In the many years that I’ve been working in the digital marketing industry, I’ve always believed that the principles of good online marketing have never changed. The technology moves on in leaps and bounds, and people will always try to manipulate rankings with all sorts of underhand tactics, but a website that is well built, serves its audience, and is promoted with thought out campaigns, will always win.

This article explains the basics of SEO, and those basics can’t be overlooked in favour of other tactics which may not have as much impact.

This article originally appeared on Moz.com: https://moz.com/blog/the-two-part-seo-ranking-model-lets-make-seo-simple

There have been major studies done on this, notably by both Moz and Searchmetrics. These are groundbreaking pieces of research, and if you’re serious about SEO, you need to understand what these studies say.

That said, these are too complex for most organizations to deal with. They need a simpler way of looking at things. At Stone Temple Consulting (STC) we deal with many different types of organizations, including some of the world’s largest companies, and some of the highest-traffic websites in the world. For most of these companies, understanding that there are 200+ ranking factors does more harm than good.

Why, you ask? So many people I talk to are looking for a silver bullet. They want to hear that they should only change their heading tags on the second Tuesday of every month, except during leap years, when they should do it on the first Tuesday, except in February when they should change it on the third Monday. These distractions end up taking away from the focus on the two things that matter most: building great content (and a great content experience) and promoting it well.