Many SEO newbies, or new businesses starting out online, come to SEO blogs such as this looking for some quick and easy solution that will vault them to the top in the results. Unfortunately, there are very few hard and fast rules in SEO, and no step by step solutions that, if implemented, guarantees you top search engine rankings. If there were, then it would quickly become obsolete because everybody would be doing it.

Instead, SEO is more of a set of guidelines that can be implemented in a way that allows for individual site customization. Most of it is fluid based on each site's needs for their audience. However within that there are also some basic dos and don'ts that need to be adhered to.

SEO Dos:

  • Customize your title tags. Each page should have a title unique to that page alone.
  • Research your keywords thoroughly. You really cannot start optimizing until you have researched out your keywords and know how the optimization will play out.
  • Use keyword relevant filenames for each web page. If the page is about women's brown boots then your file name should be Such as:
  • Organize your directory structure. Don't throw all your pages into the root folder and don't use too many directories/sub directories. Keep it simple yet organized.
  • Plan out your internal links. Develop your navigation effectively, implement no follows sparingly, link content to other pages liberally and use absolute links.
  • Use content effectively. Make sure your content does the job of selling to your visitors but is also keyword rich. Don't go overboard on keyword usage, but only as it functions best for the visitors.

SEO Don'ts:

  • Don't junk up your code. Get rid of junk code such as on-page styles, JavaScripts and excessive tables. Keep your code lean and clean and validate if at all possible.

  • Don't add a bunch of junk links to the bottom of your pages. Footer links are great, but don't just add junk links to pages that serve no value to your visitors strictly for the SEO benefit.

  • Don't settle for stock content. Take the time to develop custom content for your site. Don't use manufacture descriptions unless you add your own descriptive content as well.

  • Don't junk up your URLs. Keep your URLs clean and tidy without a lot of excess variables or session IDs.

These are just a few decent starting points for beginners in what they should and should not do with their site pages. Implementing these few tips won't suddenly shoot your site to the top of the search results, but it can begin the process of making your site much more search engine friendly and in a better place to be noticed by the engines.

December 18, 2008

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.


Uhm the link for "absolute links" is that intentional?

Nope, not intentional at all. Thanks for pointing that out. All fixed.

Real new. What is an SEO ? Can I hire someone to set up all this for me?

"Don't add a bunch of junk links to the bottom of your pages. Footer links are great, but don't just add junk links to pages that serve no value to your visitors strictly for the SEO benefit."

I was just reading this post over on SEO Book, and I think this dovetails nicely there: nothing looks spammier than a bunch of SEO links in the footer, and they appear to be devalued, to-boot!

@bellespree How the hell did you find this blog if you even don't know what a SEO is???

Great post. I wonder what your thoughts are on link juice for comments on a site? I just read about a Word Press plugin that gives link-love to comments, but my understanding is that usually these are no-follows. Is this good/bad/indifferent for SEO?

@Michelle - the plugin is likely a dofollow plugin which allows links in comments to be followed and pass link juice. Getting links on such blogs can be beneficial, provided you are contributing to the conversation.

@bellespree: Yes. There are people out there that can do SEO for you. However, I don't recommend you to hire them since most of these self-proclaimed SEO gurus don't have a clue about SEO.

If you have some basics on HTML, reading Google's Search Engine Optimization Guide is a good place to start SEO optimizing your sites.

Real new. What is an SEO ? Can I hire someone to set up all this for me?

WOW great article here.

I hate myself for doing exactly all the "don't do's" here when I just started SEO. I believe that anybody who starts SEO will make so muc mistakes without even know he does. I don't want to spam here but I saw that we can recommend good softwares and I just feel I have to share my experience with a good software I have purchased recently, it's name is SEO ELITE from here:

This software has got me the #4 ranking on google results in 23 days for a very competitive keyword that had 12,500,000 results!
What I'm saying is that this software can help you guys get top ranking with a little work and the dream can be achived if you use the right tools and do the right things.

Good luck to everyone and I wish you the best in your SEO journey:)

Mike G

Hi Nice Blog .Thank you - SEO india.

At last someone who talks in a jargon free way! The mystery of a lot of SEO is due to so called Guru's making it complicated, when in fact it is one of the simplest things to do. Thanks for the simple breakdown.
Business networking

This has helped us greatly. There are a few other ones I have read before but this one is nice and simple haha

Glass Mirrors

Great Tips and Info! Hard work is always needed for ranging in SERP. Long Tail Keyword is another way to get great SEO and Traffic.


As far as i know there is no guaranteed step by step SEO that can land on google's first page. but this article here is an excellent one and should read by newbies like myself. To me what is important is
to have some long tail key words that has minimal competition so you can dominate and later go for the more competitive keywords.
Julie Viola

Thanks for the article ... It makes sense compared to all the other stuff you read out there. I guess there is validity in the saying "keep it simple"

This was a very informative article. I will read your blog often.

Great post, you have a lot of useful informations here :)

Thank you IkkI for being nice.And thanks to all of you out there who are willing to help someone who is trying to learn. You have the ability to be a good teacher
I wanted to know what seo stands for, you know the actual words. I am so sorry that some people are to proud of what they have learned to stoop low enough to help others who are just starting. There was a time when all of you didn't know what SEO meant.

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Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > Beginner's Guide to SEO: Quickie Dos and Don'ts