Maslow’s Hierarchy of SEO Needs: How to Use It

Ever heard of someone striving for extraordinary achievements but struggling to afford the basics: food or shelter? Weird, isn’t it? In business contexts, this happens all the time.

Maslow's Hierarchy

Many website owners carry out link-building campaigns and other advanced search engine optimization practices while overlooking the fundamentals and must-dos. As a result, they achieve suboptimal or no results.

That’s why every SEO professional needs a framework to help them prioritize their efforts. Maslow’s hierarchy of SEO needs can be super beneficial for this purpose.

This guide will help you boost your SEO results by doing the most important things first.

An Overview of Maslow’s Hierarchy of SEO Needs

If you’re unfamiliar with it, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a popular psychological theory about human motivation that Abraham Maslow published in 1943. The theory explains human motivation and basic needs and the relative importance of each group of them.

Maslow arranged the hierarchy by placing the most critical human needs at the pyramid’s base. These are basics like food and shelter.

As you move up the hierarchy, needs become more advanced and less essential than those at the bottom. From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: Physiological needs, safety needs, belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization.

That way, humans first meet the fundamental needs at the bottom of the pyramid and then move to the needs at the top.

Similarly, in Mozlow’s hierarchy of SEO needs, the most critical practices are placed at the pyramid’s base. As you ascend along the hierarchy, tactics become more advanced.

Given that, you should meet the fundamental SEO requirements at the bottom first before moving up and working on the advanced tactics. That way, you ensure your efforts will pay off.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of SEO Needs in Practice

Whenever you want to plan your SEO effort, refer back to Maslow’s hierarchy of SEO needs to help you prioritize your efforts.

Here are the seven tactics sorted from the most basic to the most advanced:

1. Search Engines Accessibility

When planning SEO, the first thing you have to consider is the crawlability of your website.

In other words, are search engines able to access your website? If search engines can’t access your web pages, they won’t index them.

So, your website won’t appear in search results, no matter how perfect your website is. That way, all the other SEO practices are useless.

Given that, you need to prioritize crawlability over any other thing. Ensure that your website is crawlable. To do so, you can use one of the many SEO audit tools.

These tools will show you if you have problems that prevent search engines from accessing your site. Things like broken links or poor structure might stand behind this issue.

In addition, you should optimize the server setup to match indexing and crawling preferences.

2. Analytics and Research

Before starting your SEO efforts, you need to ensure you’ll be able to measure the outcomes.

You’ll need to know if your SEO efforts are paying off or not. In the end, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

So, you need to set up a web analytics tool such as Google Analytics for your site. The data provided by analytics tools will help you assess and research the traffic.

It’ll also help in understanding visitors’ behavior on the website. That way, you can identify areas of improvement in the way you work.

3. Keywords & Content

Content is king. Your website’s content should be helpful and valuable for your audience to attract and engage them. Meanwhile, you should optimize it for search engines.

To make appealing high-value and quality content for your audience, pick the topics carefully. You can do this by conducting in-depth keyword research and defining the persona of your audience.

In addition, you need to craft the content in the best possible way.

On the other hand, to optimize your content for search engines, you have to pay attention to the following:

  • Keywords: Select the keywords with high-ranking opportunities, those with high volume and low competition
  • Meta tags: Craft a good meta title and meta description and include the main keyword in them
  • Alt tags: Use alt tags to define all your website images for the search engines
  • Optimize headings: Create descriptive headings (H2:H5) and use keywords within them

4. Site Architecture and On-Page Optimization

Site architecture and on-page tactics are essential to facilitate the crawling of search engines. Likewise, optimizing them makes navigating the website easy for your visitors.

This includes internal linking and URL structure. So, work on those elements once you’ve completed the previous three steps.

In addition, align your site’s information architecture with the main themes of the website.

5. User Experience (UX)

The holistic experience your visitor goes through when heading to your website is crucial.

If it’s good, you can expect the visitor to spend a long time on the website. They’ll also get back to it once again later.

As a result, search engines will reward your website by increasing your search engine rankings.

The website’s interface, loading speed, mobile-friendliness, and website visual elements all affect the overall UX.

They should create a smooth experience for the website users and make content consumption more enjoyable.

You should perform ongoing A/B tests to assess the many aspects of your website’s UX. These tests will help you optimize your user experience.

6. Link Building

We have great content on your website. The site is user-friendly and optimized for search engines.

So, it’s time to build backlinks. Backlinks boost your website’s authority as they indicate the site is important and trustworthy. Consequently, your rankings in search results will go up.

You can gain backlinks through outreach campaigns. More interestingly, if you have unique, highly valuable content, you might even get backlinks without asking for them.

7. Social Media Promotion

Social media and content marketing doesn’t directly affect your website ranking on search engines but are critical components. Though, it’s useful and can help promote your website widely even on mobile sites or apps.

Shares, comments, and reposting your website content on social media can drive considerable traffic from these platforms to your website.

The Bottom Line

Nothing can waste your resources more than applying advanced SEO tactics without having solid foundations for the website first.

That’s why it’s vital to refer back to Maslow’s hierarchy of SEO needs whenever you get stuck prioritizing your SEO effort.

Using this framework, you will do the most important things first. As a result, your SEO efforts will yield much better outcomes.

Published on: 2023-03-06
Updated on: 2023-12-23

Avatar for Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.