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SEO: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners


You hear the term all the time, but how do you actually rank higher in the search engines? I know when I first heard the term, it sounded like some voodoo magic that only a few people understood how to use.

The reality is, SEO isn’t rocket science. Some gurus would have you believe it takes years of dedicated study to understand it, but I don’t think that’s true. Sure, mastering the subtle nuances takes time, but the truth is that you can learn the fundamentals in just a few minutes.

So, I got to thinking, "Why don’t I lay out the basics, all in one post?"

It’s a long one, to be sure, but after years of studying SEO and working behind the scenes to help companies get first page rankings, I’m convinced this is all you need to know. If you are looking to boost your traffic so that you can increase your sales, just follow these basic guidelines.

The Traffic Trap (and How SEO Really Works)

Lots of marketers make the mistake of seeing SEO only as a source of free traffic. It’s true, free traffic is the end result, but it’s not how SEO works.

The real purpose of SEO is to help people who are looking for you find you. To do that, you have to match the content on your website to what people are trying to find.

For example:

Mary sells custom knitted sweaters. On her blog, she shows how she makes the sweaters by hand, often talking about the different yarns she uses. There’s not much competition for keywords relating to yarn, and Mary is publishing lots of great content about it, so before long, she has front page rankings for several different types of yarn.

Do you see the potential problem?

The people searching for yarn most likely knit themselves, and it’s unlikely they’ll be interested in purchasing Mary’s sweaters. She’ll get lots of traffic, sure, but none of the traffic will convert, because the visitors have completely different goals.

The lesson here: if you want SEO to work for you, you need to make sure your goals match the goals of your visitors. It’s not about traffic. It’s about figuring out what you want, and then optimizing for keywords that bring in visitors who want the same things.

How do you discover what those keywords are?

Simple: research.

Research: How to Find the Right Keywords

Sure, research is a little tedious, but it’s an indispensable part of finding the right keywords. You want to uncover keywords that:

Have a high search volume (people are looking for the keywords)

Have low competition (smaller amount of results will mean your chances of ranking higher improve)

Are supported by your content (the keywords are relevant to your site).

There are lots of tools to aid you in finding the right keywords, the most popular being Google’s Search-Based Keyword Tool. It provides results based on actual Google searches, and if you are logged into an AdWords account, it will also give you a list of keyword ideas customized to the site on the account.

Before you get too far though, let’s discuss an important concept for deciding how broad or narrow you want your keywords to be. It’s called, "The Long Tail."

The Long Tail

Popularized by Chris Anderson, the Long Tail describes a phenomenon where lots of low traffic keywords can collectively send you more visitors than a few high-traffic keywords.

For example, although Amazon may get thousands of visits from the keyword “DVD,” they get millions of visits from all of the individual DVD titles (i.e., Dark Knight, Toy Story, etc.). Individually, none of those titles get anywhere close to the traffic of a term like, "DVD," but collectively, their volume is a lot larger than any one keyword.

How does the long tail apply to you?

When you combine them all, your long tail (unpopular) keywords should make up roughly 80% of your traffic. So, when you’re researching keywords, don’t just focus on the ones getting massive amounts of traffic. Take note of some of the less popular ones too, and then incorporate them into your overall strategy.

Crafting Your Content

After you pick the right keywords, it’s important to start crafting your content.

Search engines have bots that automatically crawl your website, "reading" it to find out what it’s about and then deciding which keywords each of your pages should rank for. You can influence their "decisions" by strategically optimizing your content for certain keywords.

This is especially true if you’re creating content bots can’t read. It’s easy for bots to interpret text, but they aren’t advanced enough yet to watch videos, look at images, or listen to audio. You’ll need to describe them, so they bot can understand and rank your pages for the appropriate keywords.

One quick word of warning, though.

Writing solely for search engines usually makes your content boring, and typically, that won’t help convert your visitors into customers. It’s far better to focus on people first, making your content as easy as possible, and then optimize for search engine bots where you can, without sacrificing the persuasiveness of your content.

Pay attention to:

  • Titles – Create eye-catching titles that raise the reader’s interest. You only have one chance to make a great first impression.
  • Keywords – Pick keywords that will help bring people to your site and are relevant.
  • Links – Link to quality sites that compliment what your website is about. It’ll encourage sites in your niche to link to you as well.
  • Quality – Try to publish unique and quality content. This prompts users to come to your site because they cannot easily find the content elsewhere.
  • Freshness – If you are publishing content that does not age or become outdated, that’s great, but you also need to add new content on a regular basis. If you don’t have the time to add content to your website, consider adding a question and answer section or a blog to your website.

