The term BASIC SEO gets thrown around a lot more by digital marketing agencies and website developers, but why?
To understand what is meant by Basic SEO we need to break it down to just SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation (or optimization).
This refers to making your website as visible as possible to search engines to ensure you get shown in search results, because this is how you get traffic from search.
Unlike advertising or pay per click ads, SEO is the art of maximising your exposure through on-site indexing efficiency and off-site authority building.
Basic SEO when it comes to website design is usually referring to on-site SEO, or optimising your website for search engines.
What is included in Basic SEO?
When developers talk about website SEO, it usually will include all or some of the following.
- Meta Titles and Descriptions. This is what shows up in search page snippets and social media shares as well as letting search engines know what your site, product or page is about. By using keywords and phrases that match your niche and customer search queries, we can help the chances of our website showing for this topic.
- Image Optimisation. Images on websites need to be sized correctly, have expiry headers on them for caching, contain alt tags to describe what the image is, and show picture width and height measurements in the coding. It is also good to have smaller image files rather than big ones, optimising them for faster loading and overall website size reduction.
- Site Loading Times. Search engines like Google and Bing are looking for fast loading sites. By speeding up your site, you are increasing it’s search friendliness as well as making it a happier place for your site visitors. No one likes lag and long loading times.
- Responsive Design. Whilst a few years ago, responsive design was the big trend, today website developers should be designing mobile first websites that also work well on larger displays. Google search ranks mobile and desktop site versions differently. You could be dominating the competition on desktop search, but failing miserably on mobile searches. If majority of your site visitors are coming from mobile platforms like Facebook, or just searching on their smartphones, you site needs to cater to them with correct font sizing, better buttons and links, and easy navigation.
- Schema Markup and Relevancy. Scheme markup is a script or code that tells search engines more about what type of business you are. For example, a cafe or local service, a contractor, a shop, a restaurant, etc. It also allows you to add star ratings, and helpful content for searchers. Relevancy is making sure that your site comes across to the right audience, otherwise it will not get shown to them.
- Correct Headings and Permalinks. Search engines like Google look at your page headings to help determine what the web page is about. This could be a product page, a blog article or even your homepage. Whichever it is, your web developer needs to correctly use H1 and H2 tags on pages, as well as use your page keywords in the URL or permalink.
- Integrations. For a local business or service, make sure ‘Basic SEO’ also includes integrating Google maps and your social media profile links on to your site. If you use the same details for your business (NAP – Name, Address and Phone) as you have in your Google My Business page, map listings and directory listings, it will help tie it all together.
- Linking on each page. Search engines are not looking for one page answers, they are looking for information hubs they can send users too. To show this, use of internal and external links on your page can improve how your site is viewed.
As you can see, there is a lot to be considered if you want to take advantage of organic search results.
Whilst a web developer or digital marketing agency may include basic SEO with your new website build, how they do it will affect how you are shown on search results.
Basic SEO is usually included as a lot of the above list can be easily implemented during the build of a new website. It is also a great buzz word for business owners who are just learning about SEO, and it opens the door to addons like more advanced SEO packages and features that are usually additional cost.
Our advice with Basic SEO is get all of the above in order, and then focus on evergreen content on your website’s blog. By evergreen, we mean not going out of date. Content or information that is always relevant. This will help show that your site is active every time you post. You can also keep sharing articles again on your social media channels as they become relevant.
Evergreen content is also a great way to get more content on your website and use your keywords and linking more.