Keeping Yourself Optimized for SEO
Working in SEO can feel a bit like being in a psychology trial: you know the basic rules, you’re trying your best to follow them, but no one in your peer group is really 100% sure what’s going on at any given time.
Google is constantly making updates, major and minor, that are often first caught by accident by people in the digital marketing game. This has lead to a bit of a group mentality on sharing information and trading tips. But with Google constantly shifting the field, how can anyone keep up?
Time to get in shape (SEO style)
Training your brain for SEO is a must, and it means more than just adjusting the way you write.
With an ever-changing field, you have to be ever-changing yourself. You know that saying “Jack of all trades, master of none?” It ends with “better than a master of one.” It’s better to be competent at 40 different kinds of writing than be an unmatched wizard at writing meta descriptions.
With competency and practice comes expertise. Practice writing different styles, especially in your free time. Practicing being adaptable is another skill that everyone should be doing anyway. This can be practiced in a variety of different ways, with options for different lifestyles:
- Active lifestyle: Try rock climbing. If you have a set plan on a route and are unwilling to divert from it, you’re going to get stuck. You have to make things up on the spot.
- Social lifestyle: This might not sound like the ideal social activity, but try improv. Improv, in its very name, forces improvisation in expected situations.
- Introverted/Literary lifestyle: If you don’t particularly like exercising or interacting with other people in your free time (I fully understand), you might consider board games. There’s a game called Bananagrams (trust me, I know the name is stupid, please just trust me) which is played as single person scrabble. You make your own crossword from a set of letters and have to continue to change your selection of words as you get new letters and grow your board. Adaptability is a necessity and is learned as you play.
Part of SEO culture is depending on blogs, forums, and Twitter to get advice and news on updates. This means that you have to rely on strangers and, often, industry competitors. If you’re not used to this it can be jarring. I’m not fully sure how to help you here, other than encouraging you to find a way to, how to put this delicately, get over it.
We go further when we work as a group. If you’re not willing to participate, you’re likely to fall behind.
The best way to get better at working with people you aren’t used to working with is experience. Like everything else, practice will improve your skills, but it’s up to you to do the work.
Your brain, like your body, needs training in all aspects of life. You need to practice decision making, socializing, letting go of ideas, and building up thought processes you hadn’t previously considered.
Working in SEO makes it particularly important for you to build up all areas of your thinking. Above all else, it requires adaptability.