LET’S GET STARTED
- 1 Let’s Dig Deeper Into The Basic SEO Principles
- 1.1 Start Link Building To Build Authority
- 1.2 Use Anchor Text
- 1.3 Properly Use Keyword Density To Optimize Your Content
- 1.4 Alt Text To Name Your Images
- 1.5 SEO-Friendly URLs
- 1.6 Work On On-Page Optimization
- 1.7 Use Title Tags To Attract The Visitors
- 1.8 Sell Your Content Through Meta Description
- 1.9 Page Speed And User Experience
- 2 Conclusion
If you own a business or manage a marketing or sales team, you know that increasing the visibility of your website can make or break your sales and revenue.
According to recent HubSpot research, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. This means that most people searching online find what they’re looking for right away, and if your website doesn’t rank well, your prospects will have a more difficult time finding you, if at all.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important way to increase traffic to your site and attract more leads. But, in an age of information overload, how can you truly differentiate yourself from the competition?
Most businesses aren’t taking advantage of this powerful method of improving search results. Use SEO principles to improve search engine optimization for your website.
While I recognize the importance of driving website traffic to your website (after all, more traffic equals more visibility), I also believe it is critical to focus on the right traffic. Sure, basic SEO principles can be found almost anywhere.
Do you want to brush up on SEO principles while also learning how to improve your traffic, leads, and sales by implementing a simple framework that has helped our clients generate millions of dollars in revenue?
Continue reading to learn more.
Let’s Dig Deeper Into The Basic SEO Principles
Start Link Building To Build Authority
The practice of obtaining links from one or more websites to your own is known as link building.
These links assist users in navigating from one web page to the next to access more information relevant to their internet search.
In terms of search engines, links allow bots to crawl, index, and rank web pages.
Below Are The Guidelines You Can Follow For Link Building
i. Obtain Listings In Reputable Online Directories:
While this is a simple source of inbound links, the value will be determined by the quality of the directories in which your website is listed.
In this case, as is often the case with SEO, quality always takes precedence over quantity. Don’t overlook reputable directories with high traffic, and don’t overlook industry-specific or niche directories.
ii. Make Sure That Your Website Is Linked From A Variety Of Places:
External links can be obtained from industry-relevant websites, social media, blogs, news, press releases, and so on, in addition to online directories.
Don’t be satisfied with just a few links. Making this a continuous effort will yield valuable results!
iii. Have Keyword-Rich Anchor Text:
This is the clickable text that links to your website and should contain keywords that have been optimized for the linked page.
If at all possible, avoid generic anchor text such as “click here,’ as it is not descriptive and adds little value to your website rankings in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) Principles.
iv. Verify And Optimize Your Google+ Business Page:
Google collects business information and creates listings that you can claim and optimize.
By taking control of your Google+ Business Page, you will be able to provide more information, create image galleries, and interact with reviewers.
v. Be “Social” On Social Media:
Being present is only the beginning; to stay relevant on social media, you must be active.
Ideally, you should respond to everyone who contacts you via social media and do so promptly.
However, not all channels apply to every business. Concentrate on those that make sense for your situation.
vi. Engage In Guest Posting:
If your website includes a blog, this is an excellent SEO tool! To get the most out of it, go beyond posting high-quality content generated internally and reach out to talented bloggers who can guest-post.
To generate traffic, they will most likely link to your website from their blog.
vii. Publish News And Press Releases:
When there is a noteworthy event or development at your company, it is an excellent opportunity to increase visibility.
Several inbound links will be generated and made available to potential website visitors by creating and submitting a press release to an online distribution service.
Read More: 11 Tips To Write An SEO Friendly Press Release
viii. Request Attribution:
When you have high-quality content, less inspired people may take it and post it on their website. This is not always a bad thing.
You can improve your SEO by contacting the website administrators and requesting attribution with the corresponding inbound link.
It is recommended, as in many other aspects of business, that you compare and contrast your efforts with those of your competitors.
