the basics of search engine optimisation

By Nathan Mullings

The Basics of Search Engine Optimisation

Many people hear “Search Engine Optimisation” or “SEO” and immediately assume it’s a complicated subject that they’ll never understand. I’m here to say it’s actually quite simple. There are only a few things you need to do in order to cover the basics, and you’ll start seeing the results fairly quickly. I’ll break it down into 3 simple parts – Keywords, Backlinks, and Site Maintenance.



Keywords are essentially the words or phrases on google that you want your website to rank high for. For example, If you’re a Hairdresser in South London, you probably want to rank highly when someone types into google “Hairdressers in South London”, so you choose that phrase as one of your keywords. Then you have to figure out how you’re going to get a better ranking for that keyword. The simplest answer is content.


If you want people to find your site, creating content is one of the most important ways to do it. It’s great posting this content on social media, and that may lead people to you services. Job done. However, if you want to rank highly for a keyword such “Hairdressers in South London”, you should be producing articles like “Find the Best Hairdressers in South London”. Then, within that article, you can mention that keyword/phrase multiple times, and logically Google will rank that article and your website higher for that keyword/phrase. Just remember to post it on your website and not just social media!



These are something people don’t often think about. It means the links that refer to your website, from other websites. If you list your site on another website with a link to your website, that is backlink. The more popular that the website is that has referring to your website is, the more that will increase the esteem of your website to the search engine. However,  social media sites like Twitter and Facebook block search engines from passing on that referral to your website. The more backlinks you have the better you’re going to rank in general.


So how do you get more backlinks? Quite simple. List your website on sites that don’t block search engines from making the referral. Create content for other websites that link back to your site, such as guest posting on their blog. If all else fails ask websites in adjacent industries to recommend you, or even your own clients. There are numerous creative ways to do this.


Oh, by the way, some backlinks can be bad, if the site referring the link has been penalized in some way. In this case a backlink referred from them can be detrimental, so be careful!


Site Maintenance

The final main thing that is going to have a major impact on your ranking is the standard maintenance of your site. Search engines are crawling your entire website and if they find anything that makes it harder to crawl, or things that aren’t working as they should, or even repeating content, it’s going to hurt your site in the rankings.


Now you know this, you’ve got to make sure you have your bases covered when it comes to:

  • Making sure all you links work
  • Not having duplicate content on your site
  • Descriptions for everything from pages to images are all up to date
  • Making sure plugins and code is all up to date.
  • Your website is optimised for browsers on mobile
  • Your website pages are rendering at a high speed.


And many more things.


The Obvious

Of course, the more visits you get to your website, the better you will rank too. All that content you’re posting on social media, should also link back to your website. Good marketing remains the best way to do that.


It’s also goes without saying that you need to keep looking at your analytics. Keeping track of how you’re with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and online SEO tracking is the best way to see whether what you’re doing is actually working.


Search Engine Optimisation is actually quite simple on the surface . Anyone can improve their ranking with a few small tweaks. However, for significant improvement, you need a simple but constant process of working the basics.