Mastering the Art of Ongoing SEO: Lessons from Bruce Lee

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The other day I watched Enter the Dragon, arguably the best kung fu movie ever made, and certainly one of Bruce Lee’s finer performances. One of my favorite moments in the movie is when a kickboxer from New Zealand, Parsons* asks Bruce Lee to show him the art of “fighting without fighting.” Here’s the scene: This lesson stuck with me from childhood, and I apply the concept in my everyday life (even though I don’t know a lick of kung fu). For instance, if I clean the kitchen as I cook, I don’t have a mess to deal with after dinner. I’ve cleaned without cleaning. If I type detailed notes during a client meeting, it’s easier to task out the work for myself and my team later. I’ve worked without working. I find it’s also the best approach to take with an SEO strategy. Here are a few ways you can implement an ongoing SEO plan that will help you “fight” toward your goals without wearing yourself out or wasting your company’s resources.

Constant content

Content isn’t King, but it is a veteran fighter within the Shaolin Temple of search engine algorithms. And, as with any form of martial arts, one must always practice—keep generating content. Whether by consistently updating your company’s blog with quality, useful information, or by submitting guest posts or contributed articles which link back to your own website, feeding search engine robots (and your site visitors) fresh content is a good way to keep their attention and keep your site on a path to position one of search results.

Be patient with link building

Bruce Lee vs. HanInbound linking is another SEO practice that requires ongoing effort. When other websites link back to yours (especially other sites which are credible and relevant to your business) it boosts your ability to rank in search results. In Enter the Dragon, Mr. Han didn’t allow firearms on his island because it would invite suspicion for international authorities to justify a raid. Most search engines consider a sudden, rapid influx of inbound links highly suspicious because it isn’t indicative of organic growth, but more like a spammer rushing out to buy or brute force a bigger link profile. Link building the right way requires persistence, and fostering trust between yourself and the folks from whom you want backlinks. A good, organic link building plan will likely yield two or three inbound links per week, and won’t get you blacklisted by any search engines.

Analyze, adapt, analyze

Good, consistent reporting also has a place in your SEO strategy. Use data-gathering tools to improve your SEO strategy the way Bruce Lee used Mr. Han’s own spear against him in that giant room of mirrors. Google provides a sharp set of tools (Analytics, Webmaster Tools, AdWords, etc.) useful for navigating your way to page one search results. Apply SEO to your site, measure results after a month, make any adjustments necessary to correct the path to your goals, then measure again in a month. Repeat. SEO doesn’t have to be an intensive, daily task, but once the ball is rolling, it’s easier to maintain in frequent bursts than by launching all-out reviews at bi-annual intervals. Stay focused on your goals, keep practicing, and fight for your position in search engine results – without fighting.

*Originally mis-remembered this character as being British agent Braithwaite. Thank you for the correction, kind reader!

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