Let’s face it – everyone loves cookies. From double chocolate chunk to plain old oatmeal, cookies just make you feel good. It’s kind of similar to how good SEO can breathe life back into a boring website. This weekend I spent hours slaving away baking some Christmas cookies, and between the mixing and eating I came across a weird discovery. Baking cookies is an awful lot like optimizing a website for better rankings in search engines (albeit not nearly as tasty). The following are five fun similarities:
1) You Need to Prep Properly
Have you ever tried to cream a rock solid block of butter together with sugar? Trust me, you don’t want. All you get is a mound of butter that looks like it’s been dropped into a snowbank. Recipes include detailed preparation instructions in order to help you avoid these sorts of lumpy situations, and so too should your SEO strategy. Preparation is key in the early stages of an SEO campaign, so don’t go jumping the gun. Make sure you take your time and perform plenty of research on your industry. Do you know which keywords to target? Should you be focusing on building more directory backlinks or will citation site submission be of more use? Taking the time to prep your optimization ingredients will help save you time and disappointment down the road.
2) You Need to Have the Right Ingredients
You can’t make a great cookie with just one cup of flour. You need to combine a number of different ingredients in order to create a batter that’s worth bragging about. The same goes for SEO. You can’t just insert keywords into your content and assume that search engines will immediately love your website. A strong SEO campaign requires equal helpings of content development, link building, and code-level optimization. One ingredient isn’t more important than the other – they all work together to create a finished product that’s capable of attracting plenty of attention.
3) You Have to Keep the Oven at a Steady Temperature
Cranking your oven up to 500 degrees won’t help bake your cookies faster, it will just cause them to burn. Trying to cut corners by speeding up the process doesn’t work – you need to bake your cookies slowly, and consistently in order to ensure they’re properly prepared. Similar instructions are necessary for an SEO campaign. Trying to speed through the optimization process will only cause you more harm than good. SEO is all about constant and continuous optimization. Cranking up your keyword optimized content production for one month may help boost your rankings today, but the effects will quickly wear off once you stop. Constant optimization is what will benefit your website in the long run.
4) You May Burn the First Batch When You’re Starting From Scratch
Testing out a new recipe requires patience and practice. The same can be said for working on a new SEO strategy. Somethings might work, others might crash and burn. But you’ll never know until you try. Mix up your optimization strategy and try something different – you could come out with a winning recipe!
5) You Can Never Have Enough!
Whether it’s cookies or content, one thing is for certain – there’s always room for more! Your small business website can never be over optimized. Just remember: there’s always another company out there looking to take your spot in search engine results. Keep them at bay with a clearly defined optimization strategy.