I have just been asked “What are the SEO Basics?”. What are the basic things that must be done to get a web page listed on the search engines?

The following is my email reply to them. I thought it might be easier in the future to have a post I could just refer people to…

These are the REAL basics. I could write for hours on the more complicated stuff.

So here goes:

7 Basics of SEO

  • Find out what people are searching for relating to your products/services


  • Add have say three phrases at the front of your page titles - different set of phrases for every page - <title>Max 70 characters per title</title>

  • Then include those words in a sales pitch for the meta description <meta name="description" content="max 155 characters sales pitch including the search phrases (they don't need to be the exact phrases as long as the individual words are mentioned)" />

  • Then the concept of <h1>welcome to sitename - one of the search phrases</h1> - ie not just the search phrase, soften it down a bit

  • Then an opening couple of paragraphs that include those phrases from the title - exact phrases. You can include plurals and other variations of the phrase in addition to the exact phrase. I aim for two instances of the exact phrase somewhere on the page. Best to not have too many more instances.

  • Then inbound links from other websites with the link text of those 3 phrases, and also of their pluralisation.

  • You need more inbound links, and similar Google PR, and same or better onpage optimisation than your competitors for those search phrases. Then depending on how competitive the phrase is, you need TIME to pass. Google likes old websites and old incoming links.

So that’s it - the basics of SEO. Not so hard, was it! And you would be surprised how many websites do not have these basics on their pages.

I could easily write pages on each of the above 7 steps, but lets keep things basic.