And most importantly, do not publish someone else’s content on your site. This creates duplicate content, and search engines can penalize you for it.

Optimizing Your Code

Search engine bots don’t just read your website’s text. They also read your website’s code.

With that in mind, there are eight different sections of your code you need to optimize. To help demonstrate these points, I am going to use examples from and, two popular web designers that take different approaches in their site markup.

Title Tags

Title tags encase the title of your site. To demonstrate, this is the code from

<title> Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report</title>

Here, Zeldman puts the emphasis on his name and the name of the site. If you wanted to find it in the search engines, you would probably search for, "Jeffrey Zeldman" or "the Daily Report."

Let’s take a look at the other site:

<title>Fantastic web site design in Flintshire, North Wales from Stuff and Nonsense</title> took a different approach. By putting the site name at the end, they emphasize what the website is about. You’d most likely find them by searching for, "web design in Flintshire, North Wales," or a variation thereof.

The bottom line: when coding your title tags, make sure keywords are in the title. To further maximize search engine results, each page should have a unique title tag.

Meta Tags

The main meta tag you should be concerned with is called the, "meta description tag." It doesn’t have much of an impact on your search engine ranking, but it tells visitors what your site is about, so it can have a big impact on whether they decide to click through or not.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

<meta name="description" content="Web design insights since 1995. Personal site of Jeffrey Zeldman, publisher of A List Apart Magazine, founder of Happy Cog Studios, co-founder of The Web Standards Project, co-founder of the Event Apart design conference, author of Designing With Web Standards." />

<meta name="description" content="Looking for fantastic web site design in North Wales? Stuff and Nonsense are world renowned web designers based in North Wales." />

Can you spot the keywords and emphasize?

Zeldman was very thorough by mentioning his other projects. If you do a Google search for "Zeldman," comes up first. Happy Cog and A List Apart also show up. If you have multiple online interests, you might want to take Zeldman’s approach and keyword them in the description meta tag.

Stuff and Nonsense emphasizes the type of visitor who should visit their site. By asking the question, "Looking for fantastic website design in North Wales?" they make it crystal clear that it’s a site built for people looking for web design. If you’re one of those people, it would probably stand out to you.

When creating meta tag descriptions, make sure your keywords are in your description, using full sentences. Don’t make the description too long, though, or it might get cut off. If possible, also try to make each page have a unique meta description.


These are very similar to headings in a book, but these come in a specific order. H1, H2, H3, H4, and so on, with H1 starting the page as the main heading. The remaining heading codes descend to lower level headings on the site.

For example:

<h1>How to Optimize Your Business for Search Engines</h1>

<h2>The ABCs of SEO</h2>


Note the pattern. The more specific your content becomes, the higher the number of the heading.

Generally, there should only be one H1 tag on each page, and you can have as many h2s, h3s, and h4s as needed. Also, make sure your headings contain keywords and are relevant to the content on your website.


Sitemaps are like a roadmap for search engines. They give bots directions to all of the different pages on your website, making sure they find everything.

There are two types of sitemaps you can create: HTML sitemaps and XML sitemaps. The main difference is XML sitemaps are coded specifically for search engines to read, while HTML sitemaps are easy for people to read too. You can link to them, giving the visitor an overview of everywhere they go.

If you have less than a few hundred pages, you should place a link to each page in your HTML sitemap. If your web site has a few thousand pages or more, just link to the most important pages.

XML sitemaps, on the other hand, contain every page of your web site, even if your web site has a million pages. You can use tools like the XML Sitemap Creator to automatically create a sitemap for you. Once your XML sitemap is created, you then want to submit it to Google Webmaster Central and Bing so that the major search engines can crawl and index your web site.

Domain Name

Domain names that contain keywords within them rank a lot higher than domains without keywords. Exact match domain names rank even higher.

But there’s a cost: exact match domains aren’t very unique. The reason why you see many companies use made-up words for their domain name is you can build a brand around it, instead of fighting the existing meaning.

Which is better?

It depends.

If your traffic comes purely from search engines, then using an exact match domain name may be a smart decision for you. For example and will always rank well for “diamonds” and “hotels” because their domain name is keyword rich.

If SEO is only a small part of your strategy, however, go with something more unique. A decade ago, no one was searching for "Google," but now it’s a huge brand. The same goes for sites like Zappos and Zillow.

URL Structure

URLs are another important but often overlooked part of SEO.

