Written by Eric Melillo on August 26, 2017
Even with expanding technology and new developments in the marketing world, there are a few key fundamentals that rarely change.
We’re getting back to basics with this search engine optimization tutorial, exploring these SEO basics and offering tips that can help you grow your business.
The Basic Principles of SEO
Google’s algorithm uses keywords to understand the topic of a page, and it also utilizes backlinks to determine a site’s authority. The search engine’s method is constantly evolving, but its core principles are constant. These SEO basics are:
Even with the best content in the world, you’ll never receive traffic if search engines can’t find it. Crawlability can help you create a strong SEO foundation, making it one of the most important factors in your strategy. In order to create a crawlable page, search engines must be able to access and read your content. This may involve changing your site’s coding or using an SEO plugin.
You'll be in good shape if you always consider Google's core algorithm principles: crawlability, site structure, keywords, and backlinks.
2. Site Structure
While you may feel that every page of your website should rank, search engines must be able to determine a hierarchy among your pages.
Improving your site structure is one of the best search engine optimization tips, as it can make it easier for visitors to use your site. When a visitor finds it easy to navigate and prioritize content, he or she will be more likely to engage with your business.
Once your content is fully accessible to crawlers, you’ll need to create an accurate picture of what the content is about. Keywords tell the search engine what every page is about, and they rank the content according to what pages seem the most relevant to a particular search.
Some marketers believe that using keywords repeatedly can increase rankings; however, this can create a negative user experience that adversely affects your Google rankings.
Another important ranking factor is the number of links to your site from other sites, which are known as backlinks. Backlinks can help you build authority in your field because they demonstrate that your website is a trusted resource.
When Google analyzes a site’s backlinks, they look at the quality and authority of the site doing the linking. In this way, backlinks are like the SEO version of customer reviews.
Do Any SEO Principles Actually Change?
If you can narrow SEO into four key principles, then why do marketers talk about it constantly changing? To find the answer to this question, it’s necessary to separate the theory of SEO from the tactics used to grow website traffic and bolster search rankings.
Crawlability, keywords, backlinks, and site structure all represent the SEO basics; however, tactics are used to optimize these fundamentals. This is where SEO is rapidly changing – marketers must tweak their site’s content to accommodate search engines’ ever-changing algorithms.
Remember – the goal of a search engine will always be to provide the user with the best information available. This means that your strategies and tactics must include keyword optimization, accessibility, backlink building, and an organized site structure.
Google’s Quality Test
Google’s commitment to high-quality search results means that each change to its algorithm is geared toward finding even better content. This means that occasionally, tactics that do not create high-quality outputs will stop working, causing marketers to reevaluate their search engine optimization techniques.
Much like the fundamentals of SEO theory from earlier in this article, Google uses three core criteria to determine whether a website is low- or high-quality. These Google criteria are known as EAT, which stands for:
- Expertise: Does the content answer a question? Is the answer valuable? Does your organization have in-depth knowledge of the topic?
- Authority: Is your organization respected and cited by others when discussing this topic? Backlinks from reputable sources can help build authority.
- Trust: Can your organization be trusted to ensure the safety of your users and their information? Are you a reputable company?
While SEO strategies can be technical and complex, their objective will always be the same: provide searchers with the best information possible. This simple goal is why the fundamentals of SEO have remained the same despite technological changes.
Learning the latest search engine optimization techniques can be time consuming, but the rewards of a well-structured, engaging site can make your efforts worth it. With a solid understanding of SEO basics and great content, your organization will be able to increase traffic and conversions.