Today being Thanksgiving day, it’s only fitting that I draw some sort of ridiculous parallel between the holiday and search engine optimization. It’s my blog-given right! The average American family is working hard on bringing a plump succulent turkey to the table for their holiday feast. Let it be said that this is no simple task. It is one that requires knowledge, planning and more than a fair share of patience. Much like a quality SEO campaign… (please bear with me)
Thaw That Bird
Before you can do any baking, eating, etc., you’ve got to thaw that big, frozen turkey! I liken this to the first-steps of an SEO campaign. This is when you should be assessing the current website (or designing the website if it’s new). Additionally, this is when you’re reviewing goals and in general breaking down the elements of your SEO strategy into a manageable form.
Clean That Bird
Now that your turkey, er… I mean SEO campaign is now in a manageable form, it’s time to start planning for the end-product. For a turkey, this involves a thorough cleaning and the heinous act of removing the giblets and other innards from the freshly thawed carcass. For your SEO campaign, this is when you should dive in head first with keyword research, creating a site architecture/internal linking strategy and in general putting the pieces together (or removing them) to get things moving.
Season That Bird
There are endless possibilities for creating the perfect flavor for your turkey. Similarly, there are countless ways to optimize your website for maximum SEO impact. For turkey, you can “brine” the bird in a salt-water bath that effectively saturates the meat with flavor. Other poultry patrons will simply rub the seasonings under and over the skin. And for the over achievers, you can always stuff the bird with an onion and other vegetables of your choice. What about your SEO campaign? Optimize your page titles, meta descriptions and body content to accurately target your chosen keywords. Write compelling content that is both bookmark and link-worthy. And so on and so forth.
Bake That Bird
After all of this hard work, is it possible that there’s still more work and waiting to be done? You bet. No one in their right mind would just rip off a raw turkey leg and start mowing down. And frankly, your SEO campaign isn’t ready to take flight without a little persuasion either. Baking (or roasting) your turkey will make it into that delicious, tryptophan filled food that we all know and love. The search engine optimization equivalent would be to create a Google Webmaster Tools and Yahoo! Site Explorer account, create and submit an XML sitemap and begin your link building campaign. At this point, you should begin to feel the heat from GoogleBot and Slurp as they bake your campaign into tasty SEO goodness.
Eat That Bird
Waiting for the turkey to finish baking is often times the most painful task requiring every ounce of your patience. Waiting for your well planned and executed SEO strategy to turn into rankings and traffic is equally unnerving. But rest assured, if you have followed the recipe correctly, the end product is worth the wait. Tasty turkey, or those coveted rankings and incoming traffic make all of that work worth it in the end!
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By no means should anyone use this blog post as a recipe for making turkey. I fear what may happen to you and/or your Thanksgiving meal. However, the basic flow of managing your SEO campaign is solid (and recommended). I hope everyone has an enjoyable and satisfying Thanksgiving holiday!