It happens all the time. You have a task that you know is going to involve something reasonably arduous. The difficulty can manifest itself in multiple forms whether that be some hard work, an investment of time or money or even just require a devotion of brain power. Your tasks may not even be that arduous, there might just be a lot of them.
Whatever the reason is, the entirety of the task appears too daunting to even start. Too much to do, too complex, too little time, costs too much….all seemingly viable reasons.
We see this all the time. A great SEO campaign includes a lot of the aforementioned factors. The funny thing is that you don’t need to everything all at once. Breaking the campaign into component parts makes them far easier to tackle and schedule, trying to do everything at once is often a recipe for disaster. In sports psychology it’s called ‘paralysis by analysis’, one of the best examples being a golf swing. Thinking about too many factors at once results in a slice. First you just need to hit the damn ball.
Of course this is an oversimplification of an SEO campaign because at some point you will need to take a holistic view, but I hope it helps to make my point. To use a cheesy proverb: “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time to plant a tree is today”.
SEO is not ‘pay per play’
Google adwords and other pay per click platforms offer significant value for those looking for instant visibility but you don’t want to be at the mercy of these platforms. What if you get priced out of the market or your marketing budget suddenly gets cut? Consider your marketing budget like an investment portfolio, it’s prudent to spread the risk.
Enter organic marketing. You earn your visibility.
For social media you need to build your followers and engagement, for SEO you need to build your authority, value and relevance. This takes time. It can take a frustrating amount of time, but it’s worth it in the end.
Get to the point Simon. Okay.
If you want to capitalise on relevant search traffic you need to invest. You can’t just wait till you need it because by then it’s too late.
Getting Started Tips
Note that these tips are for those who are struggling to kick off an SEO campaign. You may have tried before but haven’t managed to maintain the campaign. Hopefully they are helpful!
Accepting the Truth
First of all: you need to accept that there will always be more pressing short term priorities than your SEO campaign.
You know that what you are doing now potentially will not yield results for a number of months. For some of us that is a particularly hard concept to get your head around, especially in an age where our smartphones allow connectivity and results at the tap of a screen.
For those of you who are able to truly accept the value of investing for the future, good for you. The rest of us will continue to struggle with our own mortality, short sighted nature and meager pension fund.
Whether you are looking to instruct an agency or run an SEO campaign in house, this acceptance of higher priorities can be a real struggle. However, once you are able to ensure that your SEO remains a priority amongst all the other short term priorities, you are in a good place to start.
Highlight Your Objectives
I’m not a psychologist but I’m pretty sure that it is an accepted fact that you work better when you have defined goals to work towards. Just starting an SEO campaign for the sake of it or because you everyone else is doing it may not be the best way to ensure that your campaign maintains momentum, especially considering all those other priorities that are trying to leap frog your SEO tasks on a daily basis!
Understand the incremental ‘wins’
Identifying your long term goals is great, but you also need to be able celebrate the incremental wins. This is especially relevant when you enter the ‘SEO Slog’ or as Rand Fishkin likes to call it the ‘Delta of Dissatisfaction’. As such, we always find it valuable to be aware of the smaller wins that you will get along the way.
These smaller wins can come in a number of forms, depending how much value you associate with each item:
- Incremental increases in rankings
- Incremental increases in traffic and conversions
- Domain Authority or any other metric that you use
- The securing of high quality links
- Traffic to, or conversions directly from the awesome content you are producing
These wins don’t necessarily have to be specific to your SEO campaign. Your initial research may also help you define your buyer personas and therefore influence alternate marketing channels or sales processes. Your content should also be utilised as fuel for social media and email marketing. Being aware of these successes will not only see you through the darker days of an SEO campaign but can also make starting the initial research more justifiable.
Get Familiar with the Basics
On occasion it isn’t the money, the time or the effort that puts people off, it’s what they don’t know. Especially for the budget holders amongst you. As we have mentioned many a time, to the uninitiated SEO appears to be a dark art full of mystique and trickery. You might understand the benefits but that might still not be enough for you to dive headlong into a campaign. Better the devil you know…..or something like that.
The good news is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist or child genius to understand the core theories of SEO. We recommend that you spend a bit of time reading about the basics of SEO. To be really clear, we’re not talking about the what, we’re talking about the why. Once you understand that SEO revolves around authority, value and relevance, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable talking to your internal marketing team or an SEO agency.
We’ll follow up with an article that should help on this subject but suffice to say that a little bit of knowledge goes a long way!
So there we have it. We’ve highlighted reasons why you should just get on and start a campaign, as well as giving some tips to help you overcome that inertia. We hope it helps. Of course, if you have made the decision to start and need some help, we’re happy to have a chat about your SEO campaign.