful, useful articles, videos or other types of truyền thông media that are popular and well produced? Do you write for actual human beings rather than the search engine itself? Well, you should. Lachạy thử retìm kiếm from Searchmetrics on ranking factors indicates that Google is moving further towards longer-size content that understands a visitor’s intention as a whole, instead of using từ khoá based on popular search queries to create nội dung.

Basically, stop worrying about keyword và focus on the user experience.

3) User experience

There are many SEO benefits for providing the best possible user experience. You need an easily navigable, clearly searchable site with relevant internal linking and related content. All the stuff that keeps visitors on your webpage & hungry khổng lồ explore further.

4) Site speed

How quickly your webpages load is increasingly becoming a differentiator for tìm kiếm engines. Google may soon start labelling results that are hosted on Accelerated sản phẩm điện thoại Page (AMP) so this may possibly be the ‘mobilegeddon’ of 2016. Speaking of which…

5) Cross-device compatibility

Is your trang web và its content equally optimised for any given screen kích cỡ or device? Bear in mind that Google has stated that responsive design is its preferred method of thiết bị di động optimisation.

6) Internal linking

We’ve talked about the benefits of ensuring your site has clear and easy-to-use navigation, but there’s also a practice that editors and writers can carry out when publishing articles khổng lồ help push traffic around the site and that may lead lớn higher trust signals for Google: internal linking. (See what we did there.)

Internal linking has many advantages:

7) Authority

An authority trang web is a site that is trusted by its users, the industry it operates in, other websites and tìm kiếm engines. Traditionally a link from an authority trang web is very valuable, as it’s seen as a vote of confidence. The more of these you have sầu, và the higher quality nội dung you produce, the more likely your own site will become an authority too.

However as the aforementioned Searchmetrics research suggests, year-on-year correlations between backlinks và rankings are decreasing, so perhaps over time ‘links’ may not be as important khổng lồ SEO as we once thought.

There’s a good argument raging in the comments khổng lồ this recent piece on link as a kinh doanh KPI hiệu quả chiến dịch, which offers some diverse views on the subject.

8) Meta descriptions and title tags

Having a meta description won’t necessarily improve sầu your ranking on the SERPhường, but it is something you should definitely use before publishing an article as it can help increase your chances of a searcher clicking on your result.

The meta description is the short paragraph of text that appears under your page’s URL in the tìm kiếm results, it’s also something you should have complete control of in your CMS.

Here it is in WordPress:


Write succinctly (under 156 characters is good), clearly & make sure it’s relevant lớn your headline và the content of the article itself.

There is more guidance found here: how khổng lồ write meta descriptions for SEO.

Title tags are used to lớn tell tìm kiếm engines và visitors what your site is about in the most concise and accurate way possible. The keywords in your title tag show up highlighted in search engine results (if the query uses those keywords), as well as in your browser tab & when sharing your site externally.

You can write your own title tag inside the area of your site’s HTML:

Example Title

You should use a few accurate từ khóa describing the page as well as your own brvà name. Only use relevant từ khoá though, & the most important thing to lớn consider is that although you are formatting for tìm kiếm engines, you should write for humans.

There is a lot more practical guidance khổng lồ be found in our complete guide khổng lồ title tags.

9) Schema markup

You can make your tìm kiếm results appear more attractive by adding Schema markup lớn the HTML of your pages. This can help turn your search results into a rich truyền thông media playground, adding star-ratings, customer ratings, images, và various other bits of helpful info…


Schema is also the preferred method of markup by most tìm kiếm engines including Google, và it’s fairly straightforward lớn use. For more information, check out our handy guide to Schema.

Xem thêm: Cara Menggunakan Keyword Planner Alternative, Menggunakan Keyword Planner

10) Properly tagged images

Many people forget to lớn include the alternative text attribute when they upload images to their content, but this is definitely something you shouldn’t overlook because Google cannot ‘see’ your images, but can ‘read’ the alternative text text.

By describing your image in the alt text as accurately as possible it will increase the chances of your images appearing in Google Image tìm kiếm.


It will also improve sầu the accessibility of your site for people using ‘screen reader’ software.

11) Evergreen content

Instead of peppering the internet with a rash of ‘quichồng win’ news stories with little insight, why not publish more evergreen content.

More thoughtful, helpful & practical-advice based articles can lead khổng lồ huge long-term wins in terms of driving traffic and occupying highly visible positions in the SERPs.

