“How Can I Improve my SEO?” – everyone
In all of my professional life, I have never encountered a question that get’s asked so frequently yet can have so many differing and complex answers. Most people when they ask this, they expect to receive a straight forward checklist to improving SEO, similar to what you might expect when asking, “How do I make Clam Chowder?”. Prior to entering the digital marketing industry I was guilty of this as well and completely understand the root of the question. In our daily work we seek out a process in which we input effort and see results. However much like other business activities we need to have a goal in mind and a strategy to help reach that goal. I think a lot of the confusion is that the term SEO has been over simplified to sound like a goal rather than the strategy to reach the goal. In my opinion, SEO is the evolving strategy that seeks to increase and maintain market share in the “search market”. The goal is to acquire more customers via search engines, and SEO is simply the strategy in how to compete in this market of keywords and web pages. Like any other strategy, you need to take into account your core competencies, available resources, and current position in the market in order to build a successful strategy. As these things evolve your SEO strategy will as well.
So instead of asking “How do I make my Clam Chowder”, you should be asking… “What is the best recipe for the ingredients I currently have to make a Clam Chowder that will be better than my competition’s.” Little more wordy, but much more accurate.
I really wanted to write a post comparing SEO to clam chowder, but in addition to that my goal was also to share this extremely helpful pie chart that depicts many of the primary data points that go into SEO ranking factors.
source: Weighting the Clusters of Ranking Factors in Google’s Algorithm by Rand Fishkin