If your URLs are messy, search engines will have a hard time crawling them, and if search engines have a hard time crawling them, they will not be able to index your site, which means you will not rank in the search engines.

Keep these factors in mind to make your URLs more search engine friendly:

  • URLs should not contain extraneous characters ( $ @ ! * % = ? )
  • Shorter URLS typically rank better than longer ones
  • Numbers and letters should only be used in URLs.
  • Do not use underscores. Search engines prefer dashes.
  • Sub-domains can rank better than sub directories.

Site Structure

The way you link web pages together will make a big impact on your rankings. Here are some tips when cross-linking your web site:

  • Links within your content tend to carry more weight than links within a sidebar or footer.
  • Try to keep the number of links on each page under 100.
  • No-follow outgoing links that are not relevant (do not have quality content). For example, links to a Feedburner page.

Other SEOs also talk about no-following internal links, such as to their terms of service, but pagerank sculpting does not work anymore. If you want to block pages such as your terms of service, the best way to do this is to exclude it in your robots.txt file.

Alt Tags

For search engine bots to properly index images, alt tags need to be added to each image, adding a brief description. For example, if there was an image of a “blue widget”, I would tell the search engine that the image is a blue widget by using an alt tag. It would look something like this:

<img src=”” alt=“blue widget” />

In addition, make sure your image names are relevant to the image. The picture of the blue widget would be called bluewidget.jpg instead of image3.jpg.


Links are maybe the most important part of SEO. The more web sites that link to your web site, the higher your web pages will rank.

The reason links have a high value in SEO is that it is easy for anyone to do research, modify their content, or create content, but is hard to convince hundreds or thousands of web sites to link to you. In the eyes of a search engine, the more trustworthy, non-spammy sites are linking to you, the more authority you must have on the topic.

Before we get into how to build links, here are some things you need to know. In general:

  • Links within content are more effective than links in a sidebar or footer
  • Links from related sites are better than links from non-relevant sites
  • Anchor text plays the most important role in link building. If you want to rank for “blue widget” then you want the anchor text of the link to be “blue widget”.

Here are some things to avoid:

  • Links from spammy or irrelevant sites.
  • Site wide links can hurt more than they may help.
  • If all of your links are rich in anchor text, it can hurt you.
  • Reciprocal links (I link to you and you link to me) are not too effective.
  • If you buy text links and get caught, you can get banned from a search engine.

Here are a few ways you can increase your link count:

  • Social media – getting on sites like Digg or StumbleUpon don’t just drive a ton of traffic. The increase in visibility also improves your chances of getting linked to.
  • Directories – There are many directories on the web. Take the time to submit your web site to the ones that compliment your content.
  • The top 100 – If you want to rank for a specific keyword, the best links you can get are from sites that already rank in the top 100 search results for that keyword. Granted, some of the sites that rank for the term you are trying to rank for are your competitors, so they will not link to you, but some will not be your competition and you can always shoot them a nice email asking them to link to you.
  • Forums – Many forums allow you to create signatures, in which you can link back to your web site. As long as those links are not no-followed, they will help with your rankings.
  • Competition – The easiest way to get links is to see who links to your competition and write them an email telling them the benefits of your web site compared to your competition. Roughly, 5% of the web sites you email will also add your link.
  • Dead links – There are billions of links on the web, so expect a good portion of those links to die over time. Web sites go down and many of the links pointing to that web site are still active. If you email those web sites informing them of the dead link, and that your content is similar, there is a good chance they will replace the dead link to one going to your website.


If you implement all of the advice here, your traffic from search engines will increase.

Just be patient. It takes time for search engines to update their records, as they have to crawl billions of websites.

Also, note that it will take time to figure out what works for your site. What works for site A might not work for site B. There aren’t any shortcuts. If you do anything shady to speed things up, eventually you will get caught and punished. It’s never worth it.

A better approach?

  1. Figure out what people are looking for
  2. Create a site that gives it to them
  3. 3. Optimize for search engines, so they help people find you

It’s not just smart SEO. It’s what search engines want you to do.

Ultimately, their goal is to have the best websites for every given topic show up at the top. So if you work hard to create the best website, and then promote it effectively, eventually they will catch up.

Just keep the above points in mind to help guide you. It takes time, and it’s a lot of hard work, but if you stick with it, it does pay off.

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  1. Great post, Neil. I’ve been subjected to _so_ many pitches from self-styled SEO consultants. Yours is a thoughtful and clear breakdown for my startup. At the end of the post you say “Just be patient…” I’m wondering about how patient we should be… ie when should we start augmenting our blog/SEO marketing with other more traditional efforts (if at all?).


