How to do SEO in the year 20xx

Do more than just supply a commod­ity to consumers who’re already ready to buy.

Build a differ­en­ti­ated brand.

Tell a compel­ling story.

Stand out from the compet­i­tion, and stand for some­thing meaningful.

Engage with, and in, the communit­ies your audi­ences are in.

Add value to conversations.

Understand your audience’s ques­tions and pain points, and solve for them.

Provide value to audi­ences who’ll never ever buy from you.

Grow, support, and engage with an earned audience.

Give your best resources away to every­body, for nothing.

Become a trus­ted resource, advisor, and part of consumers lives before they get to the point where they’re ready to engage.

Provide excel­lent customer service at all touch points.

Surprise and delight at every opportunity.

Make a differ­ence in the real world.

Join up your systems.

Invest in your plat­forms. Make them faster, better, more secure.

Adopt a continu­ous deploy­ment model, where you’re constantly improv­ing your site.

Tackle tech­nical debt, and compete on tech­nical excellence.

Build an internal culture which makes your teams want to do good work, and to make a difference.

Build skilled teams internally.

Reward employ­ees for cross-​collaboration and break­ing down tradi­tional vertic­als and silos.

Hero, high­light and cham­pion the consumer in all cases.

Chase and reward optim­ising for consumer life­time value, rather than fight­ing for indi­vidual transactions.

Be the best solu­tion in your vertical, for every consumer need, whether you’re selling to them or not.

Be the best solu­tion for related vertic­als, where you can add value and support audiences.

Win your market, outgrow the need for Google, and grow your earned and owned sources.

…Or don’t.

Just run another SEO campaign.

Email some influ­en­cers to promote your new “Digital PR” piece.

Cram more “SEO content” into your product category pages.

Ignore the fact that your products are a bit on the expens­ive side. That your customer service is poor. That you’ve no organic social reach, and declin­ing brand loyalty.

Commission another self-​promoting, product-​centric blog post from an external writer with no expert­ise in your sector, and no access to or under­stand­ing of your product or brand.

Buy some more links from your secret networks.

Ignore how your compet­it­ors are chan­ging consumer expect­a­tions, minimum stand­ards and behaviours.

Watch your click­through rates decline, as custom­ers quietly build pref­er­ences for other brands.

Wonder why your market share is declining.

Kill off your blog. You never got much out of it anyway.

Double down on the next big seasonal campaign. That’ll recover those lost rankings.

Enter some search awards.

Buy some targeted links to bolster your report­ing for your C‑suite, when your content piece fails to get traction.

Worry about this month’s algorithm update.

Disavow some links. Maybe they’re why you’re down year-on-year.

Learn Python. Maybe crunch­ing some big data will reveal some quick wins.

Spend a whole week not find­ing any quick wins.

Get your agency to do another audit. Maybe they’ll find some quick wins.

Spend a whole week writ­ing a new 6‑month strategy for your nervous CEO.

Fail to secure budget or resource to act on your recom­mend­a­tions; the SEO chan­nel isn’t deliv­er­ing enough value to warrant the investment.

Move to oper­at­ing SEO as a series of ‘projects’, managed by the CTO. Fix a few small, insig­ni­fic­ant issues.

Fire your agency. They didn’t deliver a posit­ive ROI this month.

Lose budget to the PR team, who’re fight­ing (and fail­ing) to main­tain brand reputation.

Scramble to retro­fit and optim­ise an increas­ingly frag­men­ted set of land­ing pages, micros­ites and campaigns from other channels.

Spend a day per week trying to work out where, and why, perform­ance has dropped.

Spend two days per week on report­ing on what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and how far behind target you are.

Get called in for an awkward conver­sa­tion with the CEO.

Continue to drift further behind targets.

Stay at the office until 10 pm fixing 404 errors.

Lose the confid­ence of the business.

Lose motiv­a­tion.

Settle into a routine of low-​level fire­fight­ing on the few things you can control or influence.

Fix some more 404s.

Buy some more links.

Commission another tech­nical audit.

Add some SEO tasks to the tech­nical backlog.

Lose an argu­ment for prior­it­ising your SEO issues; there are more urgent issues in the business.

Stay late fixing a botched site migration.

Watch another quarter drift by.

Notice the share price dropping.

Get out, before it’s too late.

Get a new job, at a new company, where they’re excited about the growth poten­tial of SEO.

Start again.

Learn from your mistakes?

Buy some links?

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Alexis Pratsides

I. Love. This.

How much for a link … 😉

Sayan Samanta

How much you want to pay for a link…LOL, Great article Jono.

Earl Grey

And now I have read it 6 times. each time it gets more awesome

David Sayce

Best guide to SEO

Jeremy Wyler

looks like a scene from trainspotting…


A very refresh­ing take on this subject! Love it

Abhishek Jain

Very Surprising to me !! You have mentioned some of the most import­ant aspects which we all left or we don’t give prior­ity to them. Thanks Buddy

alister james

amaz­ing post keep it up

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