13 Aug 2013

8 #SEO Basics – Back to Basics Best Practices

If someone asked you what SEO basics to start with, what would say? 
With back to school approaching, what picture comes to mind? Do you remember that first day of school when you received that basic traditional list of supplies? Items like crayons, erasers and pencils were constants throughout the years. Requirements have changed, and now many basic supply lists also include flash drives and complicated calculators.
SEO basics have also changed over the years. Search engine optimization strategies that once worked in the 1990s, now do not. Some practices like link exchanges or keyword exact match domain names that were common place can actually end up hurting a site in the long run. Like basic school supplies or tools, SEO has basic best practices. Here are 8 SEO basics to start you on your way.
8 SEO Basics
  1. Domain Names
    Choose your domain name wisely. A carefully selected domain name communicates to your Internet audience and to search engine spiders what your website is about. One that is easy to remember is also important. Including a keyword in your domain name does have value. If an important keyword is included, then it may influence users to click a link to investigate what your website is about. A word of caution when selecting a domain name: please refrain from long strings of keywords. This may actually end up hurting your SEO initiatives. For example, if your company name is “Premier Social Media Marketing LLC” and it is located in Boston, you may like to stick with the domain name, www.premiersocialmediamarketing.com, and stay away from a domain name like, www.premier-social-media-media-marketing-llc-boston-usa.com.
  2. Web Hosting 
    A reliable web host for your website is critical. A host that offers 24×7 support and 99%+ uptime with redundant connections time is essential. Having a website that is available 24×7 and is not down periodically will ensure that search engine spiders can index your site.
  3. Website Design
    • Mobile Friendly Web Design. A website that is mobile friendly is becoming more and more critical. A “responsive design” that will adjust to any device including tablets and smartphones is essential. A responsive website will have a single URL for your desktop and mobile content. Google’s recommendations for building smartphone-optimized websites state,
      “Sites that use responsive web design, i.e. sites that serve all devices on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. This is Google’s recommended configuration.”
    • Strategize your site’s design to include logical navigation.
    • Follow Google’s guidelines for each page and include:
      • A unique topic
      • A unique page title
      • A unique meta description for the snippet (the text that shows in the search results).
      • Descriptive anchor text for every text link
  4. Website Copy
    It is critical to write high quality and relevant website copy for users and not for search engines. Keywords that are logically and strategically included will enhance the user’s overall experience. Have a goal of a minimum word count of 300 words per page. This will help you avoid Google’s shallow content ding that could keep your content out of the search engine results. Google’s objective is to offer users high quality and related content and it should be on the top of your list, too. Show content above the fold. Images are great, but having actual text content above the fold or in the viewing screen will also help your SEO efforts. Google actually cracked down on websites that were ad heavy above the fold with its Page Layout Algorithm Update in 2012. It is important to remember that Google’s objective is for quality content, especially above the fold.
  5. Anchor text
    Use descriptive anchor text in your copy. Instead of, “for more information: click here”, consider using descriptive words. For example, if you are offering Facebook marketing services, instead of linking the words, “click here for more information”, consider using “for more information, please see: Facebook marketing services” – with the actual service linked to the appropriate page that includes more information.
  6. Stay away from link schemes
    Avoid link schemes and other tricks that might be questionable or go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines in the effort to build link popularity. Don’t focus too much on link building and, instead, focus on producing high quality and original content that others will want to link.
  7. Use social media marketing.
    Although this is an entire subject alone, your first steps should include setting up a Google Plus account and Google Authorship to help promote your website and get it indexed quicker.
  8. Use Google’s Webmaster Resources
    Lastly, use Google’s free webmaster resources and set up a Google Webmaster Account and Google Analytics account. Use them to help monitor your site’s usage and to help identify any area that Google may find in need of help.
Take Away
Similar to a list of basic school supplies, SEO fundamentals have basic best practices. While this list is not exhaustive, it does contain basic search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that are a great starting point to help you reach your Internet objectives. SEO done right by following Google’s guidelines will help you position your website properly so that your potential customers can find it.

Filled Under:


  1. Hi, it's a great information for those specially thinking to start blogging and I really apprciate your thinking regarding this. After building a blog/website, SEO is must to rank the site and hence, I'll suggest a free SEO Tool for all which is Colibri SEO Tool. This tool can make one's SEO campaign a success one undoubtedly. You can know the details here

  2. You should never forget the basics. For without it, you really cannot go to the advanced route. For me, the basics of SEO starts from keywords and nothing more. You have to choose it well if you want to succeed in this area.

  3. I think anchor text is not as big of a deal as before. but it helps to have a good mix of relevant anchor texts to your keyword.