Yes, this is yet another article about SEO. We know that it’s one of thousands online, and we appreciate you clicking on it to read it! It seems like everyone has an opinion about what to do or what not to do when it comes to SEO, and we think that the field of advice has become both too complicated and too crowded. With so many differing opinions, how are you supposed to know what to listen to? Which advice is worth listening to, and what can be safely ignored?

This is a basic question, but it’s a vitally important one when you’re trying to create a website that’s going to draw traffic. Whether it’s for personal or professional use, there’s no point in owning a site if it doesn’t have customers or readers. You can’t attract those views if your SEO isn’t up to scratch. At the same time as knowing and understanding this, we should also be aware that sometimes, SEO advice goes too deep.

What we mean by this is that what’s needed from an SEO point of view will change from company to company and industry to industry. Some of the more detailed and forensic advice articles you might read online will focus on the small details that can make a website stand out against its competition within a specific genre, but no the ‘bigger picture’ tips that can help you get the framework of your site right in the first place. If the bigger and simpler things aren’t done well, the small details won’t do you any good at all.

Let’s strip away all the more complicated aspects of SEO, and focus on just five basic tips that will give you a platform to build on as your website continues to expand and prosper.

Use HTML5

If you’re not coding in HTML5, there’s little point in you trying to do anything else when it comes to SEO. HTML5 is the language of the present and the future when it comes to building a website. HTML5 is the coding language that will ensure that your website will appear the same no matter what medium or platform your readers are using. If you want to see it working in the real world, go and check out an online slots website. These websites rely on convenience. There are so many different online slots websites in the world that if one doesn’t work exactly as the player is expecting it to, they’ll just log off and go elsewhere. Because of HTML5, a site featuring hundreds of different UK Online Slots will work just as well on a tiny phone screen as it will on a widescreen monitor. Whether it’s you or someone else building your site, go with HTML5 or go bust.

Write Longer Articles

People lead busier lifestyles today than they did in the past, so you might be a subscriber to the ‘shorter is better’ school of thought when it comes to content. That’s the wrong way to think about it. Google isn’t just ranking your website based on your keywords or your content. They also rank based on the ‘dwell time’ of your readers – by which we mean the amount of time each visitor spends on your site before returning to Google’s search results page. The longer that time is, the better your site will rank. For this reason alone, long-form is better than short-form. Aside from holding the attention of your readers for longer, writing articles that are at least one thousand words long gives you more space to fit your keywords in.

Keep URLs Short

The only part of your website that you don’t want to be stuffed with keywords or other content is your URL. Google is paying attention to your URL, and you’ll rank better if it’s short, easy to read, and to the point. This doesn’t just go for your central URL. It also does for the URL of every single page on your website. Ideally, give every single page a single word name as far as the URL goes. Avoid numbers. Definitely avoid hyphens. This means that your ‘About Us’ page (presuming you have one) should be ‘aboutus.hmtl,’ not ‘about-us.’ Before you commit to a URL, though, stand back and read it as if it were all one word just to make sure you haven’t accidentally created something embarrassing. As an example, here’s a whole list of people who failed to sense-check their URLs with hilarious consequences.

Get Backlinks

You probably already know that including links in your content is a vital part of a successful SEO strategy, but did you know that it can be just as important to have your site linked elsewhere? This is known as backlinking – and the better the quality of the website that links to you, the better it is for your SEO. When multiple different websites provide links to yours, Google sees it as a ‘vote of confidence’ in your website as a trusted source of information. Gaining links from other sites within your industry is particularly useful, for example, if your website is about health and fitness or sells health supplements, getting a backlink from a respected health and fitness website will help immeasurably. You might have to contact a few webmasters and grease a few palms to make this happen, but it’s a good use of your time (and, in some cases, your advertising budget).

Keep Loading Times Short

Images can be your best friend so long as they’re relevant and come with alt text tags, but they can also be your worst enemy if they’re large, and they take too long to load. The same can be said about any videos that you set to play automatically. In fact, never set any videos to play automatically. You hate it when other websites do it to you, so why do it to your own visitors? The speed at which a page loads is yet another key performance indicator as far as Google’s SEO algorithms are concerned. If it’s too slow, your ranking will be negatively impacted. Even if you manage to retain a respectable page ranking despite your slow-moving website, you’ll still lose up to three quarters of your potential visitors and customers if your site hasn’t fully loaded within four seconds. That’s why images should be kept to small sizes and also to a minimum. It’s also why you should ensure that you’re using a high-performance, reliable provider for the storage of your website. It doesn’t matter how lightweight and speedy your site ought to be if the server it’s stored upon is too slow to respond!

These are the five basic SEO principles to live by. Everything else, from H1 and H2 headers to meta tags, is secondary. Get these five points wrong, and nothing else matters. Get them right, though, and you’ll be jumping up the search index page by page before you know it.