That’s a lot of tips to wade through when trying to figure out the focus of your SEO strategy. What’s more overwhelming is that’s just one search.Each year there are new posts of list of the “hottest” tips and tricks that are “guaranteed” to work.While many of these tips are great, to really see results, you need to have a good foundation.In this post, I want to talk about getting back to the basics of SEO and why they are essential to long-term success.When it comes to optimizing your site for search, the basics are some of the most important,yet often overlooked, aspects of SEO.The recent push of “content is king” has also caused many to forget the essentials and just focus on content distribution.

 Here are few basics you should cover before ever diving into the more complex elements of search.

Crawler access
If search engine crawlers have a hard time crawling your site, they’ll have a hard time indexing and ranking your pages, too.As a site owner or SEO, your first and most important job is to make sure that your site is crawlable.Using the robots.txt file, you can help direct and assist the web crawlers that are crawling your site.There are certain pages on your site that you probably don’t want the crawlers to index, such as login pages or private directories.You can block files, pages and/or directories by specifying them as “disallowed,” like so:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /folder
Disallow: /private.html

Just be careful when blocking crawlers from your entire site; in fact, don’t do it unless you know for a fact that a particular bot is causing you trouble.Otherwise, you may end up blocking crawlers that should have access to your website, which could interfere with indexing.If you are using WordPress, there are a number of plugins that can help you do this.If you are not using WordPress, you can also easily set up a robots.After you’ve created your robots.txt, it’s important to make sure Google can crawl your site.You’ll want to upload your site map by going to “Crawl,” then “Sitemaps” in the left-hand navigation, ten clicking on the “Add/Test Sitemap” button in the upper right-hand corner.From there, you can test the site map and submit it to Google for indexation.

Site structure
In today’s mobile-first, user-obsessed web culture, we sometimes overlook the simple and practical.While I am all for a good user experience and a huge believer in being mobile-first, I also believe we can’t forget the search engines.Having a solid site structure will add to your user experience and will help you rank better.While this seems like a simple idea, building a good site structure takes time and planning.Not only does it impact your navigation and site links, it also helps the crawlers better understand your content and context.Site structure is all about putting your content together in a logical fashion.

Titles and meta descriptions
Titles and meta descriptions are some of the most basic elements of SEO.While “titles” are considered in the ranking algorithm and descriptions are not, they both are still very important.Google may not use descriptions as a ranking signal, but that doesn’t mean they ignore them.The crawlers still read the descriptions — and any chance you have to tell the crawlers about your page, you should take it.The title and the description are often the first things your potential visitors come in contact with in the SERPs.Here are a few tips for creating better titles and descriptions.


*Optimize your title tag around the core focus of your page.
*Don’t “keyword stuff.”
*Stay within 50 to 60 characters.


*Make it action-oriented.
*Add your primary keyword.
*Make copy easy to understand.

It’s important to note that if Google thinks your provided meta data doesn’t meet the users’ intent, they will alter it.Before jumping into the latest and greatest SEO tactic, make sure you do the basics first.It’s amazing what a few simple tweaks and adjustments can do for your site and overall online marketing strategy.Make sure your site is crawlable, create a structure that is both user0 and search engine-friendly, and take the time to create better titles and descriptions.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.