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Basic SEO is still pivotal to your website’s success

The search engines might have changed dramatically these past few years, but basic SEO is still pivotal to your website’s success. If you own a website that’s not performing as well as it should be in the search engines, a lack of basic SEO may be the issue – and if it is, that’s nothing to be ashamed of because it’s easy to overlook basic SEO when you’re focused on the ins and outs of your business.

When we’re talking about basic SEO, we’re talking about changes to your website – not any external factors like links. Basic SEO is easy to implement and get right, so let’s take a look at what it entails.

An important word about keyword research

Basic SEO is based on keyword research. Five years ago you would have chosen three or four primary keywords to target – the keywords with a lot of search traffic. But changes to the way the search engines rank websites means that it’s increasingly difficult to rank for these keyword terms. As such, it’s prudent nowadays to target long-tail keywords primarily. The trick to optimising your site for the way that people search for your products or services lies in finding out the relevant long-tail keywords and optimising for them accordingly. Backlinko’s long tail keyword guide is a great starting point, and long-tail keywords are a great way to connect with customers.

Keyword research takes time, but it’s essential for accurate and relevant basic SEO.

Basic SEO

With keyword research cracked, you can start with your basic SEO.

Basic SEO includes the following:

  • Page titles (ranking factor)
  • Meta descriptions (not a ranking factor)
  • Meta keyword tags (not a ranking factor)
  • Keyword density (ranking factor)
  • Alternative text for images (ranking factor)
  • H1, H2, H3 and H4 tags (ranking factor)
  • Internal links (ranking factor)
  • Site speed (ranking factor)

If that list is daunting, you’ll be pleased to know that aside from site speed (which requires the installation of plugins, image compression and/or server modification), everything is straight-forward and can be changed by somebody new to search engine optimisation.

Basic SEO is all about helping Google better understand the context of your website

You may or may not have noticed that the first six bullet points above are all designed to help Google better understand the context of your website. This is what basic SEO is all about – helping Google and the other search engines understand who you are. It’s important to remember at this stage that the search engines do not employ human beings to review your website; they have robots (software) that review your website. There’s a lot that these robots can’t understand, however what we do know is that they take into account all of the elements listed above. And so, it’s essential that your website covers these points to increase the search engine’s understanding of your website.

Without this basic understanding, any efforts you make to increase the visibility of your website in the search engines will be ineffective. This means your high quality content, your social media integration, your expensive mobile-friendly website design and your endless press releases aren’t going to have as much of an impact on your search visibility as they should. Basic SEO is simply the first thing that you should focus on whether your website is brand new or years old. If you need one good reason as to why you need to focus on your basic SEO this year, it’s this:

Your competition has already cracked it, and they’re taking customers away from you.

That’s a bitter pill to swallow. So take the necessary action today and work on your basic SEO.

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