    • Hi Neil,

      A very good piece of advise about the long trail keywords and the sitemap. Whilst the competitive words can be difficult one can still get some juice from long trail keywords.

      • Great post and very good introduction to just about all the essential elements of SEO. For those interested in getting deeper I’d recommend the the book ‘Art of SEO’.

  2. Great stuff, Neil. SEO can be complicated and intimidating. This helps build a great foundation to start from.

  3. Cassie Porcella Sep 08, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Thanks for posting this Neil! It takes the mysticism out of those who talk about SEO as if it is something only long practiced web designers or PR/marketing types can be good at! I’ve printed it out to add to my research library, and I plan to put it in practice right away.

  4. Looked like an awesome post until I got to

    “And most importantly, do not publish someone else’s content on your site. This creates duplicate content, and search engines can penalize you for it.”

    Which isn’t strictly true. Duplicate content is only penalized when it’s on the SAME website.

    That being said, plagiarism just isn’t cool. That’s a far better reason to create original content.

    • Patrick Garmoe Sep 09, 2010 at 6:15 am

      Marc, I’m no SEO expert, but I do know if the exact same content is on two separate pages on two different websites, you’ll get slapped by Google.

      • This is not true, Patrick. You can plagiarise to your hearts content. Think about it; what would be the point of sending out press releases for syndication if this was the case?

        Duplicate content is not an issue on different domains hosted on unique C-class IP’s.

        Dupliate content IS however an issue on the same domain, or on the same C-class IP address.

        However as Marc said, I wouldn’t recommend stealing other peroples work. It may be copywrited and then you’ll have problems with the law!

  5. Patrick Garmoe Sep 09, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Thanks so much Neil. I often struggle to easily explain SEO basics to others in a nice package. You did a masterful job here. I’ll definitely be writing a post about SEO in the near future, and linking to this page.

  6. “Try to keep the number of links on each page under 100.”

    Isn’t that alot? Do you mean under 10?

  7. How nice to see an “expert” put something online that is user friendly and very helpful, without expecting to get paid for it. Those are the kinds of things that will bring you good feedback and that people will remember when they are ready to go to the next step and need help to do it. Thank you!

  8. Nicky Godfrey Sep 09, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Very masterful article. Absolutely one of the best reads for beginners starting out in SEO and the like. Neil, you have done a good deed, indeed! :)

    • I second Nicky’s comment. It’s not usual to find people post articles packed with concrete information free of charge! Kissmetrics – so far as I have observed – actually give value, irrespective of whether you buy their services or not. Thank you, Kissmetrics!

  9. Lots extreamily blanket statments, highly subjective points and a lot of generalisation; however some of the bits you cover are correct, to a point.

    I wouldn’t take this post as a crib sheet to undertaking your own SEO by any means.

    An example of one of these ‘issues’ would be the Long Tail Keywords.

    While the statements made here were once true, they would appear to not be the case to the same extent anymore with the introduction of Google Instant search. It is believed that this functionality will eradicate the usages of long-long tailed keywords, with the focus now being much more towards the short and medium tailed terms.

    You have to keep your funger on the pulse. Alot changes, and fast! So it’s all well and good having the basics in place, but this will get you no-where regarding SEO. You need to be constantly evolving.

  10. Paul – it is a guide for beginners, as it says in the title.

    I’ll definitely recommend this article to the clients who wish to get better ranking as it covers all most important basics. Sure, there is more advanced stuff but this is a good starting point.

    • Yeah, I agree Pavel. It’s just when people make comments like “Some gurus would have you believe it takes years of dedicated study to understand it” kind of p*sses me off.

      Yes it does take years of study and commitment to understand it, and while articles like this are good to get a site into a position where ‘real’ SEO can take place, is can not in anyway imapct on ranking in such a way in so as much as rocket a site onto the first page (unless longtail terms are the only focus).

      Don’t undermine my job and make it sound like anyone can do it. I can assure you they can’t. Do bare in mind however that I am not saying SEO is a dark art and that people can’t learn it, but it is a skill.

      I’m sure anyone can perform brain surgery if they learn how to do it. Same with SEO, you can do that if you learn, but you can’t just wade in and perform miracles.

      • Paul, it would really help your credibility if you took the time to proof read your comments. I really wonder how good an SEO professional you really are if you don’t pay attention to spelling and grammar.

