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Despite its seemingly technical nature, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is more of an art than a science. There’s no perfect equation to get it right, and there are a number of dynamic facets that work together to create an ever-evolving masterpiece.

Besides the complex nature of all of the elements, from link building to content creation, that go into SEO, the individual goals of the business and the preferred techniques of the digital marketing specialist also add to the idea of SEO as an artform. It’s sort of like if you had 10 different people comission 10 different artists for a still life of an apple. When they’re done, you’ll have 10 different apples, in 10 different styles.

Another key component that makes SEO more of an art than a science is the content element. For an SEO strategy to be successful, you need compelling content to draw your audience in. Compelling content is not a science, which is a mistake that many businesses make in outsourcing their content to people who can’t write for their audience.

A good SEO strategy will have all of its elements working together as pieces of a bigger work of art in order to create a well performing website with a reputation for quality content.

The Mechanics

Before adding anything else to your SEO strategy, you should first address the technical performance of your website as a base to start from. If your website doesn’t work properly, no one will stick around long enough to read the content.

Make sure that your site loads quickly and performs well. It should also be optimised for mobile and have a clear and intuitive navigation.


A lot of people think that SEO is just about keywords.

While there are a lot of other components that work alongside them, the keywords are the building blocks of SEO. If you want to think of it in terms of an art metaphor, keywords are like a sketch outlining your masterpiece.

Most SEO campaigns start with keyword research.

The goal is to find keywords that people use to search for your website, products or services so that they can find your website in their search results.

When you conduct keyword research, you are looking for keywords that are likely to bring more traffic to your site. This is one way that SEO is more of an art than a science because digital marketing strategists have different approaches to keywords. Some campaigns will target high traffic keywords while others will make use of long tail keywords. There are a number of factors and opinions that go into choosing which keywords you will pursue and there is really no set equation on the best way to do this.


If keywords are your outline, then content, both onsite and offsite, add the color to your masterpiece. Compelling content is what makes people stay on your site, directs people to your site and encourages people to return to your site.

Content is where a lot of people go wrong as they try to stuff too many keywords into a single piece of content and leave the writing feeling at best too formulaic, and at worst as just a random jumble of nonsense.

Offsite content in the form of link building can also add authority to your website, as well as drive traffic, if done in a quality way. Having other articles that link back to your site will allow people to find you through other relevant channels, as well as build authority where Google is concerned.

SEO should be treated as an art rather than a science. In the end, the difference in your campaign will be like the difference between a masterpiece and paint by numbers.

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