On Site SEO Basics That Still Apply

Written by Danielle Bachini

It’s true that SEO has undergone a few facelifts in recent years. The SEO campaign that you were implementing just a few years back has hopefully been tossed in the trash and replaced with something more current. Some SEO tactics that once worked and improved a site’s placement on the search engine results page are now frowned upon and can have the opposite result and get a site penalized. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of current SEO trends and carefully pay attention to what the search engines are telling us. Even with all of these changes some SEO best practices remain the same, specifically in regards to on site optimization.

Here are 5 on site SEO basics that still apply to an SEO campaign:

Keyword research

Keywords are still at the foundation of SEO and keyword research should be one of the first steps in the campaign. There are plenty of ranking factors that determine what content appears on the search engine results page but one of the main factors is whether the keyword or keyword phrase being searched for appears within the content. That means that you need to select the correct keywords to target at the onset of the campaign. Skipping keyword research and selecting the wrong keywords affects the entire campaign. Select keywords that have search volume and are attainable. Keywords that are too broad and too competitive can be very difficult to rank for initially. As the campaign goes on you can gradually start to implement these types of keywords.

Title tag optimization

The title tag is arguably the most important element in terms of how the search engine spiders view and crawl the site. It carries the most weight and is the most noticeable on the search engine results page. It’s the clickable link that takes the search engine user to your page. It should include the primary keyword of the page and be 70 characters or less (including spaces) so that it doesn’t get truncated. Every page of a website should have a unique title tag.
SEO Basics

Description tag optimization

The description tag isn’t a ranking factor, but the description is what generates click-throughs. It’s the two lines of text that appear under the Title on the search engine results page and the place for the web page owner to “sell” the page. If the keyword is in the description, it appears as bolded text, which can signal relevance. The description should be no more than 150 characters (including spaces).

Heading tag optimization

The main heading (H1) can be, but doesn’t necessarily have to be, the same as the Title tag. It’s usually the largest text on the page, and the H1 tag tells the search spiders that it’s important. If it’s not the same as the Title tag, it should be similar and connected to the Title. H2, H3, etc. tags can be used for subheads and section headers.

Additional body content optimization

In addition to incorporating keywords into the Title, description, and heading(s) they should be incorporated naturally into the paragraphs on the page if possible. Keywords shouldn’t be forced in, but there might be opportunities to get a few additional ones on the page.

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