Determine which websites are linking to your competitors. Contact them and ask that they link to yours as well.
Use Anchor Text
SEO beginners often conflate anchors with links because anchor text is the visible part of the HTML element. However, it is only one component of a larger picture.
The element contains two tags, a href attribute, a URL value, and an anchor value, as shown in the anchor text HTML illustration below.
You’re probably thinking that this sounds simple, so what’s the big deal?
If anchor text weren’t a ranking factor, this would be the end of my article.
But there’s a lot more to discuss, including some contentious viewpoints.
Why Is Anchor Text Important?
Anchor text is an important component of your SEO principle because it influences both off-page and on-page SEO efforts, as well as user experience. We’ll go over each one in detail below.
In Google’s algorithm, backlinks are one of the top three ranking factors.
Links from high-quality domains contribute significantly more to credibility and authority than links from low-quality websites.
As a result, they will assist you in ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
However, links do more than just convey authority signals.
They also use anchor text to transfer vital information from one webpage to another, such as intent, context, and relevance.
This helps search engines understand what a page is all about and how it relates to other pages in the link graph.
Assume a webpage about content marketing uses that anchor to link to your article about the various types of content marketing.
For search engines, that anchor text reinforces the topical link between those two pages.
Because you don’t usually have control over the anchor text for backlinks, they tend to use more natural language.
However, if you actively build links at scale, use anchors with caution to avoid raising red flags with Google.
ii. Internal Links
Internal links do not contribute PageRank to your website in the same way that backlinks do.
They do, however, assist in moving existing authority around your site.
Internal links, as you might expect, use anchor text to help search engines understand the relationship between pages on your website.
The best part about internal linking is that you have complete control over the anchor text.
That means you can vary the words each time you link back to specific pages to maximize relevance and context.
iii. User Experience
Over the last few years, user experience has become ingrained in SEO, and this trend is likely to continue.
Unfortunately, the industry still prioritizes keyword matching and authority over user experience when building links.
“Can you link to our CMS service page where you mention ‘great customer service’ in your article?” I am sure you’ve all gotten a pitch like this.
That’s not a good fit. Based on the intent of the anchor text, users would expect that link to point to a page describing excellent customer service.
Properly Use Keyword Density To Optimize Your Content
Whether you add a new page to your site or write a blog post, keyword density is critical to ensure that your page ranks correctly in search results.
Keyword density, also known as keyword frequency, is important to track to ensure you’re striking a balance between using a keyword frequently enough to rank but not so frequently that it hurts your ranking.
Best Practices To Use Keywords
i. Write For Your Audience
To find the optimal keyword density, begin by writing for your target audience first.
Many businesses make the mistake of attempting to write to help their content rank higher in search engines.
Instead of writing for search engines, create content for your target audience.
When writing for search engines, you are more likely to stuff keywords into your page.
If you focus on writing for your audience, you will naturally write in a more conversational tone and use keywords where they fit, rather than trying to force them into your content.
Search engines are intelligent enough to recognize when your pages provide a positive experience for your audience.
ii. Place Your Keywords At The Right Place
When focusing on keyword density, you must place your keywords in specific areas to ensure your page ranks in search results.
For example, simply incorporating your keyword into the body text will not help your page achieve its full ranking potential.
There are several critical places to incorporate your keyword, including:
While writing, make sure to include your keyword in the headers.
Your keyword should always be at the start of your H1 tag.
This positioning assists Google in understanding the context of your page and properly ranking it in search results.
You should also use your H2 tags as an opportunity to place keywords.
Google uses headers to better understand your page and rank it in search results.
Use your keyword at the beginning and end of your article as you write the content for your page.
You can use it in the middle, but only at the beginning and end to help Google better understand your page.
You should also include your keywords in the title tag and meta description. This integration makes certain that your website appears in relevant search results.
Finally, include your keyword in your URL. Your URL is used by Google to help determine the context of your page.