Here’s a guide khổng lồ planning và creating evergreen content.

12) Domain names

You should use sub-directory root domains ( instead of sub-domains ( as this is better for your overall site architecture.

You should also stay away from hyphens ( và alternative sầu Top-màn chơi tên miền names (.biz .name .info) as these are considered spammy.

Having a ‘keywords rich’ domain name may lead khổng lồ closer scrutiny from Google. According to Moz, Google has “de-prioritized sites with keyword-rich domains that aren’t otherwise high-quality. Having a từ khoá in your tên miền can still be beneficial, but it can also lead to closer scrutiny và a possible negative ranking effect from search engines—so tread carefully.”

Also you should make sure that if you operate a site without the www. prefix, someone who types in will still be redirected khổng lồ your site. If this isn’t happening, Google may assume these are two different sites & your visibility could be compromised.

13) Headlines and permalinks

The headlines for your articles should be under 55 characters to ensure their complete visibility in SERPs. Make sure they’re snappy, attractive sầu and as descriptive as possible (this is often an impossible balance). Just stay away from clickbait headlines, vị not promise something that the nội dung doesn’t deliver.

The permalink (or URL), which you can normally alter in your CMS even after it’s been set automatically, doesn’t necessarily have to match the headline exactly. Google has stated that you can use three to lớn four key words that you should put the most important keywords first.

14) Comments

Do not turn off your comments system. Having a thriving community of regular commenters engaging in dialogue under your posts shows that visitors care enough about your nội dung to lớn either make their own relevant points or lớn praise it or to ruthlessly eviscerate it. Either way, at least people are reading it.

Just be super-mindful about filtering out spam comments, or immediately removing any that slip through. It’s also worth adding the nofollow value to lớn your comments section so Google ignores any erroneous link that may appear.

15) Local SEO

Increasingly Google is serving results to lớn users based on their location. This is particularly important to businesses out there in the real world who ned khổng lồ catch a searcher’s attention just at the right moment, i.e. while walking down the street, on their Mobile & looking for somewhere to eat.

You should register with Google My Business and ensure that all of your information is accurate and up-to-date, such as opening times, contact information, customer review và that your categorised correctly.

16) Social

The most obvious way that you can raise your site’s visibility through non-technical SEO means is of course through social truyền thông kinh doanh.

You need khổng lồ make sure you’re present on all relevant social channels (wherever your audience may be), & not just broadcasting your content in a faceless manner, but by using it as a customer service channel & genuinely interacting with people in a friendly, helpful & entertaining manner.

The actual correlation between social signals & tìm kiếm rankings is a much argued over subject, but here’s a good overview of the subject.

What are tìm kiếm engines NOT looking for?

There are many ‘blaông xã hat’ practices that can bring the full weight of a Google penalty down on your site, so it’s best to lớn avoid doing the following, even if it looks lượt thích a brilliant easy win at the time.

17) Keyword stuffing

Overusing từ khoá on your pages, especially when they obviously affect the readability of your site. It’s debatable whether Google even still uses keyword as a ranking factor anymore.

18) Link buying or excessive liên kết exchanging

Thinking of approaching a link farm? Just don’t vì it. It’s not even worth it. The most valuable link to your site are the ones that come from authority sites within your own niche.

19) Annoying ads

Anything overly intrusive that destroys the pleasure of reading your nội dung & slows down your site speed.

20) thiết bị di động phầm mềm interstitials

If you present Mobile visitors with a full-screen advert to tải về your ứng dụng, Google will consider you no longer điện thoại friendly.


21) Duplicated content

If Google finds two identical pieces of content, whether on your own site, or on another you’re not even aware of, it will only index one of those pages. You should be aware of scraper sites, stealing your nội dung automatically and republishing as your own. Here’s Grayêu thích Charlton’s thorough investigation on what lớn if your nội dung ends up working better for somebody toàn thân else.

22) Hidden text and links

There are a ways to manipulate rankings that a user may not ever see, but Google will probably find & punish you for.

Stay away from using Trắng text on a White background, positioning text off-screen, setting phông kích cỡ lớn zero or hiding a links in a single character like a comma or a full-stop.

The temptation to put a link in that last full stop was incredibly high.

Right, on that note, I’ll finish up. Clearly this isn’t everything that you can bởi vì khổng lồ help your initial SEO efforts, but it’s a good grounding at least

Please let me know if I’ve missed anything vital or just got something plain wrong…