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The Single Most Important Thing Businesses Can Do To Improve Their Search Rankings

Bacon No, it's not spam, but it is associated with a pork product.

Search engine optimization has a bad name in many circles. It is synonymous with spamming much in the same way that racial, lifestyle, and religious stereotypes work; the few bad apples make the normal, honorable "SEOs" look bad. With that said, this isn't about them.

People are getting more involved with their websites and they often ask what they should be focused upon to get their search rankings higher. I always tell them the same thing, and it's held true since 2007. In fact, it's become even more important.


Bacon is the key to SEO when it comes to business owners or non-SEO tech people. It's part of every good SEOs arsenal but it's the one thing that truly requires no SEO or web development knowledge. Everyone can work with bacon.

It's not literally bacon, of course. It's the concept of having something extra that normally enhances but rarely stands alone as a singular factor. It adds flavor to the website, makes it more appealing, gives it the savory goodness that search engines crave, draws us in with its smell when cooking, enhances the quality of everything it touches, and engages directly with our taste buds.

How does this translate to SEO that business owners can do themselves? It's simple.

Bacon represents additional content, the type that may or may not be linked in the navigation menu but that exists solely to bring value to people who see it. It's not the standard type of value that people associate with their websites. Most look at value as offering resources or advice that pertains to their industry.

"Bacon content" is different. Its value is brought about from a different angle. It's not necessarily a part of the website that people can normally get to without knowing the URL, seeing it on social, or emerging in search. In essence, it's simply extra content.

Good bacon adds flavor to the site. The content can be a cool collection, an amazing video, a strong infographic, or unique written content. It can never be insincere, unnatural, or copied. Collections are not copies. For example, Chicago Toyota put out a page with high-quality images of the city that they compiled. That works. That's bacon.

Thick bacon gives substance. In the example above, there's a lot of content but not necessarily a lot of substance. It's not "thick" bacon. Infographics and articles can offer the thick cuts that search engines love. Don't forget, bacon doesn't have to be thick to be good but it's nice to have a thick slice or two every now and then.

The smell of bacon can bring people to the table. Similarly, the enchantment of quality bacon content can bring people to the website. These aren't necessarily customers, but they might just share the page which is the end goal.

The enhancement factor is similar to the flavor factor but works in reverse. By enhancing the website, bacon content is able to give the search engines something juicy to sink their teeth into, not just from what's on the site but the reactions through social media.

Engaging bacon (sounds scary, actually) is the concept that some bacon is able to take on a life of its own and start working with and through people. This is the most rare component of bacon content and is normally unplanned, but when it happens search magic can take place. This is one with obscure examples that few would recognize but the best real-life example of how it worked was the Old Spice Guy. It went viral online and off. People started watching it, waiting for it, talking about it - in essence the Old Spice Guy "optimized" a faltering deodorant brand and revitalized sales as a result.

Anyone can find and post bacon content, which is why it's the most important thing non-technical and untrained SEOs can do.

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Originally posted on TECHi in conjunction with our webinar that featured Driving Sales' Eric Miltsch and Gary May.

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