Just like getting your body into shape, achieving a high rank in the major search engines will take time and a good amount of work.
Both workers in the SEO world and trained fitness professionals know how awkward it can be when a client insists on guaranteed success and having to inform them that there are no absolute guarantees. While disappointing, that fact is, unfortunately, true.
Both areas are inundated with sellers of snake oil, many of whom promise unrealistic or even impossible outcomes. By doing this, they are not only doing themselves a disservice, as well as their clients and the reputation of their industry as a whole.
At first glance, it may seem like search engine optimization (SEO) has little in common with recreational sports. But, if you take a look at it more closely, you can see ways in which both industries mirror the other, especially as far as managing expectations.
- To begin with, there are no guarantees in either SEO or fitness training. A consultant or fitness trainer can only do so much when it comes to planning or execution. When it comes down to results, the actual work of exercising or making website improvements has to be done by the real client.
- Both industries require stamina and ability to follow a plan over the long term. One-off changes to search engine optimization have just as much potential for lasting results as a single intense fitness training session – none.
- Both SEO professionals and serious athletes agree that there is no real shortcut when it comes to putting in the work to achieve success. Anything that purports to make the journey shorter inevitably comes with serious side-effects. No magic pill can transform a couch potato into a real athlete, and likewise, no magic computer program will turn a poor website into one that tops the search engine results. Actual results require some hard work.
- Nutrition is critical. Even a well-planned or executed training program will turn into real results if the athlete fuels the training with poor nutrition. Just as nutrition is the foundation of successful training, even the best optimization program will not help a website if it is plagued by low-quality efforts with link building. Links could be considered the lifeblood of a website. Similar to eating poorly, having bad link-building efforts will ultimately hamper the performance of a website.
- Neither sports nor search engine optimization is played on a level field. In sports, the natural body-type of an athlete often determines how successful that athlete will ultimately be. Very few people are born with a naturally perfect body that requires very little to get in shape. Similarly, few websites are so good at naturally generating sales or offering a fantastic product or service that they are instantaneously popular with their user base. Sometimes, it is possible to overcome that handicap. However, in the end, many wannabe athletes and websites alike simply don’t have what it requires to hold onto the number one spot.
- Both optimizing a website and training to be a competitive athlete can be frustrating, as the world is constantly evolving, so there is always the potential that a competitor (either athlete or website) will continue to top even your best efforts. It is for this reason that the next point is considered essential for anyone hoping to see real, long-term success.
- Motivation is crucial. No successful workout regimen will be motivated only by the desire to gain the approval of others since there is no way to ensure you get it. In the sports and fitness world, having a drive to have a lifestyle that is balanced well is a much easier reason to stay the course. Optimizing a website for search engines might translate into the desired search visibility. However it may not. However, optimizing your site for your loyal users to improve your online business potential may not guarantee search engine success, but does improve how your business deals with other, smaller, setbacks.
- In both SEO and fitness, it is important to measure your progress. Without numbers to measure and trends you can see, you cannot sustain success.
- Like exercising physically, getting started in SEO requires only your focus and a few basic tools, like a pair of good running shoes or data from Google’s Search Console. However, as you progress in either area, you will require more advanced tools and equipment to keep the momentum going. For example, a dedicated athlete may eventually require a specialized heart monitor and a professional website owner may need the Majestic service available online.
- In both SEO and fitness, if a deal sounds like it is too good, it probably is, so don’t waste your time or money.
Just like regular exercise is necessary for even recreational athletes, having success with long-term optimization for your brand involves avoiding risks, focusing on your goals, and staying on your course. It’s just like staying fit and lean over time for an athlete. Latching onto every significant trend or fad in either world can often do no more than distract you from your end goals.
Finally, there is one other aspect of SEO that is just like fitness. The more your efforts become a regular part of your routine and a solid habit, the greater your chances are of succeeding and exceeding your initial expectations.