“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb / Our SEO Strategy
Creating a healthy garden and championing search engine optimisation (SEO) for your website oddly share a lot of similarities. Both efforts take time, patience and dedication to grow and once they are fully developed, they need to be maintained.
So – how are you going with your SEO garden?
You wouldn’t plant a seed and wake up the next day and expect to find a tree. Equally, you don’t publish a website and expect to appear on the first page of Google the following sunrise. That initial “seed” (your website) will need to have a number of factors and the right conditions to grow and survive. The right soil (strategy), the right amount of water (keywords), and the right amount of sunlight (content) are just some of the requirements for the seed to grow into a tree. Too much water, or too much sun, can be damaging to the seed.
The same can be said about successful SEO. You need the right combination of favourable conditions for your website to move up in online search engine rankings. Keyword placement, relevant content, keyword usage are just the beginning. Add too much of those and it could kill your SEO efforts. The key is to find a balance.
Get Started: Optimise your Website
You would never try to start a beautiful garden in a yard full of weeds. Firstly, you would clear the yard and make sure you are starting with a space empty of any inhibiting factors that may damage the potential growth and survival of your garden.
In SEO, the equivalent is making sure your website is set up and structured properly. The initial phase does require planning and a bit of “ugly” work, but getting your hands dirty is essential. Things like page load speed, site structure and canonical url make up this initial “clearing” stage in SEO terms.
SEO Techniques: Early stages and growth
Once the symbolic seed has germinated, we still don’t have a tree… but we are heading there. Is our sapling safe and guaranteed to become a tree? Nope, not yet. We still need to keep the weeds out and fertilise around the sapling. The same stage in SEO would be the equivalent of appearing higher in ranking on search engines. Perhaps ranking in the top 20 results.
Does nourishing your seed guarantee you will make it to the first page, or even high on the first page? Not yet, be patient at this stage. You’ve put in the hard work but now your focus needs to be on making sure your website’s pages and posts contain content that is related and relevant. This is the equivalent of getting rid of weeds and fertilising the sapling.
We have a tree!
If you have put in all the effort to grow your SEO garden, you can now sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. How long did it take to get to this stage? 6 months? 1 year? …2 years or more? It takes time to get quality results and you simply can’t rush or force things to grow.
However, you can’t completely relax either.
You still need to constantly maintain the contents of your garden by removing weeds and keeping existing plants healthy. Compare that to SEO – the same rules apply. As it took a while to get to this stage, where your SEO status is flourishing, you genuinely couldn’t have rushed or forced your website up the rankings any other way.
Once you’re happy with your ranking position on the SERP (search engine results page), you will need to continue maintaining your website. Make sure you are watching out for competitors who are going through the same stages you worked so hard to get through.
The Chinese proverb used at the start of this article can also be applied to SEO (yet slightly modified). The best time to start SEO on your website is 6 months ago. The second best time is now.