10 Ways To Avoid SEO Burnout

10 Ways To Avoid SEO Burnout

The word ‘SEO’ stands for search engine optimization, which is making a website or blog as relevant and helpful to as many people as possible when they do a web search online. One of the major issues that anyone in this field can experience is burnout, which can lead to a complete saturation of any interest a person might have in online marketing or search engine optimization (SEO).

How Can You Avoid SEO Burnout?

The following list will explore the causes of SEO burnout and how you can avoid it. Keep reading for further information.

  • Create A Healthy Work-Life Balance

One of the primary reasons why many people get burned out in the first place is that they put in too much effort. Many people in this field live and breathe SEO 24/7, as it’s very much a part of their everyday routine. You’ll always find someone working hard to improve their performance day in and day out, which can lead to a lot of stress and a low quality of life. You’re setting yourself up for burnout if you put in too much effort without getting sufficient rewards. 

The solution is quite simple: create a healthy work-life balance. You don’t need to stop working in favor of the balance – quite the opposite, in fact. You need to find ways to keep your sanity while still keeping your clients happy, and the books are pouring in.

You can find help with this through various health techniques, such as meditation or yoga. It might also be a good idea to ask for help from a trusted friend or family member. Some people find that getting a massage or taking a long stroll helps them relax and recharge their batteries.

  • Learn To Love What You Do

Another important factor contributing to burnout is a lack of passion for what you do. Just because you love your job doesn’t mean you have to do it 24/7. If this is the case, then it might be time to re-evaluate your career path. Is there another job or career you can switch to that you’ll enjoy more? Every job has its perks and flaws, and it’s important to acknowledge and honor the perks while still trying to improve upon the flaws. 

One of the major perks of being an SEO is that you get to learn about new things and innovate whenever you want, but the downside is that it’s extremely taxing. You’ll learn a lot in the process, but unless you enjoy what you do, it’s very easy for the job to become mundane and even a little bit stressful.

Having a passion for what you do is an important element to keep in mind whenever you’re considering changing careers or taking up a new challenge. It can help you to keep your excitement about the field and avoid getting bored or feeling unfulfilled.

  • Don’t Get Too Absorbed In Technicalities

An extremely important point to make is that although SEO is an important part of modern marketing, it’s only one part. You’ll always need to be mindful of other important areas of marketing, such as social media and brand awareness when doing SEO work. Cramming everything into a tiny SEO strategy is sure to create burnout. Instead, focus on the big picture and leave the technicalities to those who are actually good at it. 

For instance, you might spend a lot of time tweaking a page’s content or structuring it in a way that Google thinks is important, but all that work might be for naught if your social media strategy is outdated or not working.

Similarly, all your work to get a site’s content to rank high on Google might disappear when another website with similar content comes along and outshines you on the search engine. In these situations, you’ll have wasted a lot of time and effort for absolutely nothing.

This brings us to another important point: technicalities will never make up the entirety of SEO. Sure, you’ll need to be acquainted with basic HTML and know how to use WordPress or other content management systems to create a website, but deep down inside, you’ll always be a marketer at heart. Don’t get too absorbed in the nitty-gritty of SEO and lose track of the bigger picture – what is the overall goal of this work? What do you hope to see from this particular website or blog? 

Technicalities are important, as they help you to make the website or blog work effectively for its purpose, but the reality is that you can always hire someone to manage the tech side of things for you if you get really bogged down in the technical details. Stop worrying about the technical details. Click here to find out how. 

  • Be Selective About The Clients You Work With

SEO is a very competitive and busy space. Many clients out there need help, but unless you’re careful, you might end up working with the wrong people. One factor contributing to burnout is taking on too many clients without proper supervision or guidance. You might work your ass off for one or two clients, and then suddenly, you’ll get a call from another client saying that they’re nearly done with their project and need someone to pop in and finish it off. 

In these situations, you’ll immediately see a rise in your workload, and although it might be tempting just to take the job and get it over with, you should only do this if you’re certain that this is the kind of work you do is suited for you. Instead, find a smaller, more specialized firm that only does a handful of daily projects so you can get the supervision you need without worrying about your workload going out of control.

  • Take Breaks When You Need Them

A busy lifestyle combined with long hours on your feet can seriously damage your physical and mental well-being. One of the major causes of burnout is excessive exhaustion, so be mindful of this and take breaks when you need them. Set your alarm a little early in the morning to get some sleep during the day. If you need to take a break from work, then take it. Go for a walk, get a massage or have a coffee with a friend. 

