Begin by finding a comfortable position in your chair. Feel the bottoms of your feet against the ground. Feel your back on the chain. Feel the weight of your fingertips atop your keyboard…

When taking the art and science of SEO (search engine optimization) it may be helpful to employ some lessons we’ve learned from the art and science of mindfulness practice.

Mindfulness involves active awareness of your body, your surroundings and your thoughts. It’s a way of paying attention. For those of us in the business of SEO, from improving our SERP (search engine returns page) ranking, to creating beautifully written and consumable yet crawlable and clickable content, the path can be murky and overwhelming. Not to mention, the path is competitive.

So how can we apply the gentle awareness of mindfulness to the cutthroat SEO landscape? Start by taking a deep breath…

Instead of listening to the sounds around you…listen to the trends around you. What are your goals in SEO? Are your business, your focus, your product and thus your keywords trending on google? Check out Google Trends to see if your keywords are surging or fading.  Is there a new way to describe what you’re doing? Is the market segmenting and creating the need for longer tail searches? Find out. Pay attention. And check back in with what is trending. Make checking back in part of your mindfulness in SEO practice.

Instead of scanning the body for any tension. Scan your website for any potential areas of trouble that could result in SERP penalties.  Are there any pain points? Are your anchor links stuffed with keywords or DOA with a “click here”? Are you cannibalizing your own efforts by repeating content and keywords on multiple pages? Navigate through your website as you think your customers or informational consumers would.  Does your content mirror that of other thought leaders, marketers, stores who are searching out your consumers?

Before you get too settled into your chair, scope out your surroundings. You wouldn’t sit down to practice mindfulness in the middle of a busy intersection. And you won’t find desirable SERP rankings and successful SEO gains if your “neighborhood” isn’t conducive to reader/user trust. The neighborhood associated with your website perceived by search engine crawlers is determined by links. Make sure that you are linking to quality, well maintained sites.

In mindfulness practice, when thoughts pop into your mind, you acknowledge them and return to your breathing. When being mindful about your SEO goals an editorial calendar can help you to acknowledge new requests, good ideas that don’t serve your optimization goals, panic from others about competitor advances yet return to your thoughtful plan for creating content that will move your SEO plan forward in actionable ways. The voice of distraction can be in your mind and it can be on your screen.  Setting a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly editorial calendar will help you curate the SEO optimization your organization is calling for and it can calm the tides of daily panics and catastrophizers.

There is no end to your mindfulness practice. It is an iterative process. You must make conscious efforts to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday routines. So too must you actively maintain your SEO efforts. Make it a practice to check-in with what your target consumers are looking for, how you help them find your business, your content, the what the how and the when you post content and you will find your search engine optimization efforts will give you peace of mind.

Jennifer Wiseman