OK so it’s February and most of the typical New Year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside. America has not stopped eating junk food and is still not going to the gym. But should this prevent those of us in the SEO world from having a set of New Year’s resolutions that we can actually keep? I say no!
So why not set my goal to become an “SEO Ninja”? Ninjas are not just good at combat, they are great. They masters of their craft and almost never get killed in the movies. And though I’ve never actually taken any martial arts, I have to believe that becoming a ninja is definitely something to strive for, is it not?
Why we need to become SEO Ninjas
Tony Robbins says that people will only experience meaningful change once their pain level becomes high enough. Maybe this helps explain why most people don’t start eating better or get in shape – it’s just too easy to buy bigger clothes.
But in the SEO world, the pain levels in 2011 aren’t solved by buying new pants. Generally speaking, the internet is quickly maturing, and there have never been more “Johnny-come-lately” types than there have in the last few years. Heck even the local “yellow” books are claiming to offer SEO services.
The reality is that the online world is becoming more and more competitive, and that’s a trend that is not going to change anytime soon. And for those in the internet marketing world, that means working smarter and harder and not being afraid to try new things all in the name of seeking the best results for our clients.
With this in mind, here is my plan for becoming an SEO Ninja in 2011:
Don’t accept the same old results
The first part of becoming an SEO Ninja is accepting that as good as you might be now, you can get better. Setting the bar higher can be really uncomfortable when things seem to be humming along and your tendency is to stand pat. But Ninjas want to get bigger, stronger and faster so we should set our goals higher and higher for each project.
Beware the “secret sauce”
The SEO world is full of people who claim to have Google figured out and don’t want to share or explain how they did it because they have created some sort of “secret sauce.” There is a great cartoon about this where the guys in black hats are chanting to Google for better rankings.
Remember, Google alone makes hundreds of changes each year to their ranking algorithm. And with this in mind, how can you expect to have the secret to success when the basic ingredients are constantly changing. Ninja discipline requires us to stop chasing “get rich quick” fads and focus on things that build value over the long run.
Try something new
I take a lot of pride in always trying to think like a “rut-buster.” By this I mean always keeping the perspective that just because something worked before doesn’t mean it will always work again. Let’s face it, the online world is changing fast and anyone who thinks they have it figured out for good is an idiot. And that means not being afraid to try new things in your practice (of course assuming you watch out for “get rich quick” as mentioned above).
Dedicate sufficient time to training
So as part of being a Ninja, you should expect to work on your craft on a regular basis. And for us SEO types, that means reading articles, attending webinars and taking every chance we get to learn something new and figure out how to implement it into our practices. And while this doesn’t mean abandoning “tried and true” techniques that work, it does mean being willing to adopt and change quickly.
We each have to spend time on a weekly basis sharpening our skills if we want to become and stay Ninjas!