Here at Three Deep's offices, we are always talking about our craft, whether email marketing, SEO, reporting, etc, and how to improve the service we provide our clients.  We are presently in the process of building out a model for how we can best serve our clients... and also educate them on how SEO best fits into their overall marketing mix.  Through much trial, continued learning, and a few hundred whiteboard sessions, we have made major inroads in establishing an equation as to where exactly SEO fits in to our clients marketing mix (the answer is everywhere).

Given all of the time that we have put into working on this equation, it's a little surprising that we don't have any excellent infographics to help visualize what we are working to achieve for our clients.  Fortunately, there are many bright minded and artistically gifted bloggers out there who can help fill the gap.  This weekend, our president Dave Woodbeck sent us the following graphic (courtesy of SEO superstar Matt McGee):

[caption id="attachment_500" align="alignnone" width="480"]SEO Success Pyramid SEO Success Pyramid[/caption]

You can read the full breakdown here, but the basic premise is that rather than relying on one or two tactics to simply try to "exploit" Google's ranking algorithm, the most successful sites focus on building quality content that engages users, presents something of value, and is easily "linkable" from other sources.

At Three Deep, our approach to SEO involves producing a rock-solid site architecture, proper flow of information and pages, and a wealth of good quality and accessible content to round out the mix.   It is this combination that will keep users engaged with your company website, and the rankings should follow.  Sure you will need to employ all of the fundamental tactics of SEO (i.e. link building, keyword research, reporting, etc.), but with a proper site structure, the rest should follow.

This is a big reason why blogs get such high search rankings, and why we love the WordPress publishing platform; it removes the barriers to creating content, organizes your site according to tags and categories (helps with information architecture and crawlability), and it easily allows for other SEO best practices such as inter-linking posts and creating quality anchor text to maximize the value of your sites.

In the long run, it is much easier and more fulfilling to focus on creating quality content than it is to continually try to exploit kinks in search engine ranking algorithms.  Simply trying to SPAM the search engines into better search rankings might give your site a short term boost, but it won't last for long.

The pyramid image proves that SEO really is a strategy, and proper strategy will trump any tactical search engine exploits in the long run... especially for reputable businesses.  While I may not agree entirely with the placement of each element on the pyramid, but I do think Matt did an excellent job of proving his point.

For those interested, you can download a high res version of the Pyramid and read the rest of Matt McGee's article here.