6 Similarities Between SEO and Personal Development


Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Business, Spirituality | Posted on 05-23-2014

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Similarities Between SEO and Personal Development

Just Thought This Looked Cool!

After nearly 20 years in the SEO industry, I learned a lot of things about how it worked. Now that my transformational journey has taken me down another path, I’m learning about completely different stuff. With my website marketing background, however, I can’t help but see similarities between it and personal development. In fact, I’ve found that noticing these help me to relate and better understand the new topics that I’m learning about.

Meditating and Link Building

For instance, I learned fairly early on that if you meditate with an agenda it doesn’t help to improve yourself. It’s a spiritual practice that can ultimately provide all sorts of benefits in your life, but if you go into it with some sort of end goal in mind, there’s a good chance you’ll be disappointed.

Which I compare to what I always told people about trying to obtain links to their websites: If you are building links for SEO purposes, chances are they won’t work to bring more search engine traffic to your website. And that’s because you’ve lost the plot as to why links are important in the first place. Just as meditation ultimately can help you be a better person, having a site worth linking to (rather than simply “building links”) makes your site better overall.

Complicating the Simple

Another similarity that I found is that when it comes to losing weight and/or getting healthy, people tend to focus on the complicated things such as what sorts of supplements they should take, or the exact number of grams or percentages they should be eating of certain foods rather than the more obvious: Eat lots of vegetables, some fruit and a little protein with every meal, add some healthy fats and avoid grains as much as possible. Simple. 🙂

Similarly it used to drive me crazy how some website marketers (and/or their clients) would spend way too much time wondering how many words they should put on a page or in a title tag. Or how many times they should use their keywords. Or the dreaded commas or no commas in their useless meta keyword tag! When in reality none of that stuff EVER mattered. Wasting time on minutia rather than following a few simple guidelines will rarely help your bottom line (or the size of your bottom 😉 ).

More Isn’t  Better

By now, most know that keyword stuffing or using the same keywords in all of your anchor text for “SEO purposes” is a bad idea.  This can be equated to someone who heard that kale is a “superfood,” so they only eat kale and nothing else. Or even more common, someone who decides to only drink green juice. While green juice may be a healthy supplement to their otherwise healthy diet, having more green juice (to the exclusion of other foods) will likely backfire.

Get Rich/Thin/Optimized Quick Products

One thing that I find annoying between both industries is how it seems that everyone is trying to sell you their latest get rich/fit/spiritual quick “product.” “Optimize your website in 30 days via our automated tool.” “Lose 50 lbs. in 1 month via our supplement.” “Become enlightened in 3 months by taking our online course.” I realize that those offering these things need to make money, and that not all of them are necessarily bad or scams. However, when everyone and their brother are offering these things, it’s easy to assume that for the most part they’re a waste of time.

My advice here for any industry’s product or course would be to very carefully do your due diligence. Make sure that the company or person you’re considering buying from is the real deal. And anyone or anything that claims to get amazing results in record amounts of time is most likely full of crap.

Testing: One, Two, Three

Another SEO/healthy eating thing I’ve noticed is that people don’t always understand that sometimes you need to try one thing at a time in order to know what works and what doesn’t. If you’re testing multiple variables at once on your website and see some success, how will you know which of them was the cause?

It’s the same with food. Say you want to lose some excess fat, so you give up both grains and dairy. Chances are you’ll lose some fat, but you also won’t know which of the two helped. Or you won’t know that perhaps you could have just given up grains, but continued to have dairy, etc. It’s always best to test specific variables by themselves just as you would for a science experiment.

What Works for Others May or May Not Work for You

There are charismatic leaders in both the SEO and personal development industries who at times will say the exact opposite things. Knowing whom to trust or follow can be overwhelming, especially to people who are new to either industry.

My advice when it comes to personal development topics is the same as it’s always been for SEO: Don’t believe everything you read. In both, there are millions of ways to achieve the same end results.Decide whom you want to follow by who resonates with you as being true. But also, test everything! Remember that there are millions of ways to achieve the same end results.Try what people recommend and see if it works for you, specifically. Just as every website is different and has different needs, everyBODY is different as well. What works for one, may or may not work for another.

The bottom line for both the personal development and SEO industries is that there’s no one-size-fits-all that will help everyone all of the time. Which means that the answer to every question is always “it depends.”  In all cases it will depend on your goals. To be good at both SEO and be a better, more healthy and fit human being, you always have to take a long-term approach.


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CONTACT JILL WHALEN to learn how she may help you be the best you can be.

Jill is the author of Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety

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For the past 20 years, Jill has consulted with companies big and small, and spoken at conferences all over the world. She is currently a transformational speaker and mentor to businesses, individuals, coaches, leaders, groups and organizations. She helps them uncover their natural well-being and happiness so that they can operate from a clearer state of mind and take their lives and businesses to a higher level.

Jill's blog, What Did You Do With Jill? is a personal account of what she's learned throughout her transformational journey. Jill has many "viral" articles on LinkedIn and is a contributing writer for P.S. I Love You.

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Leave Your Thoughts Below(2)

I work in the web design/SEO industry and subscribed to your HighRankings newsletter for years. I guess it’s serendipitous that I came across your new website just when you published this post and just when I was wondering what my next step will be in my personal/professional journey.

I admire your courage to move on in a most public way. Not sure if that works for me, but hey, who knows.

So very glad to learn that you’re embracing a healthy lifestyle. Have fun and enjoy the surprises that life has in store for you. I’m sure there will be many.

As you’ve already learned… not every step in your journey has to have a goal.

Warmest regards!

Thanks, Denise!

And good luck to you in your own journey. Hit me up if you ever need an ear or just happen to be in my area of Mass.!