The biggest barrier to getting anything done is time. Knowledge is the easy bit and many people read books and study courses under the impression that once the knowledge is lodged in that business brain of yours that you will somehow be able to utilize it within a few hours and become a master of the skill.
There is a kind of 'rush' just before you embark on a training course that gives you a lot of false hope. I remember from my days as a systems admin that just before I was about to start my week-long course to learn the intricacies of Windows NT user administration (yes, that old!), I would be harboring grand ideas of jetting off to the States with my new certificate and working for some big investment bank on the East Coast.
I learned very quickly that it's not all about skills. The skill is just being shown how to load the gun and point it in the general direction. Only when you've got an experience to back it up and have missed a few times will you actually begin to understand and use your new talent to its full extent.
So then, why do we bother to train people in SEO if we believe that it may well fail? Well, we do not think you should give up!
The first step to learning a skill is the desire, if you've got that, then you're well on your way. Let's start with that, then and try to explain what is needed to ensure a good training course will help you succeed.
Desire – do you really want it?
Many a small business owner expects to work a straight 9-5 job. It's true – I've met many that for some reason harbor the fantasy that you can both run a small business and also have a life. Let me get this straight – your business is your life and if 'time spent on the computer' includes even a minute of 'Call of Duty 4' or surfing the delights of the BBC iPlayer, then your heart really is not in it.
You need to live and breath your business and its marketing. If you * really * want your website to be number one then you need to desire it to such an amount that you will sit at your computer and do the actions. You will create your articles, render your pod-casts and upload your videos. You will create content like it's going out of fashion and you will promote yourself in as many ways as possible.
You will not give up because if you do, your business will fail.
Time – you do not have long enough
Let me put this straight – you do not have enough time to do everything so you must find a way to do it. You can do this by outsourcing a little but the easiest way is to just get a friend or relative to do some of the work for you. Some of this SEO lark is just time consuming, it's not difficult.
Resilience – things go down as well as up
No matter how many times we tell customers that their rankings may well go down again after a steady increase, they're still on the phone complaining when it happens. It's the same with your SEO campaign. As much as I'd love to guarantee it, I can not say for sure that your own campaign will work as well as you want it to. It just might not happen and if it does, it might not stick around.
If you're the defeatist type then after your site has gone to number six then dropped back to number 13, you'll probably give up and think it's all been a waste of time. If you do give up, then it has.
SEO is a long-term thing. It could take a year to make a difference but if you stick at it, it will work. Quick – hits are not what it's all about, a steady and slow grip to beat the competition is what works and that takes time, skill is just not enough.