How SEO Relates To Boxing - An SEO's 'Super Punch-out!' Story
Written by: Nick LeRoy
Have you ever associated Search Engine Optimization with the sport of boxing? Probably not. However, you would be surprised to see how similar the two can be. Think abot it, you always have the 'champion' who typically rains supreme. That is until the little guy trains (builds content), competes in fights (authority), and builds upon their skill set (link building). Let's take a step back and look at the analogy in a little more detail.
Meet Lil Mac
This is you! You're brand new to the internet world and you're nowhere to be found in the search engines. In all honestly the world simply doesn't care about you. Not much is expected from you but it's admirable that you want to play with the big boys. Everyone starts out as a 'Little Mac' but what you do from here will determine if you're just another pretender or an online juggernaut.
Training Is Key!
In order to get ready for your first fight you need to train. Conditioning, increasing mobility and knocking around the punching bag are just a few techniques that get you ready for the big fight. Just like boxing, in the SEO world you can't run out and start fighting your competitors, you need to train! Start out by building your sites architecture; this could be compared to choosing the best footwear. Both sneakers and rollerblades will allow you to stand up straight but one may argue that the rollerblades will give you a handicap. SEO is no different, make sure that your site architecture is search engine friendly and set it up in such a way to maximize spider crawl ability.
Your next training exercise includes building content that is optimized for the search engines. Make sure all your content is unique and offers value to all your readers. This is to be done site wide, from your products or services pages to your blog. You have a blog right?
Your First Fight!
In boxing your first fight isn't against the heavyweight champion but another boxer that has more or less the same experience as you. In this example you're going up against "Joe Glass". He's older than you but his overall authority is low. If you followed your training regimen then these types of competitors shouldn't put up too much resistance. In fact, this should result in a pretty easy win. In SEO the "Joe Glass" of the web consists of older websites that are either not optimized or offer such a low level of value that they are nearly invisible to the search engines. At this point in the game small jabs (low level links) can defeat these competitors. Just like boxing a win is a win and in SEO moving up one more position in the search rankings brings you one step closer to the top position.
Climbing The Ranks Isn't Easy
While your still not number one you're starting to build a name for yourself. You have made the most of your 'easy wins' and continue to build upon your existing skills. You're now about to go up against some more talented fighters. These competitors may be utilizing SEO best practices but just haven't been in the game long enough to sore to the top of the rankings. How do you compete against these competitors in which the techniques you defeated your previous competitors with no longer work? You continue to evolve! You might have exhausted all your low level link acquisitions such as blog commenting and directory listings. It's time to pull out the bigger guns and start exploring the world of guest blogging, social media, and viral widgets. With this new arsenal you will be prepared to take on some of the more talented fighters. Remember that just like boxing these new techniques are built off the basics. Starting off on the right foot is very important but it's the follow through that will knock your opponent out!
It's Time For The Big Fight!
Congratulations! If you reached this point you're already ranking within the top 10! A top 10 ranked boxer is getting media attention and is probably getting paid some decent money to participate in fights. In SEO if you're in the top 10 listings on the search results you're probably starting to receive traffic and even making a few sales. However, have you ever met someone satisfied with being in the top 10? No way! You want to be number 1! With this mindset you have just made the decision to step into the ring with the big boys. All these competitors have well executed SEO plans and in addition have probably been doing it for years. Their link profiles are impressive and can be intimidating at times. Fortunately for you bigger isn't always better! This is where you as a fighter will need to go all out. Viral marketing, competitions, product giveaways, personalized link building e-mails, creating and distributing free online tools to list just a few. This is all in addition to the other techniques your already using. Remember that all links have some sort of value but certain links have more value then others. Continue to work hard, plug away, and when that perfect link occurs that just may be enough to unload your deadly 'super punch' to your competition. If everything goes right they will be down for the count and you will be the new undisputed heavyweight champion of the world!