As I sit down to edit another round of pages for a client, I am reminded of how important it is to stick to the core elements of SEO. I’ve been in this industry a long time, and I see lots of new trends come and go, for example, the popularity of doorway pages, white on white text, hidden div layers, duplicate domains, link farms and so much more. What amazes me though is how quickly people flock to those new-fangled ideas, and throw out the tried and true methods of days past. New trends are always something you should keep up with and maybe try out, but don’t forget the basics.
What are the basics? The real basics. The raw html code basics. Title Tags, Description Tags, Keywords Tags, Heading Tags and Content, Content, Content. This is what is going to get you rankings that will last.
Title Tags are so important. You would be surprised at how many people still have “Welcome to my website” as their title. People, edit this tag! Put something meaningful in that tag. Tell what your page is about. Use important keywords but don’t stuff your keywords in. This tag shows up in the SERPs. This tag is seen at the top of the browser window. This tag is important.
Description Tags aren’t as important but they still carry some weight. Use this field as an opportunity to expand what you started in the Title Tag. Use complete sentences here and a few more keywords to really describe the page’s content.
Keywords Tags aren’t going to get you #1 rankings for important words, but it might get you rankings for those common misspellings of words. Bet you didn’t realize that did you? Use this tag to put a laundry list of keywords and phrases that directly describe what the page is about. Include common misspellings and chances are, you might get rankings for those.
Heading Tags are almost as important as the Title Tag in my book. Use at least a H1 tag on every page. Make this a short statement to describe the content featured below it, and if you can incorporate a keyword phrase, even better.
Content. Your web site is nothing without content. As many have said before me, content is king. Write content for your site, lots and lots of content that uses your keyword phrases. Write content on as many pages as you can – about 300 words a page if you can. The content is what will really support all the work you’ve done in the Title, Description, Keywords and Heading Tags. If you want all of your elements to tie together seamlessly, then write your content using your keywords.
I can’t stress enough how important these elements are. These are things that can easily be edited on a page and they will get you results. So go ahead and keep up with the newest, greatest way to deceive the search engines and get you quick rankings, but if you want rankings that will last, take my advice and stick to the basics.