When I started going to the gym and working out I had the same common goal as most people, get active and lose some weight. It was an also a way to relieve stress and escape from everyday life.
The more serious I got about working out, the more I started to realize that there are many similarities between fitness/working out and SEO.
In this blog post I will highlight the success factors of a healthy lifestyle that can be applied to successful search engine optimization campaign.
1. There Is No Easy Road
The road to a healthy lifestyle is paved with many confusing options when it comes to achieving your goals. There are so many different diets, myths, and magical pills that claim to be able to make you achieve your goals in a record amount of time. Not to mention the increasing number of home gym exercise machines and workout videos that are available on the market as well. Some of the magical pills may work for short periods of time and may help you reach your goals faster, but the truth is a healthy lifestyle is a long term change that cannot be achieved by a short term fix.
Just like anything else in life, the more shortcuts you take, the less benefits you receive over time; you get back what you put in.
Along with the magic pills and unhealthy diets also comes the risks and possible side effects that may arise from taking that route. This is similar to search engine optimization, as there are many tactics that may be considered black hat that can increase a websites position in the search results in the short term.
Most clients seeking SEO are looking for a short term solution that will get them to the top of the search results in the shortest period of time. After explaining the potential risks and the Google Algorithm, they usually understand that there is no easy road to achieving and maintaining top positions in the search results.
2. Consistency Over Time
Any personal trainer will explain from the beginning that there are no shortcuts to a healthy lifestyle, despite the number of before and after pictures that appear on Instagram and Facebook. Many before and after pictures claim to have happened in 30 - 60 days (which is possible but rare), but after researching I started to realize that people who have transformed their bodies have done so with consistency over time, over years.
Having a plan, sticking to it, and recognizing consistent progress over time as a result of your efforts is a philosophy that can be applied to both a healthy lifestyle and a search engine optimization strategy.
Working out once or a few times over an extended period of time will not yield any noticeable results. Similarly, you cannot make 1 or 2 changes to the website, or build 1 or 2 links and see a significant impact in online traffic.
3. Track Your Actions
Another misconception when it comes to a healthy lifestyle is that if you work out enough you will lose weight and gain muscle. But without eating healthy and having an accurate diet is based on your specific body type, your progress will be limited.
Having a personalized diet plan designed based on your age, weight, height, body fat percentage, daily level of activity, and lifestyle will be a contributing factor towards reaching your goals. Tracking your progress in all of the areas above is one of the most important factors in determining what is helping you reach your goals and what is hurting you.
You will only be able to make the right changes to your diet and exercise routine if you keep track of what you ate, how much exercise you did, and the impact it had on your body.
Food in the healthy lifestyle equation is the equivalent to content on the website for a healthy SEO strategy. Adding healthy content (not junk) will give visitors a reason to come back and tell others about it. It also will be a sign to search engines that you are providing users with content and an experience that adds value and is good for them.
Regarding your website and SEO, keeping track of your changes and the impact that it has on your traffic will allow you to make the necessary strategic changes at the right time.
4. The Results
If you stick to the strategy set out by your personal trainer, fitness coach, or SEO specialist, you will see results over time. Everybody appreciates being recognized by their peers, getting asked "have you lost weight". "Have you been working out" is a great motivation to continue on your path. It also supports the fact that you are heading in the right direction. You may even find yourself sharing your story and encouraging others that want to follow the same path.
In the SEO world, this recognition comes in the form of links. When you provide great content, users share it and other websites reference your content with a link pointing back to you.
The last point to remember is that if you stop working out and get lazy, you may lose any gains and progress that you have achieved. So it is important that you approach your fitness goals as a lifestyle change and not just a short term fix and returning back to old habits of poor eating and no exercise. With SEO it works the same; you may make changes and see progress but you can't stop there. It requires constant effort and new content, staying up to date with search algorithms, and staying ahead of the competition.
Whether it is a healthy lifestyle or a successful SEO strategy you are working towards, using these tips will serve as a constant reminder of the little things that will contribute to the big picture.