Basic Principles

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I am going to go over the basic principals of SEO here. These are the best practices of SEO in a nutshell as they are known to today’s’ top professional SEO providers. The concepts here will work for you if you are a web design company, or if you are doing SEO for your clients or most any type of business. I’m going to start with the most basic of concepts, and build from there.

SEO is a constantly evolving art and science. What worked yesterday does not work today, and in-fact can have a significantly negative effect on your ranking. So tread lightly and know what you’re doing before you run out and buy 5,000 garbage links to your site from a Fiverr gig. I’m not saying everything on Fiverr will do damage, but you must know what you are buying before you buy – and you must make the right choices.

Today’s SEO has two major parts – on-page and off-page factors. On-page SEO is everything you do on your site itself. Off-page SEO is the things you do off of your site that help your search engine rankings. If you are new to SEO you may be surprised to learn that your on-page factors may account for a very small part of your overall SEO rankings and that your off-page factors can give you significantly more bang for the time invested. That’s not to say that it has always been that way, or that it will always be that way. It’s just the way it is right now – and has been for quite a while. In today’s SEO, it’s mandatory that they are both addressed if you want to compete on search engines like Google. This section covers the secrets that many genuine SEO experts know, and charge big money for.

When it comes to your offsite SEO, getting lots of links to your site from high-quality websites in your niche is very important. Google considers each link to your site to be a vote of sorts that vouches for the quality of your site. High PR (Page Rank) sites, and sites that end in .edu or . gov are especially powerful. One link from a PR 7 page could be the equivalent of thousands of links from PR 0 pages. So quality is usually more important that quantity.

With that out of the way, it’s important for you to know that Google does not like people to game the system, or try to get ahead of other sites by creating their own backlinks or paying for backlinks. Google would rather have you build a site that is so great that people all over the world in your same niche will like your content so much, they will link to it from their sites. Read on…

But the cold hard reality is that much of your competition is creating backlinks and/or buying them in order to out rank you and take your business. To expect to build a great site and rise to the top in today’s world without doing some aggressive SEO work is a little like trying to compete in a bodybuilding contest where everyone else is using steroids, and you’re not. You may be the most natural and healthiest, but you’re going to lose. In business, most people want a competitive advantage – even an unfair advantage. And that’s what you’re up against.

So if you’re the kind of person that always plays by the rules, win or lose, or you’re in a niche where aggressive marketing would not be the right thing to do, then build an awesome site that people would naturally want to link to because you have great content or you’re giving away software or something else of value on your site (you should do that even if you do aggressive SEO on your sites). But, read on so that you’ll know what others may be doing to outrank you.

With that said, I do want to add this important bit of information, so that you really do understand SEO, and so you can stay ahead of the curve. SEO has been a great thing to know for the last decade, and has, in fact, made many people wealthy. But like all good things, knowledge that works has a tendency to spread quickly and become over saturated. As people find out how to rank high on Google, Google updates its algorithm to foil them (and supposedly improve its search function at the same time). This has been going on for a decade now, and SEO for high ranking is not nearly as easy as it once was. Be forewarned that although it’s still possible to achieve excellent rankings using the methods unveiled in this course, SEO will more than likely become more difficult over time. Therefore, I highly recommend implementing these strategies quickly, keeping up with changes, and learning the other marketing methods taught in this course in addition to SEO. Become an expert in lead generation, not just an expert in SEO. Your business, and the businesses of your clients will benefit more in the long run.

Now, if you’re like many business people who would jump at the chance to have an unfair advantage over your competition, this section, and the next few sections, will put you way ahead of many pro SEO companies in your ability to outrank anyone in your field. So let’s get started.

On-page Factors:

Do as many of these things as possible. If you can do them all that’s great. Each one of these things effectively “adds points” towards your overall rankings. In today’s SEO, if your on-page SEO is not great and if your content is not up to par, you will not be able to rank for anything but the most obscure keywords. If you are not developing your own site, make sure your developer follows these best practices. Alternately install some kind of SEO tool suck as Yoast SEO plugin and do everything it tells you to do.

Your domain name should contain your main keyword in some why if possible. It’s not necessary but it looks good and can help with your rankings. If it is an exact match of your best keyword you may wind up with too many links with the same anchor text. That is not a good thing and can lead to what is known as over optimization.

Each page on your site should be on a different aspect of your niche or business and, should target only 1 or 2 main keywords or phrases.

Each page should have a title that reflects the main idea of the page and contains a keyword that people may use when searching for what you have to offer. For example: Hula-Hoops for sale in Buffalo New York, Web Design Atlanta Georgia, etc. Make it something that would look good in the descriptions that Google will publish next to your site name in the search results. It should make the searchers want to visit your site.

