The Simple SEO Cake Recipe

recipe for seo cake

Our chum, David Mihm, very rightly observes that Yellow Pages and Bologna SEO companies capture customers by dint of their simplicity. Buy the biggest YP ad, get the most phone calls. Buy into the idea that submitting your website to Google means success on the web and you’re spared the challenge of any learning curve. While Yellow Pages advertising is certainly a legitimate and aboveboard marketing option, signing up with a spurious SEO company and being duped by their silly to-do list represents lost time, lost income and lost learning opportunities for the small business owner.

As David points out, the trouble with legitimate SEO is that it can be a somewhat nuanced process, takes time and has no simple guarantees. The fishy SEO has a script he is reading over the phone to the prospective client – a script that pares SEO down to 4 or 5 ‘simple’, ‘guaranteed’ steps. Generally, by the time the client realizes that these steps brought no results for them, the sale has long been made and the SEO is either long gone or has some second surefire pitch to make in order to squeeze further money out of the business owner. It’s a nasty but successful business plan.

And where does it leave the qualified SEO firm? Frankly, it leaves them waiting for that sadder but wiser business owner to wend his way eventually to them, having learned the hard way that meta tags do not a successful website make.

And, yet, sometimes we can engage those clients the first time around, saving them from headaches they don’t even dream of and correctly setting their expectations for the hard work ultimate success will require on both our parts. And, we can take a cue from David’s article by coming up with our own simplest method of explaining the basics of a sound web effort to prospective clients. We need to give small business owners truths that they can really sink their teeth into.

So, here it is, David!

The Simple SEO Cake Recipe


1 C. Solid Business Idea
1 C. Astute Market Research
1 C. SE-Friendly, Usable, Research-Based Design
1 C. Best Copywriting
1/2 C. Unique Ingredients Not Found In Competitor’s Cakes

Mix well to form a smooth, lump-free batter. When the batter is ready to launch put in the oven to bake. While you wait for it to rise, turn up the heat by:

  • Opening kitchen door and shouting a running commentary on the process out to your neighbors – that will get them talking about your cake!
  • Going to your neighbors’ houses and chatting with them about their own cakes, cakes in general and your cake.
  • Calling, emailing and visiting prominent neighborhood citizens in hopes that they will take an interest in your cake. Be sure to praise their cakes lavishly!
  • Participating in any baking clubs and conversations you can find

Now that you’ve created such a stir about your cake, remove from oven and serve.

Carefully watch the reactions of all your guests as they sample your cake. Did someone spit it out, set their fork down and turn away? Find out why and adjust recipe accordingly. Ask even satisfied tasters if there is anything you can do to improve your cake. Keep working at it. It takes practice and time to become a master baker and the art of perfectly pleasing people is what it’s all about.

recipe for seo

Is my SEO Cake Recipe missing any ingredients or steps? You tell me!

Photo Credits to 427 and Kendiala

8 Responses to “The Simple SEO Cake Recipe”

  1. on 02 Sep 2008 at 3:14 am vindia

    hey! that sounds like a yummy recipe for SEO…!one that everybody could try.

  2. on 02 Sep 2008 at 9:23 pm Dana Lookadoo

    You’ve just created a fantastic recipe for SEO and the power of Social Media! And too often, companies try to leave out a cup or two of these ingredients. The result is a cake that doesn’t rise to the top of the SERPs!

    Enjoyed reading your recipe! Well done. Guess the snake-oil guys are “half baked” to continue the simile.

  3. on 02 Sep 2008 at 10:51 pm admin

    Welcome, Dana!
    How nice to have you here. I believe I recognize your name either from Sphinn or SEOmoz (maybe both!)

    Half-baked is right. But hire a caring and competent SEO firm and you’ll be cooking with gas.

    It would be a pleasure to see you here again at any time.

  4. on 03 Sep 2008 at 8:41 am Dana Lookadoo

    Thanks for the welcome. I’ve visited a few times and enjoyed your posts and participation in the SEO community. Lori Bourne turned me onto you. As Arnold says, I’ll be back! :-)

    You provide a solid, no-nonsense approach to small business SEO and Web design. Thanks for being a breath of fresh air in the industry! Keep cooking with gas!!


  5. on 03 Sep 2008 at 10:55 am David Mihm

    Miriam, I think you could be onto something here! You should start a site called SEOkitchen dot com or SEOcookbook dot com and keep these recipes coming!

  6. on 03 Sep 2008 at 12:33 pm admin

    SEO kitchen…sounds pretty good! Thanks, David, and I hoped you would enjoy by response to your post.


  7. on 07 Sep 2008 at 11:56 pm Dennis Yu


    Right on for legit SEO! Can I have a slice of this cake? You might also check out what Harrison Gevirtz recently had to say about SEO charlatans:


  8. on 08 Sep 2008 at 1:06 am admin

    Welcome Dennis!
    And yes, you can have some cake.

    I enjoyed the article you linked to…especially the part about the ‘proprietary’ secret for keeping people from linking to you. That’s actually not one I’ve heard before!

    You are very welcome here at any time.

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