I know what you are thinking, SEO and the gym are two opposite worlds. Gym training is a sport, it includes physical activity, movement, physical stress, while SEO is a branch of digital marketing that includes a series of activities aimed at improving the ranking of websites on search engines and consequently bringing visibility and advantages for companies.
We might even think that they are the opposite from a physical point of view, given the sedentary nature of computer work.
In reality these two “disciplines” have numerous similarities. Let’s see how:
SEO and Gym Training: 5 similarities
Often explaining SEO to customers, entrepreneurs, collaborators or simply to friends and family is quite complex and if not well explained can give the idea of being something extremely simple and fast. For example, imagine saying to a customer: “I can place your site first on Google”, he might think a simple click will sort this all out.
In reality, the search engines optimization includes a series of very complex activities that concern both technical and IT aspects and strategic aspects, as well as purely humanistic and semantic aspects.
But let’s get to the point, what does SEO have in common with the gym? Let’s see some points:
1. Each person is different from the other
Those who attend or have attended a gym in the past, perhaps even followed a personal trainer’s instructions and advice, know that each person is different from the other, each situation must be analyzed individually. There are people who gain weight by eating little quantities of food, others who lose weight while eating a lot, some need aerobic exercises, others need more weightlifting, in short, the type of exercises and training is customized according to the person and the objectives.
The same thing goes for an SEO project. Each website is different from the other, each company is different from the other, each SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is different from the other. Objectives, characteristics, initial situation, size, market and competitiveness change constantly. Similar to training in the gym; the activities carried out, the resources, and the time required to achieve the objectives change according to the situation.
2. It takes time and patience
When you start training in the gym, both to lose weight and to gain muscle, when you return home or head back to the changing rooms, it is almost instinctive to look in the mirror and think: hmm… let’s see the difference. In reality, if you have been training for a few weeks, the difference is minimal if not nonexistent.
It takes time, dedication and patience to be able to truly see the desired results, but if the exercises are performed well and constantly you can look in the mirror and notice the huge difference compared to 6 months or 1 year before.
The same principle holds true in SEO. Search Engine Optimization is a medium-long term marketing strategy (unlike other strategies such as Social Ads or Google Ads) but one of the best performing, both because it intercepts users’ needs and intentions almost at all levels of the funnel (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU) and also because it has high conversion rates.
To achieve certain goals, you need months and months of constant work and activity planning. Some sites may start to see appreciable results already after a short time but in general it takes a lot of work and patience.
3. Proactive collaboration
Let’s imagine that you want to increase your muscle mass and you decide to go to a dietician and a personal trainer. The dietician prescribes you a high calorie and protein diet and the personal trainer a sheet of exercises to be performed 3 days a week.
You don’t have free time and you love sweets, so you decide to go to the gym 2 times a month and eat lots of donuts. How much lean muscle mass do you think you can put on in 6 months?
Unlike the gym, in SEO most of the technical activities are carried out by the specialist who takes care of the project and carries out the operations, but similar to training in the gym an active collaboration by the client is necessary which in some cases is the only one to be able to carry out certain activities under the guidance of the SEO consultant, for example to provide users with relevant content in a specific sector, or to ask customers to review the activity, etc.
4. Nutrition and Integration VS Doping
It is well known that nutrition plays a fundamental role in training in the gym, whatever the goal. A healthy diet with an adequate caloric intake that includes the right balance between carbohydrates, proteins and fats is the secret to achieving the set goals.
It would be unthinkable to be able to increase muscle mass by training 3 times a week but providing the body with a very low caloric intake, indeed, supplements are often needed to be able to reach the amount of protein or other elements necessary for muscle growth.
Supplements should not be confused with doping substances. Doping such as the use of anabolics is a practice that can bring fast results in no time but is extremely dangerous and harmful to the body, in addition to the fact that the results could vanish with equal speed.
What’s similar in SEO? The quality of the information with which we feed the site and users, the frequency, the right integration of quality backlinks, are fundamental to improve positioning and increase traffic. Technical optimization is as fundamental as training in the gym, but the technicalities alone are not enough to bring lasting results if not accompanied by a content strategy.
There are also doping techniques in SEO called black hat SEO, such as the massive acquisition of unnatural backlinks or keyword stuffing. These highly discouraged techniques can bring fast results in terms of ranking, but an almost certain penalty by Google with the consequent loss of all the work done.
5. The results are satisfying
Whoever has been training in the gym for years will surely happen to look in the mirror or look at an old photo and think: “Damn I was so fat 2 years ago!” Or on the contrary; “Look how thin I was!”
Surely he would not have been able to notice the same differences by comparing a photo from 2 years ago with one from 1 year and a half ago.
Hard training, proper nutrition and patience lead to satisfactory results.
In SEO it is exactly the same. The first months do not seem to bring any concrete results, the data is compared with those of the previous month and there are no major differences. Work continues steadily and patiently until after 6 months or 1 year the results start to arrive. You can compare the metrics with those of the previous year or watch the trend over time and see huge differences! What gratification!