SEO: A Beginners Guide to Search Engine Optimization Best Practices

Optimizing your pages for organic search results placement is one step in building a strong online presence. Improving SEO practices is one of the many things we do for our clients here at DDL Advertising. We work to improve search rankings for our clients all with the intention of driving traffic to their websites and in turn, resulting in conversion. But before we get into detail, we first need to understand two important factors in successful SEO: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

On Page SEO: 

On-page SEO… what does that mean anyways? Well, SEO Moz refers to this as the optimization of your own web pages to earn relevant traffic in search engines. As a website owner/ publisher, the control is in your hands. Let’s review a few key elements of on-page SEO to get a clearer picture of proper SEO practices…


Content- As long as I have a website, I don’t really have to update the content right? WRONG! Creating relevant and remarkable content and continuing to update it per industry changes is the first step in gaining website traffic. The content provided should have:

Readability- The content provided should be a breeze for users to read and answers their query. Skew content to that of what your visitor might want answered through visiting your site.

Easily Navigable- Users should be able to find what they are seeking through reading your remarkable content.

Structure- With a strong website structure, users can enjoy browsing your site and are more likely to return. We’ll go into the specifics next.

Header Tags- These are those ‘H1’ tags that direct sections of the web page like a main headline or paragraphs.

Architecture- Architecture? Like buildings and skyscrapers? Not quite! We’re talking about the architecture of your website, you know, overall performance like its crawlability, speed, and security.

Crawlable- Can search engines quickly and easily crawl your site for relevant content? Robots crawl your site in milliseconds for specific parameters and process whether your site is efficient.

Mobile Friendly- Having a mobile friendly site is necessary since most users utilize this platform.

Speed- If your website runs slower than molasses with undescriptive URLs and broken links, it would not be considered to have a strong architecture.

URLs- Descriptive URLs with words that pertain to your  help in having a higher ranking –length

HTTPs- HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure is used as an extension ensuring that your site is secure.  

HTML- Moving on down the line, what about HTML? HTML is also known as hypertext markup language and is what creates your web pages and applications.

Title Tag- The title tag signals search engines about the context of your page and what it’s all about. necessary for signaling search engines about the context of a page. It is crafted by what your site includes and what you want it to be known for.

Meta Description- This is a small blurb that describes the page on the SERP. If interesting and relevant enough to users, they will click on the listing and navigate to your page.

Some of the other guys:

Quality Coding- Your site should have quality coding and platforms like WordPress and Yoast SEO solve any technical challenges you may experience. Here at DDL, we use the WordPress platform to build quality websites.

Appearance- The text and visuals on your site attribute to increased visitors. Without a positive user experience, why would people navigate through your website?

Technicalities- How your site performs directly impacts your on-page SEO.

Off Page SEO: 

Now that we’ve covered on- page SEO, let’s talk about off-page SEO and how this can benefit your SEO practices. This directly correlates with what occurs outside of the website owner’s control but rather shifts to that of readers, visitors, and other publishers. It ties in your overall reputation as a website including trust, links, personal, and social.


Trust- This refers to your site’s history, authority, and engagement over time. Engagement ranges from how long users remain on your site to social engagement in the form of likes, comments, shares, etc. Its history pertains to the content you’re publishing and whether you’ve maintained a strong, positive record. An authoritative site is one that is at the top of its totem pole with links, social engagement, clicks, etc.

Backlinks- These links must be of quality and from respectable sites for your website to be considered trustworthy. It’s more about the quality of links over quantity, as search engines attribute more success to this.

Locale- Depending on the location of searchers and your website, results may vary. Searchers are given results by where they are located including their city and country. They are also served listings based on their past search history and behavior in relation to this.

Social- Social reputation is a key aspect in the success of websites. It all filters down to having a good reputation! Without one, customers won’t choose your website since it is not of the utmost quality. Being active on social platforms accredits to higher engagement and a bigger network.

Technical SEO

Now for the good stuff. Technical SEO. What’s this all about? We’re about to tell you. Technical SEO is often considered the primary support of strong SEO ranking and it is indeed the most important.


Indexing- Ensuring that your site is indexable is key to Google’s ability to crawl. Like we said before, if a site is not indexable, it’s better off not existing.

Speed- Talk about a need for speed. When it comes to your website, speed is a very important factor. Without speed, the bounce rate goes up and the likelihood of users navigating to a different site on the search engine results page. Google offers their own tool to test speed of websites called PageSpeed. Test your pages rather than letting the other guys take the lead.

Structured Data- This helps search engines understand what the content translates to and details of the page in their own language allowing them to showcase an attractive snippet to users.

Site Errors- No one likes an error page. Monitor and fix site errors ASAP. They don’t look good for your business. These range from 404 errors to broken links, duplicate content, and other website errors that lead visitors to well, nothing. To fix 404s, use a 301 redirects. Use a broken link checker to solve any empty or moved pages. As far as duplicate content, don’t plagiarize or repeat content on multiple pages as Google will penalize you for this.

Crawl Errors- Check your sitemaps. If Google is unable to read it, it will not have the ability to crawl your website.

Secure Sites- Security is big. Make sure your site is secure with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate. It proves your site is safe and verifies your site.

Well it looks like we covered it all! From on page SEO to off page and technical SEO, all of these factors attribute to the success of your website and overall user experience. Need help improving your SEO practices? Give DDL Advertising a call and we’ll get you on the right track and place you higher than your local competitors.


Recent Posts