If you think you are born to excel and lead the SEO Industry; and have the passion for this craft – this post is a must read for you.
1. SEO Learning Is Free
Ample of information about SEO is available on the net FREE of any cost; in fact it is possible to learn everything that there is to, without paying a penny for it; provided you’ve figured out which are the right guys, blogs, and websites to keep contact with and visit. When you will be on a learning spree spending lot of time on reading, you will realise that majority of information online is discussed by several people, in different context; tone; perspective and so on.
Try to develop passion to excel to whatever you do. This too can be learnt for free but when you attain this virtue, it will be your most priceless trait. As I say this, I wish to make it clear that I am not talking of passion just in the context of SEO or internet marketing, it is general passion I am talking about; because I have seen that people who succeed wherever they go and whatever they are those who are passionate; they have passion to learn new things; passion to overcome fear and failure; passion to test and evaluate; passion to keep clients happy; passion to network; keep abreast of the ever changing market behaviour and so on.
2. Learning Should Never Stop
In the competitive world of SEO where every tool, every rule, every algorithm is transient and ever-changing, learning seems to be the only constant. Whether it is about data visualization or it is regarding language processing, emerging trends, information architecture, new tools, algorithm updates, fine-tuning your vocabulary to improve writing skills, or it is about your marketing expertise and know-how; everything has to grow and improve. Never say `No’ or `I Know’ when it comes to learning; be curious about every new thing, just go on absorbing.
3. Experimenting with What You’ve Learnt Is Innovation – Innovate!
Very small percentage of information remains hidden online for very long. Such information as and when identified can be put in the category of innovation; and this innovation is a result of someone like you and me having experimented in the right direction with a right mindset, and tools. The best strategy therefore is that as you learn, you should also put your learning to use and start experimenting with it, to understand its complexities & principals working behind them better.
This streak of innovation is what will give you an edge over the average SEOs to succeed. It will give you your confidence, identity, your fighting spirit. Learning and implementing is one thing; learning and innovating is quite another. Understand the difference and action it out.
If you have built a strategy or program and want to test it, to see whether or not it works as expected, don’t let anything or anyone discourage you; just go ahead and do it. People may be more experienced than you; may have been longer in the field that you have been; but nobody can stop you or can call your strategy wrong. If you have converted a thought into strategy based on your perception and market knowledge, why should you assume that it will not work; just go ahead!
4. Practice Ethical SEO – Do Not Commit What You Cannot Deliver
This golden advice is for all SEOs who want to stay in business for years to come. Never accept work that you know you are not capable of delivering. SEOs in a hurry to succeed mostly commit this mistake and earn a bad reputation in return.
Know that money goes where success lies; so chase success instead; chase knowledge; be passionate about learning; chase people for work; this way you will never have to chase money and worry over it.
When you commit within your physical and intellectual capacity, you are being honest to your client; to your work; to yourself. If you don’t know or can’t do something, accept that you can’t. Howmuchever philosophical it may sound at the moment – it will be that one thing that will help you hold your ground for ever. When we talk about ethical SEO practices – this is where it starts.
5. Learn the Art of Balancing Business & Reputation, i.e. Money & Fame
Learn to manage name (business) and fame (reputation) at the same time as they are both very important ingredients for long time success. There is nothing wrong in earning money; charging higher than competitor etc, just makes sure what you deliver has an edge over your competitor and your client does not feel short-changed or deceived.
Let the work you deliver clearly show you have style as well as substance. Earn a good name by displaying your knowledge and expertise in your field of work. Another tip for SEO success is, that be friendly with your client, not friends. Keep things professional. If your client is a professional himself he will appreciate it. Whether you are an agency, working as a part of in-house firm, are a freelance, or moonlighting, try reaching out to people by joining communities, offering friendly advice, participating in forums etc.
6. Honesty Works
Nothing works like honesty, so make it a habit. No cheating the search engines; the clients; or their potential target audience. Always let the clients know what they are paying for; keep an eye on the bottom-line and business goals of your client and work towards them. Taking them on a ride because they may be ignorant but this tactic may work long time and may harm your reputation in the long run.
The better option is to inform your client clearly the budget; and the difference your services will make on the site; also do not encourage them to have unreasonable expectations because in the end more than him, his nagging and rude mails and follow-ups will stress YOU out. Bad option.
