How SEO is Like Cooking
There is no one recipe for success. Tasty dishes are made from fresh ingredients, measured within reason, cooked at a specific temperature for the prescribed time and artfully presented. Create enough dishes using this “recipe for success,” and you’ll have a great meal. But if you’re looking for ONE recipe or one road to a successful dinner, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. There are many roads to a successful dinner.
Search engine optimization (SEO) success is similar. There is no one strategy that guarantees success. A successful SEO campaign is made up of several ingredients, including on-page optimization, link building and social marketing and networking. Even though people use different recipes for their SEO campaigns, many achieve tasty rankings.
If you want to achieve success in search engine optimization, you need to test your SEO recipes. Recipe authors take notes each time they make a recipe, and they tweak and tweak until they get it down pat.
Ingredients for SEO Success
Invest time to stay current on best practices. Learn from the top SEO chefs. Work with their proven strategies so that you don’t have to spend unnecessary time and energy on trial and error. Read constantly to stay up-to-date on SEO best practices. Just as you season savory foods with salt and pepper (because even the best recipes fall flat with them), there are a few “givens” that you’ll need to incorporate into your strategy so that your SEO efforts don’t fall flat: proper keywords, great on-page optimization, properly worded text links, and fresh-baked content.
Combine Successful SEO Ingredients
While best practices change from time to time, the bread and butter of SEO remain constant:
Keyword research – You’ll base many things such as title, meta tags, etc., on your keyword research. Lack of research can lead to half-baked results. Limit yourself to a few keywords per page. Once you settle on a few keywords, integrate them into the content naturally. Resist the urge to pile on the keywords.
On-page optimization – Another important ingredient is your websites on-page optimization. This includes proper URL structure, optimized images, meta tags, sitemaps, fixing errors and so on.
Content – Content is king and without fresh-baked, high-quality content, you can’t attract visitors. Update your content frequently. No one visits stale websites, and that includes the search engines.
Social marketing and networking – Choose the right avenues for your niche. For example, musicians tend toward MySpace while most everyone else uses Facebook. Everyone uses Twitter, and professionals also develop online contacts through LinkedIn. Draw on the expertise, research and findings of experts you meet in your online travels. Interacting with others can lead to organic links.
Optimize – Continue to tweak your keywords, link text, etc., even after you’ve published the URL.
Continuing education –The more you know about your niche, the more credibility you’ll give your site. The more you research and apply legitimate SEO techniques, the better chance you have of reaching the top of the search results.
There’s no way to cut corners and nuke your website to the top of the search results. Play by the rules, and whatever you do, don’t try to get cute with Google. SEO takes time. Apply proven SEO techniques, publish compelling content several times a week, tweak and wait.
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