Man. Being a search marketer over the past decade or so has been a roller coaster. Between changing technologies, new Google algorithms, and frantically flip-flopping customer demands, the average mental state of a modern search marketer borders on schizophrenic. No offense to schizophrenics.
On the outside, we’re talking about our business like we’re in perfect control of every facet of our strategy, but on the inside, we’ve got some embarrassing thoughts. Admit it. If you’ve spent any time in SEO or content marketing in the past few years, you’ve experienced at least one of these shameful thoughts:
- I have no idea what I’m doing. True or not, you’ve probably thought this at some point. Maybe when a new algorithm update disrupted your entire strategy. Maybe when you were first getting started in the game. It’s easy to doubt yourself, but try to focus on results.
- I don’t understand this new _____. I hated Twitter when it first came out, but that’s just because I didn’t understand it. Still, I bluffed my way into using it, and now I’m practically a pro. The same can be said for almost any new update or new technology. I, like most other search marketers, just pretended like I knew what it was all about until I experimented with it enough to actually know.
- I don’t know if I’ll have a job much longer. SEO always seems moments away from destruction. Panda was going to make our jobs obsolete. Then Penguin. Then mobile devices. Now it’s the Knowledge Graph and robot writers. Whatever. SEO will probably be around for longer than most of us think.
- Boy, this article is not my best work. No matter how high your standards for content are, there has to have been at least one piece that slipped you by and made you think “I really could have done better.” Don’t worry about it. They can’t all be perfect.
- Our rankings tanked, and I’m 99% sure it’s my fault. Oh yeah. I love this one. I’ve caused rankings to slip before, many times. I’ve always managed a smooth recovery, but boy do those initial feelings hurt. This is the result of experimentation—sometimes you’ll strike it big, but sometimes you’ll suffer in the process. It’s still a necessary institution in any SEO campaign.
- I’m not sure why that happened. We don’t have access to Google’s algorithms so it’s impossible to tell exactly why or how something caused us to rise or fall in rank. Those little ranking anomalies really are inexplicable—so don’t be embarrassed if you don’t always have an exact answer.
- I hate these buzzwords. ROI, organic traffic, and engagement are all buzzwords I hate but still use often. Sometimes, they just get the job done more efficiently. It doesn’t make me less embarrassed to use them.
- I sure hope this works. This is that feeling you get when you have a theoretically good strategy, but you have no realistic idea about how it will perform in real life. You cross your fingers, make it live, and hope for the best. We’ve all been there, and again, we shouldn’t be embarrassed. SEO is all about experimentation and educated guesses.
Hopefully, this article makes you feel more at home in the SEO world. We’re all in this together.
If you’re looking to bounce some ideas off someone or you’re just desperate to get a badass writer on your team, reach out to me!
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