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SEO isn't a race to the top, it's a journey with hurdles
Doing SEO is something you need to take your time with, because it will destroy you if you treat it as a race, so get over some hurdles and let's talk a bit lol.
SEO takes time, it takes a lot of effort, and you might not know it now, but you could be doing a lot of trial and error with your main site if you don't fully understand what you're doing. When I was doing SEO for clients full time, I always had test sites that I would set up every month. I would buy a fresh domain, put it on a hosting account, then SEO the crap out of it to see what works and what got the site burned. I treated them like normal sites by adding content and a lot of static pages, but I would kill them with bad tactics over time and have to get rid of them and start over lol. After months of testing, I would know what works and what doesn't, then I would apply that to my clients' sites so I was sure they'd get better rankings in the shortest amount of time possible. I also wanted them to stick to the top for as long as possible, so doing amazing SEO work helped, and they never slipped much from the top three spots
Now then let's talk a little more about SEO and why it's not a race to the top but a journey with hurdles.
Never expect overnight results
I've mentioned this a lot over the years because most of my clients wanted instant results, which you likely know doesn't happen, so I would always break it to them BEFORE they signed up. Some people would say, "Why are you telling me this? Don't you want me to sign up with you" and others would say "I guess I'm going to hire someone else then!" but I'm still glad I told them lol. I didn't want to deal with those types of people, the ones who didn't understand what they were purchasing, because it would be chaotic in three to six months if they hadn't gotten a million more visitors and profited ten billion dollars.
Basic SEO takes time, Great SEO takes 8+ hours a day, and Competition killer SEO takes a team of specialists all day and night.
Have an SEO path, not a timeline
A lot of my clients in the past would say "How long will it take me to rank #1 for my keywords?" and I always responded with "How long is a piece of string?". They were usually stumped until I told them "SEO can't be measured in time, but we can put in our full effort to get your ranked as quickly, and safely, as we possibly can." I would then go into how we could harm their website if we jammed 6+ months of work into a few weeks, and they started to get the idea lol.
As for your SEO path, you need to write down loose goals you want to hit and compare where you're currently at to where you wanted to be. Write down where you are now, and in three months you should compare it to where you thought you would be in the SERPs. Do the same for your six month, nine month, and twelve month mark to get an idea of how effective your SEO process is going.
Do your SEO right the first time
You can hire an SEO "specialist" today and have them start work tomorrow, but they might not know what they're doing. You could also hire a team of people, and they could burn your website to the ground without caring a single bit.
What you need to do is start your SEO, if you know what you're doing, then outsource some work to credible people and be sure they're doing what they said they would be doing or they're at least following an outline you wrote for them.
Think of it as if you were a carpenter "Measure twice and cut once" because you don't want to screw up your SEO. It will cost you far more than what a carpenter is paying for the wood he only measures once if you don't take your time.
Don't chase or try to hurt your competitors
One of the saddest things I see in the SEO world is someone selling a "competition killer blackhat SEO tactics" where it's the only purpose is to hurt your competitors, so you rank better than they do. Instead of worrying about your competitors, why not focus on your service or products and make sure they're better than anything out there. Make your competitors worry about you and try to overthrow your rankings within the SERPs.
Do your own thing, focus on your sales, focus on your traffic, and never worry about what your competitors are doing because it's a waste of time.
SEO takes a massive amount of time and investment, both monetarily and psychologically, so be sure you're ready for it. You could do all the work yourself, answer all the emails, respond to the support tickets, and do everything else there is but you'll get burned out. I would suggest starting it out on your own and outsourcing to credible agencies later on so you can ease your stress and slowing let go of the reigns a bit. Don't worry if you're not ranked tomorrow or next month because proper SEO takes time, and Google won't rank you overnight!
Thanks for reading