The Most Essential SEO Basics for Your Clients

    Inbound marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), is the primary source of leads for 60% of marketers. SEO refers to the process of improving site visibility on search engines. 

    However, developing a strong SEO strategy can be complicated when looking at the long list of search ranking factors, especially for beginners. But don’t worry, it’s possible to achieve great results with the proper guidelines and tools. 

    This article will explain the benefits and essential concepts of SEO. We’ll also share practical tips along the way to improve your SEO strategy. 

    Why Is SEO Important?

    Here are three main reasons why SEO is important in digital marketing:

    • Attain a higher position on search engine page results (SERPs). SEO helps your website achieve relevance, quality, and usability, which are essential factors for Google’s ranking results. 

    • Boost organic traffic. If you have a top-notch SEO strategy and gain top positions, you’ll most likely receive higher traffic since high-ranking results account for 67.6% of clicks

    • Save your budget. SEO helps your websites rank organically without using pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. It can also attract better return on investment (ROI) because organic results get clicks ten times higher than PPC ads. 

    The Seven Essential SEO Basics

    SEO is a long-term marketing solution, so building a solid SEO foundation is important. Here are the seven fundamental SEO elements. 

    Domain Name

    Although a domain name isn’t a significant ranking factor, it’s important to get a domain name that is SEO-friendly. 

    Here are some principles for choosing a domain name that can improve SEO results:

    • Keep it short. It’s easier to type and remember shorter names. A rule of thumb is not to exceed two to three words

    • Maintain its simplicity. Uncommon and complicated words can be hard to spell correctly, which may lead visitors to another website instead of yours. 

    • Use your brand name. Integrate your brand name in the domain to help increase visibility and improve overall branding.

    • Consider including keywords. Keywords in a domain name help to signal your product or service. Location-related keywords may also improve local SEO.

    Website Platform

    Most website platforms are SEO-friendly, but some offer better SEO capabilities. For example, WordPress has SEO plugins to analyze your performance, while Drupal offers built-in features. 

    Some hosted platforms also have drawbacks that can harm SEO, even if they provide solid SEO tools. For instance, Squarespace’s average loading speed is 3-5 seconds, but the ideal website load time is 1-2 seconds. 

    For that reason, our recommendation is to use a self-hosted platform like WordPress. It’s customizable and extensible with ready-made plugins. 

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    However, don’t move to WordPress without careful consideration if you’re already using a different platform. Website migration may harm SEO if done improperly and can cause organic traffic loss and a lower SERP rank. 

    Web Host

    A web host will store your site data like files and images on a server. Unlike hosted platforms, like Wix and Shopify, a web host is a must if you pick a self-hosted website platform.

    Security is one of the most crucial factors when choosing a hosting provider. Aside from secure servers, find a web host that offers to host plans with an SSL certificate because Google prioritizes them in the search algorithm. 

    Also, check the hosting provider’s server location. It takes time for data to travel between the server and web browsers, so pick a host whose servers are in the same region as most of your traffic. 


    Keywords can add relevance to your web pages and make them rank well on SERPs. 

    Consider these factors when choosing queries for your website:

    • Search volume. It indicates the popularity of the keywords. 

    • Relevance. Find keywords that match with users’ search intent and use synonyms and semantically related keywords, in addition to the main search query.

    • Competition. Find how many sites use the keywords. The higher the competition, the more challenging it will be to achieve higher rankings. 

    Tools for keyword research include KWFinder and SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. They offer free to premium solutions to help identify popular search queries. 

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    After researching the relevant keywords, include them in:

    • Title tags

    • Meta descriptions

    • Alt texts 

    • URLs

    • Body content


    Content plays a critical role in SEO. It provides search engines with information to index your pages and helps identify more keywords to improve visibility. 

    However, excellent content doesn’t only consist of relevant keywords – it also offers value. Meaning, it needs to be:

    • User-centered. Content needs to be of value to your target audience. For example, a news site should offer insights about recent events, while an eCommerce website’s content should help visitors make purchasing decisions. 

    • Easy to follow. Avoid writing long paragraphs and using unfamiliar buzzwords. Instead, use headings and bullet points to break up long blocks of text, which helps users scan content easier. 

    User Experience

    In May 2020, Google announced it would evaluate page experience as a search ranking factor. When relevance and content quality are relatively equal, websites with better user experience rank higher.  

    Some aspects affecting page experience include:

    • Interstitials. These include pop-ups and banners. Intrusive interstitials covering the main content can worsen the user experience. 

    • Core Web Vitals. These include loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability. Use PageSpeed Insights to measure and monitor Core Web Vitals. 

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    • Mobile-friendliness. This metric ensures your website works well on mobile devices. Check whether your site is mobile-friendly using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. 

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    Site Authority

    A website with good authority appear higher on SERPs and can receive more traffic. In terms of SEO, build site authority by creating backlinks from other websites. This helps to indicate that you’re an expert in the industry and have great content.

    However, ensure that the backlinks come from reputable websites. Be careful with toxic backlinks that can trigger a Google penalty, like links from spammy and non-secure websites. 

    Consider guest posting to improve your site authority. Alternatively, subscribe to Help A Reporter Out (HARO) to connect your website with journalists and bloggers looking for contributors. 

    Note that site authority is different from domain authority (DA). DA can be a helpful metric to measure website performance, but it isn’t a Google ranking factor. 


    SEO offers many benefits, including elevating your SERP ranking, increasing organic traffic, and being more cost-effective than PPC campaigns. 

    However, SEO depends on various variables and approaches, which can confuse many. Therefore, to build a strong SEO strategy, start with these core elements:

    • Domain name 

    • Website platform

    • Web hosting

    • Keywords

    • Content

    • User experience 

    • Site authority

    SEO strategy isn’t an overnight process, so it’s crucial to consistently track and measure results to continuously improve your methods. 

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