SEO basics start with the composition of the words on your pages and what intrinsic value they offer your audience. The first prerequisite of SEO is understanding the basic correlation of content composition and the impact that content has on rankings respecitively.
Relevance is the underlying criteria that search engines reward, if your content is specific, informative and manages to acquire click through traffic, then your pages have the trappings of becoming popular which is a component to acquiring a top 10 ranking.
Aside from the title tag, (the main tag you use to describe the content of the page) and the links that endorse your content through back links (links from other sites)and the copy (which is completely under your control). There are fundamental guidelines you can adhere to that will assist you in keeping your content on topic to elevate topical relevance.
What are Search Engines?
Search engines are a cataloging system that are essentially transparent in their composition. Search engines are expected to glean information and organize data from thousands of unique industries, compile that data and then, based on the fetch command you issue as a result of you entering a boolean query in the search box are then expected to retrieve the most relevant result.
Understanding the premise of how search engines function rather than struggling to adapt and muscle your way up the SERPs (search engine result pages) is far easier instead.
Through appeasing the laws of their construction (the mathematical algorithm, teamed up with it's ability to gain contextual artificial intelligence like phrase rank algorithm, search engines have the ability interpret the context of your pages.
Your focal point is simply to provide the ideal (relevant) result according to their ranking criteria. Which falls into three categories.
These three measuring sticks search engines use to assess content in addition to semantic synonyms and related phrases are called allinanchor, allintitle and allintext.
Talk about green widgets enough on your page, they know your page is about green widgets (allintext), placing it in the title is also a great way to signal the plane (allintitle) or get enough links from other pages that say your site is about green widgets and even if it is or not, it can potentially rank for that or related phrases (allinanchor).
That in a nutshell is how SEO basics play out according the the search engine spiders (the little programs that scour the web looking for new or exciting information to report back to the index).
The next part of SEO basics will cover how to ensure that your content is spider friendly or how to invite search engine spiders to skim, index and rank your content.
In closing, the gist is (1) make your titles unique (2) keep your writing style focused and use key words (words containing the phrases you want to rank for) as well as develop as many on topic links from other sites to cement your position in the search engine result pages.
Just writing about it on your site is not enough, unless you sites has hundreds of thousands of strong links pointing at in, in which case it can rank on the title tag alone. That is called website authority and is yet another topic we will be covering in the future.
The most relevant search result is the one that makes it to the top 10. There are no secrets involved, just logical relevance, but popularity counts so don't just write dry content.
The whole exercise of SEO is to get traffic from people. Since people pay the bills and not spiders, make sure you have something worth saying and they will take notice and pass it along.
Otherwise, you are only helping your competition by leaving your guests hungry or thirsty for more topical information about your subject. In which case, they will simply return to the search engine and click the next result in the list. So, the bottom line is user engagement aside from topical relevance and traffic.