Each page should have an article on it that talks about your main keyword/subject for that page. The keyword can be in bold when used. The keyword should be mentioned in the first sentence, a couple of times in the content, and in the last paragraph. The article should be about one or two keywords and should use synonyms for the keywords. You should not go overboard using your keyword too much. And, you should write your article for human readers, not search engines. Each page or article should contain about 500 original words that are not plagiarized from anywhere else on the web. The home-page can and should have more than 500 words.

Off-page Factors:

At some point, way back in the beginning, Google (actually Google founder, Larry Page) determined that the best way to decide if a page or site was important was to see how many “votes” it received from other pages or sites. A “vote” is a link from another site. The more important the site is that’s linking to your site, the more value the link will have. The fewer links said site give out, the more value each link is worth. One link from a top government site, for example, can have the power of getting hundreds of links from dozens of lesser sites.

Links can and should come from a number of sources. Some sources are worth more than others, but it’s a good idea, if not mandatory, to have a nice mix of various types links in order to have a natural looking balance of links (called your link profile). Below is a list of some of the most important types of incoming links. Keep in mind, within reason, the more links you have the better, but you should get them slowly at first and build up speed, and also you should be getting links constantly for as long as you have your site.

The higher the quality of the links, the better as well. High-quality links generally mean links from high-quality pages with few outgoing links. For those of you who are completely new to SEO, Google ranks the quality of a site by a complicated algorithm that has and continues to evolve over time. The more important or relevant the site, in Google’s estimation, the higher it will be placed in the search results. One way Google determines a site’s relevance is by calculating the relevance of the pages that are linking to a site. The more links you have linking to your site from relevant sites the higher your site will rank in the search results – all other things being equal.

Here is a list of some of the types of links you should try actively seek:

  1. Commenting on blogs
  2. Commenting on forums
  3. Forum profiles
  4. Video Submissions
  5. Bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Digg
  6. Posting articles and content to web 2.0 sites like Squidoo, and Hub Pages
  7. Creating profiles on membership sites & forums like and
  8. Social networks like Facebook
  9. Press release sites like
  10. Article submissions to sites like
  11. Blog posting and creation, to sites like and
  12. Wiki sites
  13. PDF sharing sites
  14. Links from other websites
  15. Links from .edu sites (educational) and from .gov (government) sites

Additional linking opportunities can be found on the online free marketing page of this site.

Your link building strategy should look something like this illustration:

Basic Linking Structure for SEO

Your linking strategy doesn’t need to look exactly like this, but the more links you have coming in from as many sources as possible, the better off you’re going to be.

Anchor Text Ratios

Every time you create a link to your site you will be adding either a URL or an anchor text. If every link you send to your site said “Buy Orange Wigs Here” that obviously wouldn’t look very natural to Google, and would actually hurt your ranking for that keyword, and would hurt your entire site’s rankings. To combat that, one must be cognizant of what anchor text ratios are, and must create links that provide a natural looking ratio. This is how a natural anchor text ratio could look:


Branded 70%

  • The Dancing Fool
  • Visit The Dancing Fool
  • The Dancing Fool Dance School

Naked 20%


Generic 5%

  • Visit site
  • Learn more
  • find out how here

Partial Match 5% variations of your keyword

  • Best Chattahootchee Dance Teacher
  • Learn from an award-winning Chattahootchee Dance Teacher

Exact Match 1%

  • Dance Teacher Chattahootchee Tennessee
  • Chattahoochee Dance Teacher


Another type of link diversity you will want to take into consideration in your link building is called pillowing. As you build your links you’ll want to make sure the types of links you’re building are in line with the sites that are ranking at the top for your chosen keyword. You can check for this by using a tool like the one at Here is a list of items to watch for pillowing:

  • Anchor Test Pillowing
  • No-Follow Pillowing
  • Image Pillowing
  • Inner Page Pillowing

Check out the link to Matt Diggity’s site in the Resource section for a more detailed overview of the process.


Pulling it all together

If the site is new, try to emulate how a new site would come to life in reality. For instance, build your links in this order:

  1. Social Profiles
  2. Business Citations
  3. Social Blast
  4. Links to site (as in graphic above)
  5. More Social Signals
  6. PBN links
  7. Etc.

See the free PDF from Matt Diggity in the Resource section for a more detailed overview of the process.


Action Tip: Read Advanced SEO Principles now.




Matt Diggity on Pillowing
Matt Diggity Backling Blueprint
Gotch SEO on Anchor Text Ratios