The basics of search engine optimization
Ever heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? It’s a theory of psychology that prioritizes the most fundamental human needs (like air, water, and physical safety) over more advanced needs (like esteem and social belonging). The theory is that you can’t achieve the needs at the top without ensuring the more fundamental needs are met first. Love doesn’t matter if you don’t have food.
Our founder, Rand Fishkin, made a similar pyramid to explain the way folks should go about SEO, and we’ve affectionately dubbed it “Mozlow’s hierarchy of SEO needs.”
Here’s what it looks like:
As you can see, the foundation of good SEO begins with ensuring crawl accessibility and moves up from there.
Using this beginner’s guide, we can follow these seven steps to successful SEO:
- Crawl accessibility so engines can read your website
- Compelling content that answers the searcher’s query
- Keyword optimized to attract searchers & engines
- Great user experience including a fast load speed and compelling UX
- Share-worthy content that earns links, citations, and amplification
- Title, URL, & description to draw high CTR in the rankings
- Snippet/schema markup to stand out in SERPs
We’ll spend time on each of these areas throughout this guide, but we wanted to introduce it here because it offers a look at how we structured the guide as a whole.