Breaking Down Basic Principles of SEO

A lot of people talk about SEO, but few marketers understand the principles of SEO. In this blog, we’re going to go through all of the basics. Also, we’ll tell you why SEO is a big deal.

Neil Patel quote on the principles of SEO

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In the simplest of terms, it is the digital science of helping search engines like Google and Bing find your website, with the goal being to appear in the top results. Basic SEO principles include digital marketing strategies such as keywords, website structure, backlinks, and authority (think reputation) to reach that goal.

With SEO (search engine optimization) you constantly adjust, develop and tune the content and code of a website to maximize its visibility, helping your business get found.

The What, Why, and How of SEO: principles of SEO

20 Basic SEO Principle Terms to Know

  1. Keyword – terms added to online content in order to improve search engine rankings for those terms
  1. Long-tail Keyword – a three-to-five word phrase, rather than a single word, that is the keyword
  1. Keyword Density – percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. 
  1. Search Engine Results Pages(SERPs) –  are Google’s response to a user’s search query. SERPs tend to include organic search results, paid Google Ads results, Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graphs and video results.
  1. Backlink – an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website.
  1. Inbound Link –  link coming from another site to your own website. 
  1. Outbound Link – links that point from your website to another.
  1. Blog – the practice of creating and updating a blog to improve search engine rankings.
  1. Indexing – the process by which search engines organize information before a search to enable super-fast responses to queries.
  1. Crawl – the discovery process in which search engines send out a team of robots (known as crawlers or spiders) to find new and updated content. 
  1. Bots – a software application designed to repeat a specific task repeatedly
  1. Site Structure – how the site is layed out to show Google which pages of your site are most important
  1. Headings – signposts that guide readers through an article.
  1. Domain Authority – a search engine ranking score that gives a measure of how successful a site is when it comes to search engine results
  1. Page Authority – the value a search engine assigns a Web page
  1. Anchor Text – the text that appears highlighted in a hypertext link and that can be clicked to open the target web page.
  1. Meta Description – HTML element that provides a brief summary of a web page
  1. Title Tags – must include keyword and tells both Google and searchers that your web page is relevant to this search query
  1. Alt Text (also known as Alt Attribute Text) – describes the appearance or function of an image on a page
  1. Canonical URL – the URL of the best representative page from a group of duplicate pages

The Good and the Bad of Basic SEO Principles

The Good Part of SEO

  • Helps you increase your online visibility so that more people can find your website. 
  • Increases your brand awareness
  • Offers long-term benefits
  • Develops more qualified sales leads
  • Is a cost-effective, long-term strategy 

The Bad Part of SEO

  • SEO takes time. Not days or weeks, but usually months. This is a long-term strategy that will not typically be rewarded with quick results like paid search.
  • SEO is constantly changing because of the constantly changing algorithms. Google historically makes over 500 changes each year to its algorithms. To the end-user, this improve their search experience. To the website owner trying to be found, it is a constant challenge to keep up with the latest changes, and quickly adapt.  
  • SEO is complicated. There may always be alerts or warnings showing a broken link or a new error. Competitor sites can change frequently. So, refresh your keyword analysis frequently. 

3 Main Reasons that You Need SEO

1. Visibility and Rankings

One of the primary objectives of basic SEO principles is to enhance visibility, thereby facilitating the discovery of your offerings by potential customers during their search. Visibility closely ties to your ranking.

A higher position on a search engine result page (SERP) increases the likelihood of prospects noticing your presence and clicking through to your website. Therefore, it is crucial to improve your organic page ranking. The effectiveness of your SEO endeavors directly impacts your ranking and visibility. This significance becomes even more evident considering that one-fourth of internet users never venture beyond the first SERP.

SEO increases organic web traffic to your site.

SEO Search Engine Optimization, concept for promoting ranking traffic on website, optimizing your website to rank in search engines or SEO.

2. Web Traffic

Another important objective of SEO is to boost web traffic, helping to achieve enhanced visibility and rankings. Take a moment to ponder this: the top position on a Google search receives approximately 32% of clicks, and even moving up just one spot in the search results can result in a remarkable 30.8% increase in click-through rate (CTR).

3. Authority

Page Authority (PA) holds growing significance for search engines due to its increasing importance to web users. Essentially, authority signifies that your website is reliable, offers high-quality content, and is relevant to users’ needs.

PA scores range from 1 to 100, and a higher score indicates greater authority for your site.

Obtaining external links from reputable and popular sources is a contributing factor to improving PA.

About Lake House Digital

Lake House Digital, based in Cary, NC near the Research Triangle Park (RTP), was established in 2021. With over 50 years of combined experience, we provide measurable, actionable results in digital marketing efforts for our clients. In the industry, we are set apart: our employees hold industry certifications across topics and platforms. Lake House Digital has worked with B2B and B2C clients in life sciences, technology, manufacturing, healthcare, commercial real estate, hospitality, higher education, and nonprofits. We bring experience with a growth mindset to achieve the very best results: measurable, actionable results and growth for every client.