7 Immutable Laws of SEO strategy | Executive summary of SEO strategy

The 7 immutable laws of SEO

7 Immutable Laws of SEO

Executive summary of SEO strategy

People often ask me if SEO is hard. It’s not. But like any area of expertise, it take a whole lot of time to develop a core competency in it, and years to develop a mastery. Although you can learn the basics very quickly.  That said: Here is a distillation of the core rules to rank well on search engines.

It is an executive summary of seo strategy. We call it our 7 Immutable Laws of SEO. (immutable? See this definition.)

 7 Immutable Laws of SEO

Download an print immutable laws of seo1) Produce great content. Do it regularly and do it well so that people will want to read and share it.

2) Encourage backlinks. Backlinks from other websites to your site are a vote of confidence that the content is valuable. Backlinks are a “signal” that search engines pay serious attention to because they are a vote of confidence for the content they point to.

3) Structure your website well. Make it easy for a search engine and humans to navigate through it.

4) Build your website for everyone. Ensure it can be viewed on any modern device. Desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets and smartphones. Google is now keeping two indexes. One for computers. One for mobile devices. The mobile devices index will be the priority index to be in.

5) Optimize for search engines. Web sites that rank well help search engines identify topics of interest by researching keywords that their content relates to and optimizing for it. This is done in the web programming code (HTML) on their site’s webpages. Search engines read this code to easily identify what the page is about. This is called on-page optimization. This doesn’t directly impact consumers, but it does make the content more easily found and ranked, which helps people find it through web searches.

6) Share your content. These days that means mostly on social media to expose it to new audiences and potential customers and publish your social account links on your website. You can also pay to show it off through online ads, if it is used in a marketing context.

7) Serve it up fast. Make sure that people can access your content quickly and that your site doesn’t lag or slow them down in their efforts to find what they are looking for. Slow websites are penalized by search engines.

Download 7 immutable laws of SEO - printable PDF

Corollaries, emerging rules or proto-laws

All the other laws or rules are either are a corollary to one of these or are an emerging rule that is not yet worthy of law status or is not yet immutable.

Let’s look at those:

Spelling and grammar counts. Corollary to Law 1.Great content is always professionally written and edited.
Crosslinks are critical. Corollary to Law 2 and 3. A crosslink is a link from one of your webpage to another. Done well this helps the reader see related content they may be interested. It also teach search engines about related and other important content on your site.
Text is more important over other content types. Corollary to Law 1. Search engines can read text. But they can’t “see” video, “listen” to audio or “view” pictures. At least not yet. And not currently without the help of text descriptors. Good search engine optimization includes lots of tech and long articles. Preferably more than 300 words at minimum on a page. And if you really want to rank any article, you should be targeting 2,000 words or more.

How a search engine sees CNN.com

What a human sees at CNN.com (left). And what a search engine sees (right).

Testing the 7 immutable laws of SEO

Let’s run a test on the 7 immutable laws of SEO using a well known website like Engadget.com, a technology blog that was launched in 2004 by technology editor Peter Rojas. It is now owned by AOL.

Does Engadget produce good content? Yes. It’s is professionally written and edited, and covers sub-niches of consumer technology. It is often first releasing news relating to its niche topics.

Does Engadget encourage backlinks? Yes. If you see the graphic below you can see there is more than a quarter million backlinks in place from  347,000+ unique websites.

engadget backlinks

Does Engadget structure their website well? Yes. Engadget subdivided its content by topic. It has business and utility links at the bottom of the site. You generally know where in the site you are on any given page.

Engadget site structure

Engadget has a well thought out site structure that makes it easy to navigate

Does Engadget build their website for everyone? Yes, it displays well on computers, tablets and smartphones.

Mobile compliancy

Engadget.com displays well on all modern computers and mobile devices

Does Engadget optimize for search engines? This is an interesting one because Engadget does ensure that the traditional places in their code that should have descriptors actual do, but they don’toptimize for keywords per se. That’s likely because they are a news site. What they do ensure is that they do optimize for social sharing, which is where they get a lot of their traffic.

Does Engadget optimize for (social) sharing? Yes this is very prominent in their HTML code.

And finally…

Does Engadget load fast? My goodness yes. The site is crazy fast. They have put a lot of resources in optimizing so it loads fast and they clearly have mechanisms, hardware and software solutions in place that makes the site zippy. You can see this in the TTFB rating in the graphic below. TTFN is time to first byte.

engadget website speed test

What’s next?

Use our SEO site grader below and get a free SEO score and downloadable report…

Try our free website grader!

Andy Walker
Andy Walker is an author, digital marketing guru and entrepreneur. He can make websites do backflips and can drive tons of traffic anywhere he points his SEO wand.
Andy Walker


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