7. Learn the Art of Sharing Knowledge – Because Sharing Helps You Grow
Be open to sharing what you are learning with your industrial or professional community as well as clients if they are interested or care to know; because when you share, your understanding increases, likewise when you learn from experience of others it given you new avenues and opportunities to explore. We should understand that this approach of sharing knowledge and experience is how everyone can grow.
8. Enjoy Your Work
If you don’t sooner than later you will perish. Finally its money that makes the world go round. It may be true to a great extent in this modern materialistic world where commercial success is counted above everything; however what’s equally true is that your desire to earn commercial success is highly supported by how much you enjoy doing what you do. Because if you are doing it just for money and don’t care to think beyond, you will drown in the deep dark sea sooner than you expect. Whatever that you do – do it with passion, with complete sense of integrity, & commitment; don’t be closed or afraid of learning new things which will help both you and your clients make a decent and honoured living.
Another thing that passion makes out of you is that – it makes you a wiser and mature professional – in a different fabric, where your focus will be on how you can help your client achieve success; or get him out of doldrums, whatever that you have might have set out to do.
And when the success starts showing by way of number of sales, footfalls, and traffic to a website, or problems get sorted out, it will show you in different light; it will help you get noticed by industry people. And this will be a turning-point; a game changer in your profession. Because this is where your prospective clients will begin to chase you, and start vying for your attention.
9. Don’t Think of Quitting – Instead Work Harder
SEO is a tough game. A few failed assignments should never be reason enough to consider quitting from the industry. Don’t let failure trigger your false ego. Be humble, accept your mistakes, learn from it and move forward. By now we all know that giving up has never counted as a solution for anything; and also that success has never come easy to anyone.
Roughing it out is the only to get out of the situation. Therefore always be ready to work harder than you expected y9ou may have to, show patience; read, write, experiment, evaluate, start afresh with a different mindset if need be, but do not quit.
10. Master Your Craft
To learn your craft, be upbeat all the time; consider getting formally trained from the best places on the net when you find such an opportunity. Try to look inside the minds of experts in the SEO industry, see how their thought process works. To do this, you can enrol for their newsletters, read their answers to people’s questions that they publish on their websites or blogs.
Follow them on Twitter and other social media platforms. There is no harm in considering attending a conference or two every few months.
Joining user groups is another effective way of honing your SEO craft, because these in user groups’ people share practical knowledge and experience which are the best teachers and help us evolve in our field.
These may require an effort on your part and getting out of your comfort zones. But do take that discomfort, because in the end it will be worth.
11. Address Situation in the Language that Client is Able to Understand
When client is confused and is seeking your advice, don’t speak in a mysterious language or help him on conditions they will hire you or you will reveal the rest when you are hired for the job etc. It’s an outdated practice that only reflects your under-confidence in yourself as a SEO.
Instead, just analyse your client’s website and tell him exactly about the problem area. Along with that do exchange an email or two to provide the solution. Once he is convinced that you understand the problem he will trust you with work. When you communicate with client make sure that you do it keeping your client’s level of understanding in mind. Speak and share in a tone and language that helps him to place his trust, and confidence in you.
12. Your First Job
Should undoubtedly be your own website! Whether it is designing it in a way that it becomes search engine compliant; or optimizing it organically; researching for set of keywords, phrases, and sentences; or it is about submitting sitemap to search engines, creating Meta tags, creating interlinking structure, developing onsite and offsite link building strategy; learning to understand and analyse cPanel or whatever. It’s the best learning ground.
Your own website is the best place to work for and get acquainted with various aspects of a website that will make it a powerful and success vehicle; the process will also help you to implement strategies and measure results of your efforts.
The advantage of working on your own website to begin with is that it’s the safest bet to play; there is no time or budget restrictions; you are taking chances with your own website; therefore failure or applying outdated or wrong strategies will not give you bad reviews or affect your ratings adversely in the market.
You can fix problems or make changes on the site every 3rd day if you want, testing and trying various tools, software, designs will give you an idea about what works and what doesn’t; all this counts as real time experience; its different from basing your assumptions on what you’ve read or head.
When you work on your website real time this adds to your confidence and as a result of this every aspect of your professional image and personality will become upbeat and positive.
I do hope you find the above suggestions practical and that they help you stay in the business for years to come.