Whatever it is, find something that makes you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Without sufficient rest and relaxation, you can bet your ass that your productivity will suffer, and, eventually, so will your enthusiasm for the work. It’s always better for your health and your effectiveness to take breaks and recover from stress and fatigue than to keep working through it.

  • Avoid Burnout Triggers

Some situations are almost unavoidable in our line of work that will inevitably cause you to act in a manner that is adverse to your best interest. One of the major triggers of SEO burnout is an overabundance of work. If you’re frequently working through stressful periods, then it might be time to reevaluate your schedule and find ways to reduce the amount of work you have to do. 

Are there any specific projects that you could hand over to another person or department to handle? There will always be something, but you might have to be creative and proactive in finding options that suit your needs.

  • Stay Healthy

An important part of avoiding burnout is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly. Stress is bad for you, and although it might be fun and exciting to work in a high-pressure environment, you’ll only end up paying the price in one way or another. If you’re looking for a way to prevent burnout, then take care of your physical health first and foremost. 

Do some research into the warning signs of over- and under-exercise, and try to work out a game plan to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight is also important for preventing many illnesses and medical issues, so ensure you eat the right food and stay hydrated. All this can help keep your mind and body alert and ready to work hard, which is essential for avoiding burnout.

  • Be Realistic About Your Expectations

It’s important to set realistic expectations about your own capabilities. No one is an expert in every field, and although SEO is an important part of digital marketing, it’s only one piece of the puzzle.

It’s important to acknowledge that you’re not going to wake up one day and magically be able to rank a website or blog immediately above the major search engines. Even getting your site to appear in the major search engines is considered a large feat and takes a lot of time and effort. 

Set your expectations correctly, and you’ll be much more likely to reach your goals. For example, if you’re aiming to get your site to show up in the top 3 results for a broad search term, then that’s an extremely ambitious goal, and, realistically, it might take you years to achieve. Set your expectations lower, and you’ll be more likely to succeed.

  • De-prioritize Organic Growth

We all want our websites to draw in the most traffic possible, but focusing too much on organic growth can also become a distraction. When your main goal is to beat your competitors through sheer traffic volume, you may want to try anything to achieve that goal. That includes manipulating tactics that could get you flagged by Google or penalized by Facebook.

Organic growth is great – but it’s not the be-all and end-all. You’ll never reach your full potential if you only focus on organic growth.

  • Focus On Building A Brand

Building a brand is a slow and steady process, but it’s one of the most important aspects of SEO. Once you’ve established yourself as an expert within your industry, you can start to build a brand for yourself – one that may eventually lead to increased recognition and growth.

For example, if you’re an accountant and you find yourself consistently saving taxpayers money through your smart planning and analysis, you might decide to establish yourself as the go-to person for tax accounting. With enough data to support your claims, you can then build a brand around that expertise and let people know how they can benefit from your services.

SEO isn’t something that comes easily to everyone, so consider yourself extremely fortunate to have found this area of expertise. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished and know that you can continue to grow and establish yourself as an expert in this space.

Take a look at the people closest to you in terms of loyalty and support – your friends, your loved ones, your own family. Chances are, someone on this list is willing to help you grow your business and be the best version of yourself possible. And that’s exactly what you need.

What Prevents You From Truly Enjoying Your Work And Connecting With Your Audience?

SEO is all about growing an audience and converting them into paying customers via organic or non-paid search results on search engines like Google. To optimize a website for the right keywords, you need to understand what those keywords are and how individuals are using them when searching online. You also need to consider the global trends and what keywords are popular across different countries, thus indicating the kind of content people are really searching for.

SEO is Ever-Evolving

SEO is a constantly evolving field, and you can never stop learning new things. Just when you think you know it all, Google and the rest of the search engines will develop new ways to improve your site’s exposure and conversion. While this might be frustrating at times, it’s essential that you don’t get discouraged by this. Instead, look at every new update and technology shift as a potential opportunity to grow your audience and establish yourself as an expert in your industry.

It can be a challenging and often frustrating field. You’re constantly fighting spam bots, black hats, and poorly optimized sites which sometimes seem to outshine your hard work. This is why many SEOs or analysts become frustrated and demotivated with the industry, believing there’s no real justice in a field where you can’t always be sure of victory. 

Even when you prove the effectiveness of your strategy and work hard to improve a site’s SEO, sometimes it just doesn’t seem to work. But with these tips, you can avoid SEO burnout. Not so keen on taking on a new challenge? No problem – with a little planning and strategizing, you can find ways to make the most of what you already have!

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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