Even as someone who already has a lot of expertise in your field, it pays to take a step back every now and then and think about the basics of what you do. Yesterday, an interesting conversation about the fundamentals of SEO, with a client who I think of as an exceptionally knowledgeable marketer, made me do just that. 

By Richard Stone

One of my favourite sources for essential information on SEO for engineering businesses is, so I headed straight there and came across the company’s Beginners Guide to SEO for the first time. I definitely recommend you read it, if you are new to PR, SEO or digital marketing of any kind. 

In the guide, there is a really cool explanation of the SEO activities you need to address first and the order you need to address them — it’s a play on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, called Mozlow’s Hierarchy of Needs (natch…) 

And here’s the crux of the issue; just like Maslow, the Moslow hierarchy is pointless if you do it backwards — by starting with the clever stuff at the top and never working your way to the basics at the bottom. But, if you do it the other way round, it can be incredibly useful. 

I would argue that it’s also easy enough to do at least the first six, and normally all seven, stages at once. But most things seem easier than they are when you aren’t engaged in doing them at that moment in which you judge them! Just ask anyone with experience of management. 

This exercise, of looking at the basics, also reaffirmed for me that everything in Mozlow’s hierarchy is within the skill set of a PR person, albeit you need a very, very basic, knowledge of code. In fact, the writing skills at the bottom of the hierarchy take years to master, while the coding skills at the top can be learnt in a day. 

So, even if you are an expert in your field, I think it’s a valuable exercise to take a step back and look at the basics every now and then. You never know what you will learn. 


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