I know what you’re thinking. The words SEO and yoga in the same sentence? It might seem like a stretch (pun fully intended), but the two vastly different practices may have more in common than you think. Below, I have outlined five key mental strategies you need whether you are trying to expand your flexibility or optimize your website.
1. Step out of your comfort zone
There is no perfect way to get into yoga or SEO. You just need to start. No one can bend like a pretzel and do handstands in their first yoga class. Focus on the basics at first and get the fundamentals down. Anyone can get good at it; you just need to start, be patient and always be looking to learn more and improve your technique.
Similarly, you won’t be an expert at SEO on your first crack at it. It takes time to truly learn the basics of SEO and understand how to implement them. Education for this industry is everywhere, so if you don’t feel comfortable at first, you can quickly get up to speed and start putting your new found knowledge to the test.
2. Commit yourself to the practice
Everyone is looking for a quick fix in life. But yoga only works if you work at it. There are countless benefits to practicing yoga: improves your sleep, gets you in tune with your body and mind, improves your posture, develops your physical and mental strength. Unfortunately, you likely won’t see these improvements when you go sporadically. Commitment is crucial to your long-term success.
SEO isn’t a quick fix either. It’s not going to get you an increase in sales or leads next week, let alone the end of the month. However, it likewise has long-term benefits: higher visibility in search, more qualified visitors, more leads, more sales, more revenue.
There are over 2 billion websites on the World Wide Web. Even if you are publishing high-quality content, you aren’t the only one trying to establish yourself in the rankings. The competition is high, regardless of your vertical, so it’s no wonder your new blog post isn’t ranking the next day.
It’s crucial once you start focusing on improving your SEO for you stick to it and be patient. If you continuously and consistently produce and distribute high-quality content, you will start building credibility and trust in the eyes of your audience and eventually Google. When this happens, you develop meaningful relationships and higher engagement. The higher engagement, the greater the chance you develop quality backlinks to your content. This all helps fuel your visibility in organic search.
Committing to your SEO practice helps you build a foundation. We’re creatures of habit, so we look forward to consistency and repetition. If you develop yourself to be a thought leader in your industry, you’ll develop a loyal set of followers who become return visitors, readers, and sharers. Once again, this helps fuel your authority and visibility.
Reaping the benefits of SEO only comes with a commitment to establishing high engagement, building relationships and providing high quality and frequent content. Remember, what you put into your practice, is what you’ll get out.
Patience is a virtue in all things yoga and SEO.
3. Set Goals and Measure
Setting goals gives you clarity on what you are trying to achieve. While traditionally, yoga isn’t always associated with goals, most everyone pursues the practice for a different reason. Whether it’s mastering a certain pose or committing to practicing so many minutes a day, setting goals can help deepen your practice, hold yourself accountable and provide a clear measure of the desired benefits.
Similarly, having an understanding of what you are out to achieve in your SEO efforts will help shape your execution. You should have a clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish, whether it’s brand recognition and exposure, increased sales, user registration or lead generation. From there, you can develop specific, appropriate trackable KPIs.
Let’s not forget to stress the importance of tracking and measuring the process. Goals are only good if you can gauge the success of efforts you’ve made along the way. Are you still clinging to vanity metrics or are you making use of deeper metrics around engagement and retention? Check out our latest blog post on Measuring the True Performance of Your Content to validate whether or not you’re tracking and measuring the true performance of your content and achieving your goals.
4. Be mindful
At one point or another in yoga, you will likely find yourself holding Warrior 1 Pose with your front leg shaking, your breath becoming short, staring down the instructor waiting for her to release you, while several negative thoughts enter your brain. At this moment, you’re probably promising yourself you’ll never come back to yoga and your mind will start floating elsewhere – where will you eat after this class, how much time will you have before the Bachelor starts?
Mindfulness is an essential part of a yogi’s practice. It is also essential in your SEO efforts.
When you are creating a new section for your website, a product feature release or a new blog post, it is easy to focus only on the results. You likely let your mind wander worrying about statistics, figuring out how Google bots work, if you can move up in the ranks, trying to write like your top competitors or wondering how many keywords you can stuff in your content without it becoming obvious.
Instead, be mindful and focus on what is important. In this case, your audience. Focus on adding value to your writing and addressing the right emotions in your audience personas. As Neil Patel says, “SEO isn’t complicated, once you understand that people come first, before search algorithms.” When you write, just write. Create meaningful, helpful content which appeals to the end user without focusing heavily on the end result and external factors.
5. Be able to adapt
Some mornings you might jump out of bed before your alarm goes off, have a little extra spring in your step and check off all of your day’s to-dos. You might soar through your yoga class and feel like a million bucks. Other days, you might be in a bit of a rut and feeling rather sluggish at class. It’s all about listening to what your body is saying and being able to adapt to any changes.
You also have to be ready to adapt your SEO strategies as search engine algorithms and digital marketing best practices change. For instance, keyword stuffing and dubious backlinking might have worked before, but now SEO is focused more on long-tail keyword searches, targeted content providing value and high-quality engagement.
While it might seem a bit far-fetched to link SEO and yoga together, many of the key aspects remain the same for each. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of knowing how to dig deep and breathe through it. Soon enough, you’ll feel accomplished in both skills.