3 Things You Need to be Successful in SEO

by Stephen Pitts on July 2, 2014

3I have been asked by many people over the years what is needed to be successful in SEO. Well, beyond the cheeky answer that comes to mind: “you need to be good at SEO,” which really doesn’t help much, I have found that there are 3 characteristics that I have found to be present in other successful SEO professionals.

There are also a number of things that I have seen that have brought people to the digital marketing space, even my own path to becoming a professional digital marketer was interesting (IMO), and I don’t think that there is a defined or a necessarily “clear” path to making SEO a profession.

Here are three questions that will help you determine if SEO is a good fit for you:

1. Do you care about what you do?

red-heartThis is important, no matter if we are talking about SEO as a project, profession or any other activity that you are getting yourself into really. If you care about it, you are more likely to explore it further and you are more likely to think about it beyond just your day to day activities. This typically gives you a leg up on your career and your competition.

I really like Life is Good’s mantra as well as it makes sense here:
“Do what you love, love what you do!”

2. Do you have a desire to understand why?

red-infoThis was the thing that brought me into the space, my natural inquisitive reaction to my first website being published online in 1999 and finding that it didn’t exist in search engines, so I sought out the reason(s) why.

There is also another pointed reason I worded the question in this manner as well. Knowing and understanding are dramatically different, especially when it comes to constantly changing or evolving things like SEO. Simply knowing why a website is ranking is easy, understanding the elements and being able to put them into a specific context is much more valuable because it helps you to influence the outcome more directly. Understanding also implies that you are testing and analyzing results rather than just accepting the status quo.

3. Do you know everything about SEO?

red-questionThis one is intended to be tricky, like another of my favorite sayings: “Humility is a funny thing. Once you think you’ve got it you’ve lost it.” I wouldn’t ever claim that I know everything about SEO, but if I maintain a healthy desire to understand why and a keen sense to continue to test, I will be able to figure out solutions to challenges and understand why and how something has changed.

In my experience, success doesn’t only come to those who are really good at something… it comes to those that are willing to continue to experiment and learn. This is what has carried me through 15 years of learning SEO and that thirst hasn’t been quenched.

By no means does this mean that you won’t be successful in SEO, but you might be better served to feel fulfilled and committed to it as a career.


Where is Your Page’s Title?

May 7, 2014

My appologies to 20th Century Fox for the reference, but I have heard this a number of times over the last few weeks. Dude, where’s my Title? Titles in results pages typically comes from the HTML Title element for a given page except when search engines decide to pull from DMOZ or Yahoo Directories… until [...]

Read the full article →

ClickZ Live | New York 2014

March 31, 2014

I will be heading to the big apple tomorrow for 3 days of the ClickZ Live conference. Feel free to hit me up if you are in the area or attending the show. Check out the agenda to find out more. Cheers!

Read the full article →

Interview at Media Shower

March 20, 2014

I had the pleasure of being interviewed recently by Media Shower in late January. I wanted to share the interview with you. Things like this really bring back a lot of memories as to why I got in to this big world of digital marketing and was fortunate to have found something that I truly [...]

Read the full article →

Secure Search and The Loss of SEO Data

March 2, 2014

Google launched secure search starting back in 2010 in an effort to secure user’s data and not provide this information to websites they direct people to through organic search. Yahoo announced that they will be doing the same from all of their digital properties by the end of Q1 2014 and there has been some [...]

Read the full article →