When you are trying to learn about SEO, it seems there is so much to learn. You have to learn about creating high quality content, unique page titles, etc. There seem to be hundreds of blogging platforms, extensions, plugins, etc all focused around SEO. You read blogs, you buy books, you study forum threads. And then when you think you’re starting to have a good understanding of some of the principles of SEO, Google goes and makes an update that seems to throw much of your recent knowledge out the window.

It’s easy to get confused and discouraged when you’re trying to understand SEO. To help you out a bit and to give you a good foundation, here are the top 5 things you must understand about SEO:

1. Search engine traffic is key.

There are other great sources of traffic out there. But search engines have the ability to bring you very high amounts of traffic, and their traffic is extremely high quality, especially compared to many other forms of traffic. Organic search engine visitors are visitors that are specifically searching for what you have to offer. So organic search engine traffic is gold. Understanding this is important because it helps you to realize just how important your SEO efforts are.

2. It’s all about value.

SEO is not a way to “trick” people into going to your site. It’s also not a way to “trick” the search engines into moving you up higher. SEO is a way to help the people that are actually searching for you to find you. It’s a way for you, as an extremely valuable resource that people want to find, to get found easier. You do this by getting better rankings in the search engines.

To get better rankings you need to do SEO. But when you are doing SEO, don’t try to trick the search engines. Let your intentions be to become a valuable resource, and to make it easier for searchers to find the value that you have to offer. If that is your main priority, the rankings will come. And with those rankings, because of your increased efforts on providing value, the visitors that will come to your site will be much happier.

2. You must have patience.

SEO is not a quick, easy thing. It requires time, effort, and patience. But with that time, effort, and patience comes great rewards. Remember this with your SEO efforts. Getting results from SEO will take time. But in the end, that time and patience will have great payoffs.

3. You must have goals.

You must know where you are trying to get with your SEO efforts. Without a defined goal, it is hard to know what type of benefits your SEO efforts are bringing to you, and if they are even bringing any benefits at all.

You must also know what you need to do in order to achieve those goals. So, make sure that you set specific goals, milestones, and metrics for your SEO efforts. Establish exactly what you are trying to achieve and what steps you are going to take to achieve those goals.

4. Content, content, content.

There are a lot of important things that should be incorporated into your SEO efforts. But if you don’t have a lot of content on your site, and if that content isn’t unique and high quality, then none of those other aspects will add up to much. In order to succeed with SEO, you must have content on your site. And this quality must be high quality. Again, focus on becoming a valuable resource to your visitors. This will help you with the search engines. This will help you with your visitors (the more of a resource they find you to be the more likely they are to buy from you). This will also help you to get bookmarked, shared, etc… all of which bring you great benefits when it comes to SEO and generating traffic to your site.

5. You must do your research.

The whole purpose of SEO is to be found by people. You perform SEO to get higher up in the search engines. All so that visitors will find you and make their way to your website. But if those visitors aren’t the right visitors, then all of your efforts will have been for naught. So, with all of your SEO efforts, make sure that you are constantly doing your keyword research. This will help you know what keywords to go after to get the right visitors to your site. And with this keyword research, make sure that you are incorporating a lot of long-tail keywords to help increase your chances of success.

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