Something that isn’t talked about enough in the SEO space are the obstacles beginners face. It’s almost like we don’t prepare aspiring marketers for these hurdles, and that is one of the reasons why so many fail when it comes to search engine optimization. In this article I am going to break down the biggest obstacles that can mess you up (and how to avoid them.)
No Immediate Results
Ah, starting off strong. SEO is difficult not because it is technical, but because it can take months or even years to see results. You’re putting in all this work and time, yet it feels like you’re getting absolutely nowhere. This can drive beginners absolutely crazy, and leads them to feel like they are failing miserably.
As humans, we aren’t wired for situations like this. It’s easy for our monkey brains to keep at something if we can see tangible progress, but when we’re hitting a brick wall constantly it becomes demoralizing. This is the biggest challenge for new SEOS by far.
Believing In The Process
The reason I can keep publishing these blog posts, even when Local Rank Ninja is new, is because I did SEO in other spaces and niches before. I’ve seen first hand what is possible and what happens after a year of consistently publishing content. Unfortunately, beginners don’t have the luxury of having that belief easily reinforced.
As long as you’re following a solid SEO strategy, you need to remind yourself that you are on the right track. I recommend making TODO lists or keeping track of what you’ve done. Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy, but by documenting your progress you can remind yourself that you are achieving something, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Learning A Faulty Process
This one is unfortunately common, but the good news is it doesn’t have to be! I’ve seen many aspiring SEOs get led astray by generally bad advice or focus on the wrong topics. I’ve written before on this website about the misinformation spread in the SEO sphere.
Essentially, many people are caught up in the technical and artificial parts of SEO that don’t actually move the needle (that is to say, gets you traffic.) “Shiny objects” and tools are cool and all, but spending all of your time inside their dashboards doesn’t accomplish anything. Courses are peddled like crazy and promise to solve all of your traffic woes, when low and behold they are just rehashed, low quality products with nothing to offer.
Additionally, people confuse the act of buying a course with accomplishment, and become SIBs (serial information buyers). At the end of the day, they only make internet marketers money – not themselves. This is a really bad cycle I see far too often in this space.
So how do you combat this…?
The Law Of One
This is a great rule of thumb to help you stay on the right path and not fall victim to ill intended so-called “SEO experts”. The law of one is this:
Only go through one course at a time.
Don’t buy another course or book until you’ve implemented everything inside that course.
You’d be surprised how many people don’t do this. If you’ve spent money on an educational resource, you need to use it to your advantage. There’s no point to learning if you don’t act.
If you approach SEO this way, it’ll feel a lot less intimidating overall. Even if the one course you bought only has 75% of the picture, that still leaves you with 75% of SEO implemented if you follow this. If you’re not getting results, you can buy another course after you have done everything taught in the one you already own.
Having A Slow Website
Having a slow website can really hinder your results. Remember: good websites load in under 5 seconds! You need to make sure your website does the same. I’ve covered tools you can use to test your website speed before on this blog.
Now there’s an important caveat I want to point out about page speed.
I’ve seen countless marketers become obsessed with loading times, to the point where it gets in the way of their overall SEO progress. You need to remember this:
As long as it loads in under 5 seconds, you’re good.
If that’s the case, stop trying to optimize page speed. It’s not worth your time investment at this point. There are plenty of more important things you could be doing like content creation.
Ways To Speed Up Your Website
Here’s an easy to follow checklist for speeding up your website.
1. Compress your website images using Smush or TinyPNG
2. Implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
3. Install a caching plugin like LightSpeed Cache
4. Consider switching to a faster WordPress theme
5. Try self-hosting your website instead
I’ve talked about this plenty before, but shared hosting is becoming less and less viable for websites overall. The servers are bogged down and your website will often experience downtime or ridiculously slow loading times. In the past shared hosting was an alright option for businesses, but the times are changing.
I’ve written an article on hosting your website yourself, and I highly recommend checking it out. Not only will you save a ton of money, but your website loading times will be twice as fast. Of course, you could also go the route of buying dedicated hosting. But this can get really expensive fast, and you’re looking at an average of $50 a month – which is just too much for most small businesses.
It’s Tempting To Go Blackhat
This one frustrates me, because people are being misled. There are a lot of articles, videos, and posts online that will claim to “buy a PBN” or “buy backlinks.” This is the quickest way to tank your results with SEO.
I know, it sounds cool and exciting to try and “cheat the system.” The reality is that Google will almost always catch on sooner or later. They have a team of some of the smartest coders in the world, and there’s a reason you yourself go back to their search engine to look up information:
Google has a great handle on what high quality content is.
And the worst part of all about black hat SEO is that when Google catches on, you’re not going to have a good time. Your website could be completely blacklisted in search, even your domain name! You can kiss all the time and money you invested into your SEO at that point goodbye.
Just Play By Google’s Rules
The only way to permanently achieve great results with SEO and to rest easy at night is to only engage in white hat SEO techniques. There’s actually a very easy way to know if something is white hat or not. Ask yourself this question:
“If I was the big G, would I dislike this?”
If any part of you answers “yes”, then don’t do it! Stick with the program. Remember: high quality content is what brings visitors into your website, and gets you ranked in the search results. Spend your time writing helpful, valuable, and informative blog posts.
That’s what the pros do, and there’s a reason for that. Think about the biggest names in SEO you know. Two immediately come to mind:
Brian Dean and Niel Patel.
And why do you think they’re doing so well…?
The answer couldn’t be any more obvious: They’re consistently publishing high quality content over time.
If you want the results the 1% get, you have to do what the 1% does.
Fighting An Uphill Battle
Finally, SEO can feel like an impossible climb. This is especially true if you are in a highly competitive niche or industry. When the competitors have 100s of pieces of content, catching up to that can feel like a super daunting task.
This comes down to your mindset and how you approach SEO. I know you’re most likely wincing when you hear me mention mindset, and I do feel like a lot of online “business gurus” have spent so much time on it it’s soul sucking. But the reality is how you view SEO is important.
You have to enjoy the journey and see the bigger picture. And I’m not going to lie: That can be really, really difficult – especially if you’re new. If you’ve never ranked a website before, it can feel like you’re wasting your time doing nothing – and your traffic isn’t growing to boot.
You Can Coast Uphill – If You Know How
But the truth is the small steps you take today compound and if you stick with the program you will see results. Yes, 100 blog posts seems like a lot. But if you keep calm, blast music, and vibe while writing…3 blog posts a week isn’t so bad anymore.
And guess what…?
If you publish 3 blog posts per week, that’s 156 blog posts done in a year.
Boom! You just outdid your competitors easily.
Now granted, that’s a random example. And there’s a good chance that they would be writing posts at the same time you would be, too. However, quality of content always beats quantity.
By writing better answers to the questions searchers are looking up, you separate yourself from the herd. Try to include everything you think they should know, and write longer pieces. Luckily for you, I’ve often found that the competition gets lazy.
And you can take advantage of that to easily outrank them.
Beginners in the SEO space are quickly met with a lot more obstacles than they initially realized coming in. Between lack of knowledge, acquiring a faulty SEO process, and fighting an uphill battle…it can be overwhelming. But by sticking through it, being hungry for knowledge, and persistent – you can drive traffic to any type of website provided you play the game by Google’s rules.
Want To Be A SEO Ninja…?
If you want to learn powerful, proven, and effective SEO strategies check out Local SEO Shuriken. It’s the ultimate go to resource for aspiring SEOs. In it, I share exactly how to easily rank any website #1 step by step.