      • I agree Matt. Also, if you were good at your work you would not get so worked up over a blog such as this. Your temper shows your lack of skill and self confidence in yourself and your work. Please refrain from commenting with such a lack of insight and elegance.

  11. Really great easy to read and implement guide here. Given us the goods without any of the fat – great read.

  12. @Matt – Professional and credible enough to be working on some of the UK’s, if not the world’s, largest brands. So in future, I’d check to see you were talking to first, before you get on your high horse and start jabbering on.

    Any anyway, aside from childish name calling and back to the issue, my points still stand.

    • They are not childish but relative. You are very aggressive and unprofessional on your approach. Maybe you should lay off the booze before blogging.

      • Timothy Burgess Jul 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm

        Hahahaha I haven’t gotten a good laugh like that from a blog in quite some time! Good thing I just finished my coffee or it’d be all over my screen right now.

  13. I have tried to do this same thing with Google Places. But it took 50 pages of blog posts to achieve. Nice that you have laid it out so simply.

    However, I think the DIY SEO folks are kidding themselves if they don’t have some marketing background and writing skills. That said, many seo pro’s don’t have much in the way of marketing or writing skills either.

  14. So what’s everybody’s take on using h1 for site’s logos? I’ve seen tons of sites do this (which I have too) and heard arguments for and against it. Obviously you go the next step down for the various page titles (h2, h3, etc.).

    • Rule of thumb: Every page must have a unique H1 tag, and only one of them. So you can use it for your site logo if you wish on your homepage, but this must be altered throughout the site. But do bare in mind that the impact a H1 has today is almost zero, however used more of a guide to spiders when synthesizing the page content.

  15. Hell of a long introduction. I almost lost what it’s all about after reading half way.

  16. Robert Bravery Sep 13, 2010 at 1:15 am

    A great article. So many so called SEO specialists don’t even know these basics.
    The other thing that is so evident is that all these points are so logical. Simple logical thinking will make SEO so practical and useful.
    Write for your readers and not for the Search Engines is the very very first fundamental rule of SEO.
    Using a clean logical approach, as you’ve demonstrated in your points will take care of most of your SEO needs.

  17. I would add one tip which is not to forget more ‘traditional’ media/PR, in particular as a way of building high quality links (and so arguably part of SEO). Newspapers and TV channels typically have highly trusted and popular websites, so think about stories that may attract their attention to do a piece which references your site.

  18. Michael Fever Sep 15, 2010 at 12:01 am

    This is the absolute basic of SEO, there is a lot more from here. But if you have nothing so far, do what you see on this page as a starting point, then start building backlinks to your site.

  19. I found this to be very informative and an easy read. You presented the ideas and concepts in a very orderly and effective way. I am a beginner with SEO and I sometimes find myself a little disorganized. This blog will definitely help keep me on track.

  20. This really helped me out with a topic that can sometime seem overwhelming. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  21. This post was well worth the read. I completely agree with many of the points that has been raised in this article. The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines – Google, Bing and Yahoo!. If your site cannot be found by search engines or your content cannot be put into their databases, you miss out on the incredible opportunities available to websites provided via search – people who want what you have visiting your site. Whether your site provides content, services, products, or information, search engines are a primary method of navigation for almost all Internet users. -Charlie

  22. This is a blog I point people to who want to learn basic SEO techniques without all the advertisements getting in the way. Thanks YOU so much! There is so much garbage information out there – this certainly is a come back to site.

  23. Hey:

    I just wanted to say “thanks” for the great post. Prior to reading this post, I have been trying to dig my way out of the big black tunnel we call SEO. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you make it sound so simple.
    This has to be the best explanation I have read on the net. So once again, thanks for caring enough to write this informative article.



  24. Thanks for the introduction to SEO. I have several sites, but never really cared about SEO until recently. This is a help to getting me on the right path with a new site I am building where SEO is important to me.

  25. This is a good start for those who are new in IM, and this is also beneficial for me as a adsense publisher who actively participating in creating niche sites.


  26. Never underestimate the power and importance of long tailed keywords. Also be sure to protect your brand name, or else others may capitalize.

  27. Thanks for the information it was quite useful for this person who is new to the business.

    • Glad to help Robert! Let us know how you put these into play and the results you get from it.

  28. Great article! Thanks for putting everything in one place.
    When writing content on a site for keywords that you have selected – is it better to write blog posts (my product site also has a blog) or make individual pages linked to the main site? Which option is better or it doesn’t matter?