By integrating your keyword into the URL, you’ll improve your site ranking.
iii. Use Variations Of Your Keyword
Use keyword variations to help you achieve your optimal keyword density while still ranking for relevant search results.
This is one of the most important aspects of keyword integration because it allows you to rank in relevant results without using a lot of keywords.
To avoid keyword stuffing, use keywords that are similar to but differ slightly from your main keyword.
See the example below:
These closely related terms do not contribute to your keyword density, but they do help you rank in similar searches.
For example, if you’re trying to rank for the keyword “cheap hotels,” changing the city each time isn’t a good keyword variation. Google will still consider “cheap hotels in Boston,” “cheap hotels in Philadelphia,” and “cheap hotels in Los Angeles” to be spam.
Instead, try keywords such as “affordable hotels” or “budget-friendly hotels.” These keywords have the same meaning as “cheap hotels,” but they aren’t the same.
You would help your site rank not only for “cheap hotels,” but also for these other keywords if you used these keyword variations. Use keyword variations to keep your keyword density at an optimal level. It will assist you in ranking in relevant search results without overcrowding your site with your primary keyword.
Iv. Check Your Keyword Density Regularly
Test your pages to get a better idea of your ideal keyword density. You shouldn’t expect your Google keyword density to work every time you publish a page.
Checking your keyword usage is critical to achieving the optimal keyword density for your page.
You can use tools like GeoRanker to check the keyword density.
Alt Text To Name Your Images
Alt text (alternative text), also known as “alt attributes,” “alt descriptions,” or, incorrectly, “alt tags,” is used within HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page.
Example ; <img src=”pupdanceparty.gif” alt=”Puppies dancing”>
Tips To Write Good Alt Text To Generate Traffic
i. Describe The Image As Precisely As You Can
Alt text is primarily intended to provide text explanations for images for users who are unable to see them.
If an image has no meaning or value and is only used for decoration, it should be placed in CSS rather than HTML.
ii. Make It (Relatively) Brief
It’s best to keep alt text to 125 characters or less.
It was previously recommended that popular screen readers cut off alt text after approximately 125 characters.
While this is no longer a hard and fast rule, it is still a good starting point for content creators and SEOs.
iii. Use Your Keywords
Alt text gives you another chance to include your target keyword on a page, and thus another chance to signal to search engines that your page is highly relevant to a specific search query.
While your first priority should be to describe and contextualize the image, if possible, include your keyword in the alt text of at least one image on the page.
iv. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Google will not deduct points for poorly written alt text, but you will be penalized if you use your alt text to stuff as many relevant keywords as you can think of into it.
Leave it to writing descriptive alt text that provides context for the image and, if possible, includes your target keyword.
v. Don’t Use Images As Text
This is more of a general SEO-friendly web development tenet than an alt text-specific best practice.
You should avoid using images in place of words because search engines cannot read text within images.
If necessary, explain what your photo says in the alt text.
vi. Don’t Include “Image Of,” “Picture Of,” Etc In Your Alt Text
There’s no need to specify your alt text because it’s already assumed it’s referring to an image.
Vii. Use Best Practices For Complex Images
Using accessibility best practices, describe maps, charts, diagrams, and any other complex images.
While browsers handle the “longdesc” attribute differently, screen reader users can use it.
SEO-friendly URLs are links that are designed to meet Google’s and users’ high standards.
URLs that have been optimized with SEO intent are shorter and more keyword-rich.
When you consider SEO, you may consider keywords and meta descriptions.
Technical SEO, on the other hand, goes beyond that.
URLs must be perfectly optimized for both user experience and search engines.
Let me explain:
When it comes to decision-making, search engines rank based on the use of many different factors.
URLs are usually near the top of the list. URLs, like page titles, are descriptive.
Descriptive URLs inform search engines about the content of the page. It is best to ensure that they are accurate, enticing, and properly put together.
What Are SEO Best Practices For URLs?
Keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules for the best URL structure.
