Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a science that has skyrocketed since it was realized that something could be done to improve and optimize a website in order to get higher ranking results in search (especially Google, the leading search engine). And, thus, get more people to find, visit and buy whatever they were selling. And though there are some really great posts out there from several sites talking about the basics of SEO – like “SEO Basics: 8 Essentials When Optimizing Your Site“, by SearchEngineLand, “SEO for Idiots: The 10 Basics of Blogging Search Engine Optimization“, by BlogTyrant, and “A Simple Step by Step Guide to SEO“, by Kissmetrics – we decided to list our own list of the basics of SEO. It’s not a complete step-by-step list, and it’s not a complete list, but it’s a start.
Below there are 5 factors we see have a stronger impact to optimize a website for search engine ranking results. If you adapt and improve your site based on them, you will certainly start to improve your Search Engine Position Ranking.
1 – The Keywords. This is the golden starting point: to know which keywords are more important to your website. Do you sell mangos? Which mangos? What is your specialty, what is your business strength? Do people search for mangos online? How? “Fresh mangos” is more searched than just “mangos”? So aim for “fresh mangos” (if you sell them, if it’s your business, of course). Never aim for a keyword you cannot deliver just because it has a high volume of searches, go where your business is.
2 – Written Content. This is the most important thing in the world of SEO after you define the keywords. If people are going to buy mangos and you don’t have mangos written anywhere in your website, you’re dead. It doesn’t matter if you have nice titles, thousands of backlinks and a gazillion followers on Facebook: without mangos spread everywhere on your site, you have nothing to seduce a search engine. Put content on your website, original and fresh, and about mangos. Video and images may be good, but most importantly: written content.
3 – Good, clean and fast site structure. This is the third most important thing for SEO. It is not more powerful than backlinks, but it is a pre-requisite for having relevant and empowering backlinks. First, you must have a website with clear, simple and juicy Titles, H1, texts, links, navigation, optimized code, fast loading, domain and permalink logic, then you go out in the street building backlinks. What will be the effect of a mango store website that doesn’t have mangos in the Title, Description or H1, and that start receiving a lot of links? Definitely much lower than you would like.
4 – Lots of good backlinks. This is actually the powerhouse of any SEO. Here’s the starting logic behind PageRank, the algorithm of Google: the more quality links your site has from other websites, the higher you’ll rank in search results. There is a lot of details that compose this important factor, but you just must know that you should have links from social networks pointing to your site, from other sites, blogs, listings, maps, etc. Not bad links, not any link, not link from spamming sites, but real links for your original content.
5 – The important details. After the 4 most important things are done, you should aim for the important details, which are: (5.1) follow the Google strengthening factors (Google Local Business, Authorship, Google Plus etc.), (5.2) monitoring everything with Analytics, (5.3) has a sitemap properly setup, (5.4) have social networks and social media presence and engagement, (5.5) keep the good work, because a month without may mean a huge fall.