Beyond The Buzz: Busting SEO Myths & Cultivating Sustainable Success

Photo of Laura Jawad sitting on the floor leaning against a couch and looking off into the distance.

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My mother-in-law is a super talented gardener.
 
And I’m not talking about run-of-the-mill flower beds in the front yard, I’m talking epic, she’s-on-the-garden-tour kind of garden.
Aerial photo of a large garden, provided as context for an analogy between SEO and growing a garden.
When my husband and I got married, we started touring venues for the ceremony- until we realized, nothing beat his mom’s garden.
 
And so, we got married in the yard at his parents house.
Photo of myself and my husband standing in front of my mother-in-law's garden.
Now obvs, the garden didn’t always look like this.
 
They bought this property and developed it from scratch.
 
This garden started with a petunia from the garden center, just like my small but mighty container garden.
A picture of my feet in front of my container garden, far less impressive than my mother-in-law's garden.
But over YEARS, she cultivated her space. She added flowers and plants. The existing plants grew, matured, filled-in.
 
She made tweaks here and there, moved things around.
 
And she’s hired help.
 
She can’t always do all the heavy lifiting, but she knows what needs to be done.
 
This garden didn’t happen overnight. But now that it’s established, it’s got a life of it’s own. While it does require tending, it will continue to thrive, even if neglected for a season.
 
During a year of health challenges, my MIL wasn’t up to maintaining it as she would have liked. While parts of it grew a little wild, to the untrained eye, it was still lush and full and beautiful.
 
And once my MIL could be back out there? It was waiting for her, ready for a little TLC and still primed for greatness.
 
Guess where I’m going with this?

Cultivate Your SEO, Watch Your Business Bloom

Your website, your SEO- it’s your garden.
 
From small, tender starts (a home page? a services page? one or two outdated blog posts?) blooms a vibrant, binge-worthy platform that takes on a life of it’s own.
 
I know that a lot of my colleagues in the health and wellness space want to shut their eyes and plug their ears when they hear about websites, SEO and analytics.
 
If that’s you, please give me another sec!
 
I want to take a minute and dispel a couple of misconceptions and assure you that you CAN and should invest a little of your brain space in SEO.
 
And I want to also take some of the pressure off- SEO is a long-term project, but not one that needs to suck up all of your time.

Myth 1: SEO Requires Technical Expertise

Worried that SEO is too technical for you to master?
 
It’s not.
 
Getting the hang of SEO basics doesn’t require an advanced degree.
 
At its core, SEO revolves around concepts such as keyword research, content creation and creating a good user experience.
 
If you want to learn how to research keywords and write good content, you can.
 
If you cringe when I say “mobile-responsive” or “meta-data”? Hire it out once you have the resources.
 
It’s not that the tech doesn’t matter. It does. But best tech in the world won’t matter if you don’t have anything for people to search for.
 
Start simple. Choose relevant keywords, create thorough and relevant content and make sure your website is a joy to visit.
 
And then just like my MIL hired out the heavy lifting, you can outsource tasks that you can’t or don’t want to do.

Myth 2: SEO Results Are Immediate

SEO is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.
 
In a world that’s spoiled us with same day-Prime delivery, it’s important to set this expectation from the start.
 
Unlike paid advertising or social media where you can see instant visibility, SEO operates on a different timeline.
 
It involves optimizing your website, creating long-form, relevant content, building backlinks, and establishing credibility with search engines.
 
These activities take time to show their full impact and influence on your website’s visibility.
 
On the plus side? Your efforts gain value over time.
 
Kind of like an investment in the stock market.
 
Paid ads drive traffic as long as you’re paying the monies. And social media posts circulate for 24-48 hours. 
 
But the article you publish on your website today?
 
It’s searchable forever.
 
And in fact, that content will become MORE visible over time.
 
It will draw traffic to your website for YEARS to come, driving leads and sales.
 
Building a strong online presence and climbing the search engine rankings does take time and consistent effort.
 