These are simply methods that have been developed over time by experts who have shared their failures and successes.
URLs can vary depending on the purpose and function of the website, but there are some general concepts that most SEO experts use to create an ideal URL.
- Use the proper URL structure
- Use HTTPS protocol
- Hide the www
Here are some more tips for creating SEO-friendly URLs:
i. Make your content match your URLs
A user should feel at ease and be able to make an educated guess about the content of a page simply by looking at the URL.
To accomplish this, ensure that your URL corresponds to the page’s content.
It is preferable to include an accurate phrase or term that is relevant to the content on the page.
ii. Include Target Keywords In URLs
It’s a good idea to ensure that each page has at least one researched keyword.
That keyword should then appear in your URL. It is also critical to include the most important keyword at the beginning of your URL.
Words near the end of a URL aren’t given as much weight by search engine crawlers.
Although keywords are an important ranking factor, it is important not to overuse a keyword, which is known as keyword stuffing.
You will probably get penalized for that negative practice.
iii. Use Hyphens To Separate Words
Using hyphens to separate words in URLs is an important practice for SEO as well as user readability and usability.
Because hyphens (-) are separators and underscores (_) usually connect words, Google recommends using hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in URLs.
Let’s look at an example:
Use lowercase letters in URLs
In URLs, use lowercase letters.
Keeping your letters small is a good SEO optimization method for URLs.
Use lowercase letters in your URLs. Search engines can decipher uppercase and lowercase letters.
This can result in duplicate content, URLs, and a drop in website rank.
Again, let’s put this into an example:
iv. Make Use Of Short URLs
In an interview, Matt Cutts, Google’s former head of search quality, stated that it is critical to keep URLs short:
An SEO-friendly URL, according to Cutts and Ahrefs, is around 4-5 words long, with the algorithm giving less weight to keywords added after the fifth word.
In other words, keep your URLs short and to the point, and include keywords near the beginning.
Keep the URL (or address of your page URL) short and include your target keywords to optimize it.
v. Use Static URLs
When using static URLs, the URLs are the most optimized. So, what exactly does this mean?
URLs that are consistent across pages load faster, which is good for bounce rate and traffic retention. It’s best to avoid special characters like “?”, “&,” and “=”.
Static URLs are simple to read for both visitors and search engines. This keeps your URL as readable and trustworthy as possible.
In some cases, you may want to add additional parameters to URLs. They can help you keep track of data in some cases, but it’s best to avoid hard-coding URLs on your website.
If you do want to include dates, a good practice is to create a permalink like “the-best-running-shoes-for-women-this-year/.”
As time passes, you’ll be able to go back and update your content for the current year.
You would then continue to attract organic traffic without restricting your content to a time frame.
Let me demonstrate a “bad” or long URL that frequently contains numbers or extra characters that do not describe the page.
A non-SEO-friendly URL might look something like this:
The numbers are unnecessary, elongate the URL, and do not help a user or a search engine understand the page.
Work On On-Page Optimization
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing your website pages for searchers and search engines.
The goal is to provide a better user experience for site visitors and to rank higher.
How’s it done?
You commit resources to optimizing your pages.
Image optimization, faster page load time, improved title tags, and better alt text are just a few examples.
The key is to focus on the most important ranking factors and optimize strategically. The better your On-page SEO, the higher your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to page SEO factors outside of your site that help boost a page in the SERPs, such as link building and social media marketing.
HubSpot estimates that the search engine giant processes approximately 63,000 search queries per second.
Here Is The On Page SEO Checklist For You:
i. Keyword Research
Finding search engine keywords and long-tail keywords is what keyword research entails.
Assume you’re Warby Parker, a website that sells designer sunglasses.
You should conduct keyword research and create web pages that are optimized for those keywords.
For example, “Women’s eyeglasses” – which appears in the title tag and is the topic of this web page – is most likely a keyword for this page.
Other keywords on this page are likely to be related to women’s eyeglasses.
