Many agencies promise to “manage SEO” as if it’s a one-off task that, once optimized, guarantees a flood of customers. Yet, they struggle to deliver what you expect.

It’s not about rankings, keywords, or backlinks; it’s about creating experiences that resonate with people, solve their problems, and answer their questions. For example; that is what a great review of your company does. Content that does these things well ranks higher because it provides value to the customer.

SEO is rather simple when you understand the cognitive science behind it

The 5 Rs of SEO are: (1) be Relevant, (2) build your Reputation, (3) be Remarkable, (4) your content must be Readable or with the amount of video content today maybe it could be called Consumability, and (5) of sufficient Reach and interest to your customers.

We started thinking about all this in 1998. We shared this concept in an interview at one of the premier search engine conferences back in 2010:


By focusing on these principles, businesses can move beyond the superficial layers of SEO to create a marketing strategy that attracts not just traffic, but the right kind of traffic. Traffic that converts because it’s driven by a genuine interest in what the business offers and a trust in its reputation.

Here is the bottom line:

  • You, the business owner, must own your marketing.
  • You are responsible for your reputation.
  • You decide what group of customers you want to be relevant to.
  • You decide if you want to compete in a puddle, swamp, well or ocean.
  • You decide how you deliver something remarkable.
  • No search agency can do this for you!
  • If you look at a page like a customer with a credit card and you don’t see any reason to pay, the page likely isn’t of any value.

In my next post, I’ll tell you what a search agency should be doing for you.

P.S. We no longer offer any SEO services, this is a public service.