The SEO Fundamentals Every Site Owner Needs To Know

The on-page and off-page optimization efforts that one makes that help to improve the visibility of a website or web page in organic search results is known as search engine optimization (SEO). The on-page side of SEO is usually performed at the time of web design and regularly adjusted afterwards. Off-page SEO is performed externally, without the optimizer touching any web page.

First of all, I’ll explain to you what search engine crawlers like GoogleBot and BingBot expect to be readily available on each web page, when they (web crawlers) visit your website.

Unique content:
The content of every web page must be unique throughout the World Wide Web, not only on your site. You must not copy text content from anywhere on the Internet, paste and publish on any of your pages. No two pages on a website must have the same text content: the text content of every page must be unique! The benefit of having unique content is that it encourages search engines to successfully index your web pages. Be advised that duplicate content is against search engine guidelines for webmasters. Duplicate content attracts some kind of penalties like non–indexing and non-ranking on SERPs.

Strategic placement of keywords:
When search engine crawlers visit a page, they see a lot of text. Okay, how do they know which text is a keyword and which one is not? They expect the webmaster or search optimizer of the website to prioritize targeted keywords by using laid-down guidelines. Now I’ll show you how to help web crawlers to discover your chosen keywords and give more weight to them than any other text on the same page. Important keywords and key phrases need to be strategically-positioned by using the HTML title tag, Meta description and heading tags.

  • The HTML title tag: As humans do in real life, that holds true in the search engine realm: the subject of a topic is defined by its title. Whenever GoogleBot and BingBot visit any web page, the very first thing they sought for is the title tag. Whatever text is enclosed within the opening (<title>) and closing (</title>) tags helps the bots to understand the page’s topic. Search engine ranking algorithms give more importance to the text placed inside the title tag over every other text content on the page. What you have in the title tag is usually, but not always, what would be displayed on SERPs as the page’s title, when your link appears there. So, use the most important keywords a page targets as its title.
  • The HTML heading tags: In accordance with search engine guidelines for webmasters, you should use heading tags within the main content area (between the <body> and </body> tags) of every web page, but wisely. The heading tags are h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6. The h1 tag has the highest importance among them, followed by h2 and h6 has the lowest weight. You should use h1 to enclose the second most important keyword a page targets. Do not use the h1 tag more than once, to avoid search engine penalties. Other heading tags can be used more than once, but they must not be overused. Lack of their use simply means search engines would have hard time learning about your keywords.
  • Meta description: What goes inside this tag is a short description of your page’s content in one or two short sentences. The text found in Meta description is generally, but not always, what search engines display as the page’s description, when the listing appears on SERPs. So, write an interesting and catchy sentence that entices web searchers to click on your link.
  • Meta keywords: Even though this tag is not longer favourably considered by Google, the search engine won’t penalize you for inserting your keywords in it. After-all, some other search engines still use the Meta tag to learn about a page’s targeted keywords.

On-page SEO alone would not guarantee that your website would be visited by search bots, indexed and ranked. So, here comes the most elusive part – off-page search engine optimization.

Create and submit XML sitemap and robots.txt
Yes, GoogleBot and other search bots are smart enough to follow links from other websites to visit, crawl and index your site. But that is if any other website has links pointing to yours. As a starting point, create an XML sitemap and robots.txt, upload them to your server and submit to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. XML sitemap is used to inform search engines about the pages of your site you want them to index. And robots.txt is used to instruct them about the directories (folders) and files you want them to index and the ones you don’t want them to access.

Link building
Develop a strategy that helps your site to gain relevant and quality backlinks. Do not buy links or engage in reciprocal link building, as doing so would attract search engine penalties. Frown at getting inbound links from sites whose content are not related to your, because they won’t help you to rank high on search results. Your site’s homepage is not the only page that deserves incoming links – other pages need them too, to rank well on SERPs.

Add a blog
Adding a blog to your website would help you to regularly develop fresh content with relevant keywords. Search engines love fresh content and would reward you for that, if your write-ups are authoritative in your niche.