Search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer a commodity for companies. It has become a necessity if you plan on running a successful business in today’s market. From keyword research to site crawling and taxonomy, there are many details required to ensure best SEO practices. It can take years to become a true expert at search engine optimization.
And while SEO can occasionally feel more complicated than quantum physics or Greek philosophy, there are a few things you learn if you spend enough time studying it.
Who knows? It may even teach you a life-changing lesson or two.
Here are seven:
Give and You Shall Receive
When you start running a business, it feels like a lifetime before you finally get the first few hundred views on your new website. One of the things you’ll learn quickly is the power of backlinks. Backlinks can help you rank for your target keywords thereby increasing your site’s visibility. The hardest part was finding a relevant, authoritative website willing to link to our client’s websites.
Thankfully, I figured out that the best way to get links is by first producing really great content. By providing unique and really useful information, people will naturally link to you. Before long, we were acquiring links without having to implement “link outreach” tactics.
Recently, I was reminded of an experience as I watched a friend start a side business. They had always been there when someone needed a babysitter or a helping hand. And when this person decided to start a business, everyone was more than happy to help them out in return.
Failure is a Good Thing
No one starts a business with the goal of failing. You invest in a new website, you research everything, generate content, and you wait. Hopefully, everything you do ends up working and your investment of time and energy will pay off.
The odds are stacked against any new business as most startups fail within their first year. It takes time to understand SEO and to figure out how to find a niche audience who is willing to pay for your product or service. You may have to restart with an entirely new business model or you may be forced to remove some of your content that wasn’t engaging enough.
I learned the hard way about SEO optimization, keyword stuffing, and other technical details. While I didn’t want to fail, it was these failures that ultimately taught me how to successfully implement proper SEO techniques. More importantly, it made me realize how most achievements are only reached after a few failures take place along the way.
Always Test Assumptions
When you are creating a website, some practices have concrete evidence of being effective while others take a bit more time and testing. If it were possible to foresee every problem or opportunity, no one would have a problem becoming rich and successful. It is only through trial and error people learn what works best.
A/B testing, trial projects, and other techniques help you determine if something is going to work on your site before you take any risks. Even without these tests, your assumptions can end up getting you into trouble. If you invest too heavily in a new strategy or advertising technique that doesn’t work, you can bankrupt your business in no time.
In life, we often have to test our assumptions. Quitting a job, buying a new home, starting a new business, and other life activities involve some level of risk. You can’t get rid of all the risks or always know how things will turn out, but you can exercise caution, prepare, and learn as much as possible before you make the leap.
Some people say only death and taxes are certain, but change should be added to the list as well. One of the only things you can be certain of is change. From the moment you are born, the world around you is constantly in flux as you live, learn, and grow.
Google Panda, Google Penguin, and Google Hummingbird are only a few of the many updates which web designers and those in the SEO industry have endured over the years. Things are constantly changing online whether you want them to or not. If you want a successful SEO strategy to continue thriving, you’ll need to adjust as these new developments arise.
And if you want to achieve greatness or find happiness in life, you have to go with the flow. Whether you are going for a new job promotion or just started a new relationship, you have to embrace change or get left behind.
Focus on What Matters
When people first start using SEO, they often place too much focus on the little things. You only have so much time and you will end up wasting your limited resources if you try to focus on everything. While basic practices are important, instead of spending all of your time answering comments or finetuning your captions, you should be creating great content, researching effective keywords, and building your strategies.
In life, the same thing is true. It feels like we spend each day constantly busy with appointments, work, and errands. Before long, we lose sight of the important things and get lost within the minutiae.
Rather than watching life pass by, we have to embrace it head-on. It is our passions in life which matter most. Whether your passion is found in a relationship or at work, devote yourself to it and don’t get distracted by the unimportant things.
Worrying is Pointless
In the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the main character Newt Scamander says his philosophy is that “worrying means you suffer twice.”
You can only do so much when you run a website. After creating the perfect SEO plan and putting into action, there comes a time when you simply have to sit back and see what happens. There is no point in worrying about factors you can’t control.
There will always be competitors who try to target the same keywords. You will always have to deal with algorithm updates which re-rank your site. Worrying about all of these things will only leave you sleepless and anxious.
The same thing is true for the rest of your life. There is no point in worrying about what could happen while you are still dealing with everything in the present. Plan as best as you can for the future and allow it to take care of itself.
A Great Team Makes the Difference.
This may be difficult for some to accept, but no one can do everything on their own. Even the most talented people have to sleep at some point. While your business can operate around the clock, you can’t possibly stay awake and keep working forever.
Especially when it comes to SEO, you need a strong team, or you will never get a chance to sleep and live your life.
While most people think about teams at work and at a sporting event, your team at home matters as well. Your family and friends are your support system during the good times and the bad. If you don’t have a strong team at home or in your life, it makes problems at work much harder to deal with.
And don’t forget to support your team in return. If you have an amazing team at your side, you should make it a point to return their support and encouragement. This will encourage them to continue their efforts while showing your appreciation for their support.
Life-Changing Lessons from SEO
Many people spend years learning new skills and gaining knowledge for their career field. Because they spend so much time learning the ropes, they rarely realize what their job is teaching them in return. If you take a moment to stop, think, and pay attention, your career could be giving you a life-changing lesson.
Search engine optimization is a tool we use for our jobs, but it is also a way of looking at the world. Valuable lessons are all around us, but we don’t always take the time to look around and notice them. While it wasn’t my goal to learn life lessons from SEO, I picked up a few things along the way without even realizing it.
If you’re interested in working with our SEO team, reach out and say “Hi!”