12 Important SEO Tips for Your Website

Robot photo for post on website SEO tips
Photo credit: Jeremy Noble (Creative Commons)

This is part of a series called the Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization.

Today, we’re talking about optimizing your whole site, not just a single page, for search engines.

After choosing the right SEO keywords but before writing a ton of content, you have some choices to make.

So think through this carefully.

Before you begin, you need to know the following:

  • What your site is about
  • What the purpose is
  • How committed you are

Once you’ve settled on those three things, then it’s time to get to work.

So, let’s begin, shall we?

SEO Tips

To optimize your whole site for search engines, you’ll need to follow these basic tips:

1. Make the website about one thing.

It can be about other stuff, too, but choose one primary topic that is most essential to your message.

This step is important, so you may want to do a little keyword research before choosing a topic.

2. Mention keywords where they matter most.

Include your “one thing” in the site title, domain name, description, tagline, keywords, blog categories, page titles, and page content.

If you’re on WordPress, you can change a lot of this in the General Settings or through a plugin like All in One SEO Pack (which I use).

3. Link to internal pages on your site.

A lot of content management systems automatically do this, but if yours doesn’t, you’ll want to be intentional about linking to your most important pages directly from your homepage and cross-linking them with each other.

4. Use a permalink structure that includes keywords.

Some sites have “ugly” permalink structures that use numbers to identify pages.

Don’t do this. It’s bad for SEO and just doesn’t look good.

Use a URL structure that includes text, and make sure you include keywords in your URLs.

So instead of having a page’s URL be this:


It should look more like this:


5. Remove anything that slows down your website.

Page load times are important, so get rid of any non-essentials that bog down your website.

These may including music players, large images, flash graphics, and unnecessary plugins.

6. Use keywords in your images.

Include words that reflect your site topic in the image title, description, and alt attributes.

Also, re-title the file name if it doesn’t reflect your main keywords (e.g. writing-tips.jpg instead of d1234.jpg).

7. Link to other websites with relevant content.

You can do this by including a blogroll, link list, or resources page on your website.

Of course, do it sparingly, as each outbound link is a “vote” for another site. However, if you do it well and people click your links, this tells search engines you are a trusted authority on your particular topic.

8. Update your website frequently.

Sites with dynamic content often rank higher than those with static content. That’s why blogs and directories (like Wikipedia) do so well on search engines. They are constantly being updated with new content.

9. Make sure your website is indexed in search engines.

A lot of search engines will automatically find and index your content, but don’t count on it.

You want to be sure engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are crawling your site, so that people are finding you online. (You can add them directly, if they’re not.)

10. Have other websites link to you.

This is really, really important, when it comes to SEO. The bummer is that it’s not something you can necessarily control. Other than creating excellent content, the only thing you can do is ask (which occasionally works).

My counsel is to spend the time you would trying to convince somebody to link to you on just writing great content. And, start guest posting on other blogs.

Regardless of what you do, know that inbound links are essential to SEO.

11. Stop changing your domain name.

The age of your URL is a factor in your site’s search ranking, so be patient.

If you’re launching a new blog every six months, you’ll never see your site get the value it deserves.

12. Write like a human.

None of the above matters if you create content that sounds like a robot wrote it.

Write great stuff, follow the steps above, have patience, and you’ll see results.

I realize that many of you have already started blogging, but many of these tips can be applied retroactively. And once if you done this, you can start writing regular content. For more about writing SEO pages, read the next article in this series: The Idiot-Proof Basics to Writing SEO Pages.

If you’re curious as to how well your site is performing on search engines, you can use a free website SEO tool like Website Grader.

For more SEO tips, read this: The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Is your website optimized for search engines? Share thoughts/questions in the comments.

*Photo credit: Jeremy Noble

580 thoughts on “12 Important SEO Tips for Your Website

  1. Thanks again, Jeff. I learned a lot here. Specifically, I didn’t know I should include a related image title, and I never use a description there. I’ll have to work on that.

  2. My blog is only a few weeks old but I have done NOTHING intentional for SEO. These practical tips are REALLY helpful. Thanks for adding to my to-do list. Don’t worry. It’s a fun list- and I look forward to crossing off each item! =)

  3. Hi Jeff,

    Just saw that you had linked to my article on Changing your Permalink Structure. Just wanted to say that I really appreciate it. Your list here is an excellent place for people to start and for old-timers to revisit their SEO needs.

  4. Jeff, thanks for sharing! These are the fundamentals for SEO, and if followed will greatly help SEO efforts. I’d also add another basic, but important tip, which is creating content that people want to read and share through links and social media.

  5. Seriously, THANK YOU~  I had a few of these down, but like she said.  You really did make it all very simple (and I get confused easily these days, oy).  I just went through them one step at a time and my site (www.theccardandme.com) is ten times more optimized.  Am off to do the same to my other two sites 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing the thoughts. I think pure content is very good for website. If it has original and lots of content, half the work is done. Backlink submissions such as bookmarking, dir submissions also plays a big role. SornaValli Tech

  7. Hey Jeff: I hope what goes around comes around and the Universe thanks you for doing all this great work. Thanks a lot!

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  9. Hi Jeff, Awesome Grin,

    Great tips dude the way you have explained all SEO Tips like our mentor i am using wordpress i have been through all basic SEO Settings thanks for such great help Jeff.

  10. Good tips for beginners who are starting on SEO but there are many other crucial techniques involved in modern SEO like canonicalization, permanent redirects, cannibalization, internal link structure, natural inbound linking etc. But over all really nice read and learning. Promozseo

  11. All useful content! Thanks for sharing, though everyone need’s to understand that this doesn’t just work for local business and should be considered generally within website seo. go here

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  14. hi.
    i designed my website and i created the meta tags by ajax method by jquery.(title description and keywords)
    do you think that nowday google or any kind of search engins could recognize them or not?does it effect on search engin result or not?

    1. Hi Saeed ,
      In Tags, Title is still considered by Google. But when coming to the Description it wont be considered w.r.t ranking. But that is important to user experience. And keywords are not much important.

  15. Thanks, I’ve been looking around for SEO information and at this point, anything is helpful. I’ve been struggling to get more results and backlinks (still iffy on how/where to go about them, I have no idea how these bigger sites have gotten to where they were!).


  16. Hari ini masih pakai blog gratisan ? gak jaman tuh.., ayo migrasi blog anda menjadi website dengan beli domain murah. Ada beberapa tempat yang kami sarankan untuk beli domain murah, seperti di seowaps.com, reselleragent.com atau di ppnz.org , dengan menggunakan dot com, website akan dicintai oleh search engine

  17. Great tips! SEO is time consuming. Many people get it wrong; they think it’s easy. Any successful SEO campaign takes time, knowledge and effort. And if you also have a website, it’s also important to make sure it’s mobile friendly.

  18. Great article. You’ve mentioned almost all of the necessary things. But nowadays google’s several update made it hard to get a good position at google. On this purposes https://www.linkcollider.com might help everyone.

    Anyway, thank you very much for your great article 🙂 I just want to recommend your article.

  19. wow !!! JUST WOW !!
    Really great
    i really like your posting. It help me a lot to develop my website to next level on SEO. Please check my site http://www.okedomino.com, and give me some advise to improve my SEO on page. Thank you Jeff.

  20. Good post – pretty clear, concise and straighforward stuff, but too many people don;t undertake these simple factors. I particularly like the last one – write like a human. For most websites, people should right how they speak, that is, in terms of grammar and sentence structure. Many website are too formal.

    Great post, cheers,


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