The untold secret behind successful SEO

What is the untold secret behind successful SEO?  The answer may surprise you!

I was on YouTube yesterday looking for a new video on SEO to help me in my business.  I kept scrolling, and scrolling and scrolling…there were dozens upon dozens of videos, just like there are innumerable articles on the web about how to do SEO, how to do SEO for a new business, a small business, a struggling business…Videos and articles about key words, long tail keywords, speed optimization, blogs, article length, back links, etc. etc. etc.  For me, it gets overwhelming sometimes.

While all of this information is important, like me, you probably don’t do SEO full time.  It is just one of the many hats you wear: SEO Expert.

Here’s what they don’t tell you.  Not only does it take time, but it takes willpower.  That’s right, willpower.   You have to stick with your SEO efforts day after day, week after week, month after month.  That takes will power. There is something about will power you may not know, something of vital importance.


Willpower is a finite resource. It can be depleted.  It isn’t totally connected to your passion or strength of mind. It is a biological imperative. Scientists figured this out with some very interesting experiments.

Consider one recent experiment with college students. A group was taken into a room and were told they could eat all the radishes they wanted.  But they couldn’t touch or eat the freshly baked cookies that were on the table in front of them. After a period of time, they were asked to do a puzzle that had no solution (although the students didn’t know that).  They were timed how long they tried, and the number of attempts they made to solve the puzzle was recorded.

Then, another group was brought in, and told they could eat all of the cookies they wanted, but don’t touch those radishes in the dish on the table!  Same scenario followed: Students were asked to try to solve a puzzle that was impossible to solve.  Their times and attempts were also recorded.

Take a guess: Which group tried the most times to solve the puzzle, and which group tried the longest to solve the puzzle?  In both cases, it was the cookie eaters.

Researchers believe that because willpower is a finite resource, the willpower it took to not take any cookies while eating the radishes used up the willpower reserves, not leaving a lot for continuous attempts on the impossible puzzle.

Students who only had to resist eating their fill of not-so-tempting radishes didn’t have to expend much willpower, so had plenty of it left over to assert on attempting to solve the puzzle over and over again.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. You are in it for the long haul, and may not see results for months. That’s why it is imperative to keep your supply of willpower strong.  Here’s how:

How to keep our supply of willpower strong

Three Action steps:

Find success early and often – Since willpower is limited, building confidence in small amounts over a larger period of time.  Find success early and often.  Don’t celebrate success when you see your rankings go up.  Congratulate yourself when you write a blog! Pat yourself on the back when you get your Google My Business listing in order.  Throw a party when you get a list of keywords for your business.

Secondly, keep your glucose levels up – The next action step to keeping your willpower up may surprise you.  Keep your glucose levels up.  The act of exerting self-control uses glucose, which is the body’s fuel.  This causes your glucose levels to drop, making self-control more difficult the next time, because we are lower in the energy needed to assert our will.

To raise glucose levels, there are only three options:

  1. Drink or eat, preferably healthy, nutritious food.
  2. Engage in movement activities which will release glucose stored as glycogen in the liver.  I find myself sitting at my desk in front of my computer for hours at a time without taking a break.  Set an alarm, get up at least once an hour and move around and go for a walk for five minutes.
  3. Find ways to experience strong emotions, which can trigger the release of glucose. Maybe it’s going to a sporting event, watching a good movie, having fun with friends.

This is so important. Remember, no glucose means diminished will power.

Lastly, keep your daily task list short.. It is draining to have an endless list of things to do. It can be overwhelming. Try this: take out your to do list and your calendar. Go item by item on your list, and schedule the day you will get those tasks done. Some of them can wait until tomorrow, or even next week. Once you have it scheduled, don’t think about that task until the day it comes up on your calendar.

Remember, when doing SEO, it takes time.  You will need willpower to keep up your commitment, passion and drive.  By taking the necessary steps, and just realizing that willpower is a finite resource that has very little to do with your internal drive, that will help you be kinder to yourself when the road ahead looks impossibly long. Hang in there!


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