But… it’s time and effort well invested because the dividends pay out over the lifetime of your business, not just until a social media feed is refreshed.

Myth 3: SEO Is A One-Time Task

Okay, we’re going to revisit your garden.

You plant the seeds, tend to them, and watch them grow. And you could stop there. But if you really like home-grown veggies, you’ll probably take a few extra steps.

A garden requires a little TLC to really thrive.

Good SEO is like tending to a garden. You set up your initial optimization, but just like plants, your website needs attention and nurturing.

Google’s algorithm, like changing seasons, evolves and updates over time. These changes can affect how your pages rank.

Also, the search landscape itself changes. New content is constantly being created and searcher preferences shift.

It’s not a static environment.

But here’s the good news: maintaining SEO doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s about taking small, manageable steps and making regular tweaks along the way.

Start with the basics, like choosing good keywords and creating valuable content. These are like planting the seeds in your garden.

Then, keep an eye on your website to see how it performs and make adjustments accordingly. It’s like watering and tending to your growing plants.

You don’t have to do everything at once.

In fitness, in health- you know that long-lasting results come from consistent work, not a quick fix. The same applies to SEO.

Small, consistent effort over time ensures that your website remains relevant and competitive. Remove the weeds, nurture your garden- you’ll be cultivating a strong online presence.

Myth 4: I Don't Have Time For SEO

Reality: You don’t have time NOT to do SEO.

If you get stuck in the hamster-wheel of short term marketing tactics- social media and paid ads, you’re never going to have time to grow your business in new directions. Or take time off for vacations, your health, your family.

While there are a million SEO-tasks you could do- the reality is that you don’t have to do them all.

SEO works even if you’re doing doing every last thing, or if you’re not doing it perfectly.

Of course, the magnitude of your SEO results is proportional to the efforts you put in. But for a small service-based business, small efforts can yield meaningful returns.

And you can titrate your effort over time. Maybe right now you have time to optimize your homepage. Or write a blog post a month. But you can dial that effort up or down as you have capacity.

SEO takes time to mature. 3, 6, 12 months down the line, you’ll see an increase in your organic traffic comensurate with your efforts. If you don’t start now? You’ll be in the same place a year from now.

Now is the perfect time to get started.

Infographic: 4 SEO Myths That Are Holding Back Your Website. This infographic summarizes the 4 myths outlined in this post, and provides 4 truths that correct each myth.

The Take Away

I’m not here to tell you that SEO is a quick fix for your online visibility woes. I’m here to tell you that it’s something you’re very capable of working on. And that you should work on it.

What I hope you’ll take away is that:

1) You can work on your SEO with out a ton of technical know-how.

2) While SEO isn’t an overnight fix, and it’s not set-it-and-forget-it, it is the alternative to spending lots of time creating disposible content for paid ads and social media.

3) SEO works on a totally different timescale from social media and ads- that’s actually a cool thing! Just like you can plan your garden to have colorful blooms accross the seasons, you can use SEO to complement your shorter-term marketing tools to ensure that your business thrives in the long-term.

4) Carve out some time to work on your SEO today. It doesn’t have to be much. But each effort is a deposit in the bank, an investment in stocks- returns take time. But those returns are what will allow you to step off the social media hamster wheel.

 

Plant that first petunia.

If you’re wondering where to start when it comes to your SEO? Sign up for an SEO Power Hour– I help female health and wellness pros get their websites found on Google so they can break their reliance on social media. I can audit your website, give you a snapshot of your current SEO and online visibility, and set a strategy for you to boost your Google rankings.

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Laura Jawad, Ph.D. is a personal trainer and birth doula-turned-SEO strategist for female health and wellness providers.

She offers SEO site reviews, SEO coaching and on-page optimization for wordpress users.

Please reach out with questions, schedule a Chemistry call or explore her services page!

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hey, i’m Laura (She/her)

I’m an SEO strategist and systems junkie devoted to helping female health and wellness service providers get found on Google. I’m here to help you fill your client roster without relying on social media.

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