When you have a web page optimized for that primary keyword, include related keywords and make sure to provide information that corresponds to the search intent, i.e., they want to buy, they want information, or they want to find a website.
Many pages on this website will be geared toward visitors who are looking to make a purchase.
Similarweb Competitive Analysis can help you find keywords to optimize your web pages.
Using the keyword research tool, you can type in your brand and your top four competitors to see which keywords you are ranking for.
ii. Meta Tags
Meta tags assist search engine crawlers (a type of bot) in comprehending your web pages.
Meta tags can be found in the HTML of your website. To get the best results, make sure your meta tags are properly set up and optimized.
The title> and description> tags within your page’s code – or your page title and meta description – are examples of meta tags.
These typically appear on Google’s search results page to inform searchers about the content of your page, as well as to inform search engines:
In addition, the meta description describes the content on the Google search page.
Here Are Some Best Practices To Remember When Writing Meta Descriptions:
- Limit the number of characters to 155 or less, or your description may be cut off.
- Include the focus keyword for the page early in the title.
- Make it informative as well as actionable. You want it to be appealing enough to entice readers to visit your page.
iii. H1 Tag
The page title is usually your H1, heading 1.
The H1 should clearly describe the content of the web page and include the primary keyword.
In contrast to the SERP, this is the title of the web page itself. However, Google has recently begun to use H1 tags on their search results pages.
While your H1 should inform readers about the page and entice them to continue reading.
In a clear hierarchy, the other headings all support the main H1 tag.
For instance, the H1 in this post is “The Only On-Page Optimization Checklist You Need“.
This main topic is supported by all of the other headers. Supporting headings — H2s, and occasionally H3s and H4s — are always included in effective on-page SEO.
iv. Header Tags Hierarchy
Most internet users today skim content, whether on their computers or their phones.
Headings and subheadings assist you in dividing your content into digestible sections so that your audience and search engines can quickly understand the overall logic and structure of your page.
Here’s An Example And A Quick Breakdown:
- H1 tag covers the main topic of the page
- H2 tags cover the main points of the page, supporting the H1
- H3s give you more information about H2s
- H4s gives you more information about H3s
Use Title Tags To Attract The Visitors
A title tag is an HTML element that defines a webpage’s name.
Simple and brief, but crucial.
After all, a page’s title informs potential visitors about what they can expect to find. When ranking websites, search engines use page titles as a ranking factor.
As a result, title tags must be both descriptive and persuasive.
A Page’s Title Appears In Four Key Places Across The Web:
i. Title Tag In SERP Snippet
A page’s title is the most visible feature of a SERP (search engine results page) snippet (below), and search engines generate titles from the page’s title tag.
Titles appear in large, blue letters on Google.
ii. Title Tag In Browser Tab
Page titles are also displayed in each open tab in your browser.
When you have dozens of tabs open, it’s difficult to notice them, but they serve as navigational cues to help visitors move from tab to tab quickly.
iii. Title Tags In Social Media, Text Messages, And Messenger Links
Your title tag also determines what appears when you share a link via social media, text message, or messenger app.
While Facebook open graph markup allows you to create custom title tags for FB, the title within a snippet is generated by your title tag by default.
Finally, title tags are used to populate the titles of bookmarks in your browser.
So, if you can’t remember who or what you bookmarked but know you did, you can sift through titles to find the right page.
Sell Your Content Through Meta Description
Meta descriptions are 160-character snippets that summarize the content of a web page.
Search engines display these snippets in search results to inform visitors about the content of a page before they click on it.
Meta descriptions assist users in deciding whether to click on your website in a search result. They also play a role in where your website ranks in search results.
Don’t let the code scare you though!
When entering a meta description for a post or page on your site, you’ll never have to do any manual coding.
I just think it’s critical to understand how this stuff works, which includes knowing where it lives on a website.
Here are some examples of where Meta Descriptions generated traffic descriptions might be found at work:
The meta description for the Pinch of Yum homepage on Google
The meta description for the Pinch of Yum Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies recipe on Google.
