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:


Guide to SEO Basics


As you can see, the foundation of good SEO begins with ensuring crawl accessibility, and moves up from there.

We 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