Remember when you were learning to read? Probably not, but let me remind you. The first lessons introduced the letters: A, B, C etc. These letters became the building blocks of your reading lessons as your teacher introduced you to the words that started with each letter. Well when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), there are building blocks as well and we can use the ABC’s of SEO to give you a baseline understanding of key terms, what they mean, and the impact on the visibility of your website.

A is for Architecture

Architecture refers to the structure of your website. Solid site architecture includes a logical sitemap, good search functionality, and intuitive navigation which makes it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for. The plan will also include unique and appropriate page titles and meta descriptions which make it easy for the Google spiders to read and index your site.

Beyond the technical elements, there is an art to architecture as well. What is the user experience when they visit your site? Are the pages welcoming? Is the information presented in an organized manner with headlines and subheads to make it easy to skim your pages?

A is Also for Analytics – Are your SEO activities paying off? A quick look at your analytics will give you a starting point. Look for growth in your organic traffic as well as traffic to individual pages tied to specific keywords.

B is for Backlinks

Once the most important factor in SEO, today backlinks are only one of the many factors in Google’s algorithm. SEO is not about just getting a ton of links, Google looks at the quality of inbound links. Their spiders are smart enough to determine if the link is coming from a relevant site.

Social shares are certainly valuable sources of inbound links. But they are not enough. Look for ways to get links from other sites in your industry, such as associations and news publications. Distribute press releases, offer to cross promote with your referral partners, or write guest blog posts. This guest post strategy is a bit overused these days, but if you have a legitimate referral relationship, the ability to share relevant content will pay off in SEO as well as the eyeballs of real prospective clients.

C is for Content.

As Google began downplaying the importance of links, they shifted their attention to the real “meat” of your website, the content.  This may include the text on each page, blog posts, images, videos, and podcasts. As you create content, do it with your keywords in mind. If you want to rank well for a term such as “white beans” you can’t simply type white beans 100 times on the same page. Instead what you need to do is create a series of articles related to white beans.

How long should your blog posts and web page content be? Like your backlink strategy, good content is about quality over quantity. These days, we suggest a minimum of 400 words, but we have seen many writers going to long-form content up to 1,000 words. With everyone jumping into the content marketing game, you have to dive a little deeper. A superficial post 300 words in length just won’t cut it. Google assumes you won’t have anything of substance that is new or different in your post and skips over your article for something long and more comprehensive.

So there you have it, the ABC’s of SEO – Want to know more? Check out our SEO resource kit.