When I was growing up, my mum earned a reputation for tweaking recipes.
And by tweaking? I mean she would start cooking something, realise we were missing key ingredients, but continue cooking anyway.
Her most (in)famous occasion was the time she made pea and ham soup, without the ham.
What followed could only be described as a bowl of pureed peas and a sassy, smart-mouthed tween (we laugh about it now, from a place of love and sympathy for a tired mum, of course).
Now you’re probably wondering why on soup-slurping earth I’m telling you this.
Well, two reasons:
- Pureed pea soup sucks. Don’t waste your time.
- It’s got a lot to do with your SEO strategy. Just like pea and ham soup, your site won’t be delicious (and rank on Google) without ALL the SEO ingredients.
To rank on Google, you need site authority, good quality links, keywords, fast load speed, clear navigation… To name a few.
Buuuut if that industry jargon has you scratching your head like a grade two classroom with a plague of headlice, read on.
Before your site starts climbing up the Google rankings, you should understand the three core ingredients of SEO.
This refers to the technical, fiddly bits of your website. Things like page load time, website host, site crawlability, mobile responsiveness, and SSL certificates. Basically, all the stuff that makes my copywriting brain explode (you should consult a web developer or SEO consultant for this).
This is anything that’s going on outside of your website that influences your SEO. Primarily, it’s other sites linking to yours (aka backlinks). And this one’s a biggy as it influences your domain authority (a ranking between 1 and 100 that estimates how legit, credible and “rankable” your site is). And having websites with authority (Google street cred) linking to yours tells Google “hey, this one’s alright!” And Google will proceed to shower you with love and algorithm affection.
It’s all in the name. This refers to anything on your website: content, keywords, and the overall user experience. This is where a savvy SEO copywriter comes into the picture to choose the right (read: realistic and achievable) keywords and then weave them into the right places throughout your copy. Good website copy should speak to both humans and Google (Pssst I know a gal who can help. Yes, I’m that gal).
But here’s the thing, your keywords alone aren’t enough. And it’s where I often see business owners going wrong. Because it’s highly unlikely your SEO keywords will work without the other ingredients (that is, technical SEO and off-page SEO).
Your keywords are like the pureed peas that really, really, really need some ham to go with it.
So with that, I’d like to introduce…
Mum’s mouth-watering SEO soup recipe
- 2 cups of speedy load time
- 1 SSL certificate
- 1 reputable website host
- A dash of crawlability (remove all broken links)
- 2 cups of mobile responsiveness
- A good lug of high-quality, high-authority backlinks
- A handful Google-loving keywords
- A generous pour of human-centred website copy
- 1 serving of an easy to navigate website
- First create a solid base. When you’re building your website, mix speedy load time, SSL certificate, website hosting, crawlability and mobile responsiveness in a large bowl. Smooth out any lumps and bumps (aka broken links).
- Gradually add your backlinks. This can be done by collaborating with reputable brands, creating a profile with online directories and registering for Google My Business.
- Sift in your keywords. And I mean sift. Don’t dump all your keywords on the page to try and trick the Google robots. The best websites have human-centred copy, with keywords gently sprinkled throughout.
- Cook and then simmer for months (or even years). Because no matter how good your SEO strategy is, it won’t happen overnight. Nobody knows the algorithms secrets – but what we do know is it takes time and patience to see your site rank.
- Serve and enjoy. When your site finally starts ranking, you can sit back and slurp up those enquiries. No garnish required, your site is spicy enough my friend.
So there you have it, a delicious break-down on what it takes to rank on Google.
Sure, it’s not the speedy weeknight dinner recipe you were hoping for… But your time, effort and patience Will. Pay. Off.
And remember, if you skip some of the core ingredients of SEO, it’ll be the pureed pea version of websites… And who wants that?
Need help with your on-page SEO? I’m your gal.
Sam is an environmental copywriter and storyteller for conscious brands. Based on the Mornington Peninsula, she’s a former environmental scientist, barefooted nature lover and SEO geek with a knack for writing clear, heart-led and personality-packed words (that also wiggle their way into Google’s good books).