    • It depends with what you’re doing, but I would suggest doing a blog post and inner linking.

  29. Great info. The directory link was especially useful, thanks!

  30. Regarding this point: “If you buy text links and get caught, you can get banned from a search engine.”

    Why companies like Text-Link-Ads or TextLinkBrokers still offer text links service then? If buying links goes against Google guidelines, why we still find big vendors trying to sell ad texts services?

    Also, there are a lot of blogs sites where you pay to have posts (usually a company writes an article related to their services/products and includes links back to their sites using rich anchor texts) Basically, they are paying for links.

    Do you buy links?

  31. Great read but I have to disagree with putting your name in the signature for a forum. Goodle will see that as an advertorial link. Other than that, it was great to find a concise but thorough guide.

  32. Billy McAllister Mar 03, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Talk about Evergreen Content. I just gave this guide a read and, I must say, even 5 years after it’s publishing, it is really great stuff. While “SEO” may change regularly, one should never forget/neglect the basic building blocks. Really great information here.

  33. Overall this is a great starter guide to SEO, but I don’t agree with your introductory paragraph “The Traffic Trap”. Paraphrasing you say that Mary sells custom knitted sweaters and posts a lot of great unique content about the yarns and techinques she uses to make them. From this she gets a lot of traffic from people searching for yarn and because they most likely knit themselves it’s unlikely they’ll be interested in purchasing Mary’s sweaters. Therefore Mary get lots of traffic but none of the traffic will convert.

    What you don’t mention is that from a link building, brand awareness and domain authority point of view having lots of high-quality unique content (and traffic) relating to the manufacture of knitted sweaters is hugely beneficial to Mary and her website.

    Selling knitted sweaters online is a highly competitive marketplace. By creating content on the topic of manufacturing sweaters, Mary will be much more likely to receive likes, shares and most importantly links to this content. This will in turn improve the position of her website in the search engine results pages for her main keywords/keyphrases (providing that her internal linking is done properly). Not to mention from a branding point of view it showcases Mary’s expert knowledge, skill and craft.

    I would advise Mary to create as much of this content as possible and post on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) and especially YouTube (if she gets enough views she could even make a nice little income from the advertising revenue).

  34. You answered most of my questions.
    1) meta description tag.” It doesn’t have much of an impact on your search engine ranking
    2) Generally, there should only be one H1 tag on each page
    3) Do not use underscores. Search engines prefer dashes
    4) Links within content are more effective than links in a sidebar or footer
    5) Links from related sites are better than links from non-relevant sites

    Thanx a lot for this post, it helped my alot. I am going to scan this blog like anything :)

  35. I have been struggling with SEO for a long time. I never really understood how to make a good SEO page. I had an online business a while back that never got off the ground and I think part of that was due to my lack of knowledge about SEO creation. This information was a big help in keeping traffic going to my site.

  36. Hello!

    Google Key Word tool doesn’t work anymore unless you create an ad – is there a way around this/can you recommend another good one?


  37. @Dana: it is now called “Keyword Planner”. Try it. There are also some very cool tools out there.

  38. This is a great SEO article. Or at least it was back in 2010 when it was written. Now (2016), most of what it says is simply irrelevant. There is no more PR (Page Rank). Keywords in the domain name won’t help at all anymore. Adding your site do ditectories not only it does not help, but it may even be bad for your rankings. But some info is still good today: buying text links is a bad idea, and some other small things.

    It’s a wonder how come this is the first result for “seo guide” when most information is outdated…

    • “It’s a wonder how come this is the first result for “seo guide” when most information is outdated…”

      Seriously? Sure PageRank isn’t a thing anymore, but I found this to be a great fundamental still to this day. The fundamentals of technical SEO have not really changed very much over the years, and I thought it was a great summary. I still do on-page SEO for my clients basically the same way they described it in 2010. If you don’t think this is relevant info, I’ve got some SEMrush reports that will prove you wrong…

  39. Blaine Bachman Jan 31, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    The statement near the top: “Numbers and letters should only be used in URLs” is confusing (inferred meaning: “Numbers and letters are not to be used anywhere but in URLs.”)
    A more correct construction would be, “URLs should contain only numerals and letters.” (Term changed because number is an abstract concept; numeral is a symbol used to express that number)

  40. Well written and a marketing philosophy I agree with and appreciate. There’s no magic formula, it’s all about providing users with relevant and useful content, an engaging experience and answering their search query, all in a language and format that Google can understand.

    It ain’t rocket science boys and girls and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something… not sure if even they know what though

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