The SEO Pyramid

> memo for a successful search strategy

Here’s a very clear and powerful illustration to help you remind where to focus for improving your SERPs rankings. Created by the famous head of SEOmoz Rand Fishkin, the “SEO Pyramid” provides the 4 main elements to reach your objectives, including a few additional indication to guide you. Let’s now take a look at it :

SEO pyramid by Rand Fishkin

There’s not much I could add about this diagram, except maybe that like any physical pyramid, the apex (= i.e. the top) cannot be reached without a solid base combined to the upper levels. In the same way, the foundations won’t work as well without the apex – so that each level is complementary for the whole.

Just like for the “SEO memo: the 3C rule“, I advice displaying this somewhere where you can keep an eye on it while doing your SEO work – ex. a virtual pin on your desktop, or a post-it :

CONTENT > KEYWORDS > LINKS > SOCIAL

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PS - 01/08/2013: And what about taking the pyramid upside down…? Thanks to advice from Black Bonnie, let’s notice the process works as well when starting from the top and get the steps in reverse – as long as you make some adaptations to internal labels. To develop this idea, let’s first consider the Pyramid can be used in its original shape when creating a website from scratch to help build a logical SEO methodology. Now on the other hand and for an existing website, the “reversed” Pyramid can be a way of improving SEO work !
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Indeed you can :

  • Start with a solid social strategy: your brand is present on different networks, you have an engaged community and your publications get quite a lot of impact.
  • Use these social publications to generate powerful and quite viral links that are relayed by your community.
  • Inside these links you will be able to spot effective keywords, generally reflecting the content of your social posts, but maybe also words or expressions given by your followers you wouldn’t have thought of.
  • These keywords will allow you to improve your content by editing for example source-code meta tags or even editorial text to make it more accessible !
As you can see, in the end Social Medias can definitely have a positive influence on your website’s visibility and so traffic when used as a basis… To conclude here’s my own “reversed” version of the diagram based on the steps I previously explained :
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SEO-pyramid-reversed
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