How Meta Descriptions Generate Traffic:
When your story appears on Google’s first page, optimizing the meta description alone can result in higher click-through rates (CTR) and more traffic.
According to a study, simply optimizing your meta description can increase your CTR by 4.5 percent
Simple And Essential Tips For Writing Good Meta Descriptions:
There are numerous resources available for writing meta descriptions. Similarly, depending on the niche you’re writing for, you can pursue a variety of strategies.
However, in my experience, these are the three most important (and likely universal) tips for writing effective meta descriptions.
i. Include Your Target Keyword
Let’s begin with the obvious. You must have your exact (or nearly exact) keyword visible in the meta description.
I say visible because, after a certain number of characters, a portion of your text may be cut off and rendered inaccessible to users on the SERP.
Yoast SEO suggests a meta description length of between 155 and 160 characters.
So make sure your keyword is within that character range and, preferably, near the beginning of the meta description.
ii. Give Real Information, Not Teasers
The most basic error I used to make (and continue to see others make) is to tease what the article is about without providing any information.
This is a very easy trap to fall into because it’s also a quick way to include your target keyword.
However, some may believe that “if I answer the user’s query in the meta description, there is no reason for them to click on our article.”
Unless the user is looking for a dictionary definition of a word, usually a 1-sentence answer isn’t going to satisfy their needs.
It might be slightly counter-intuitive, but giving people the information they want directly on the SERP entices them to click on your content more, rather than less.
Page Speed And User Experience
Although they do not exactly overlap, it is difficult to distinguish between page speed and user experience.
After all, page speed is a ranking factor and a Core Web Vitals component primarily due to UX, and understanding how it contributes to the overall impression of your website will help you understand why it affects your SEO and even your conversion rate.
i. Page Speed As A Ranking Factor
Google wants its users to find what they’re looking for as quickly and efficiently as possible, and it’s difficult to provide a positive user experience if your page or certain elements on it take a long time to load.
The more likely outcome is a rebound. When it comes to ranking, Google recognizes this and prefers pages that load quickly.
ii. Conversion Rate and Page Speed
Page load time affects your conversion rate in addition to your rankings and bounce rate.
According to Google’s research, each second that a page takes to load reduces conversion rates by up to 20%.
Users simply do not have the patience to wait for a slow page to load, and a poor user experience may discourage some of them from converting.
So, what can cause your website to load slowly, and how can you improve page speed?
iii. Image Optimization
Image size has a significant impact on page speed.
Large images take longer to load and may cause your website to slow down. While high-quality images may be appealing, the best practice is to strike a balance and keep visuals under 100 kb.
Compressing and optimizing your high-quality images with one of the many tools you can find online is one way to have the best of both worlds.
Read More: Everything You Need To Know About Image Optimization
iv. Website Code
If you use WordPress or another CMS (Content Management Software), you may discover that there is a lot of unnecessary code or plugins slowing down your website.
In this case, your best course of action is to work with a web developer to optimize your website code and make sure you are only using the plugins you need.
Page speed can be influenced by your hosting provider in two ways.
To begin with, if the servers that host your website are slow, you will experience long load times regardless of how much effort you put into optimizing your website.
Second, the location of the servers can be important.
Because data must travel from the server to the client (the user’s device), this can take some time if they are on opposite sides of the globe, despite the speed at which information travels.
So it may be worthwhile to invest some time and even money in finding fast hosting with servers located in the country where your target audience resides.
Understanding basic SEO principles is the first step in optimizing your website or becoming an SEO yourself. However, there is more to search engine optimization than the fundamental concepts discussed in this article. What matters is how you apply them in the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing.
That being said, if there is a single takeaway from this long read, it would be this: Focus on the users and their perception of your website. Make your pages user-friendly and provide visitors with real value by understanding their search intent and delivering exceptional content. If users love your website, so will Google.