21 Lessons Learned: One Year of SEO

by Christopher Yee on July 17, 2011

Wow – this blog is officially ONE YEAR OLD!  I have learned a lot about the art and science of search engine optimization since my journey began and I must admit it has been quite an experience.  Below are some of the lessons learned these past 12 months in no particular order of importance.

  1. Want to propose an SEO change?  Justify it with numbers.
  2. People search for the darn-est things.
  3. Reading a book (or blog post) written by an industry leader is different than actually doing it yourself.
  4. Even if you aren’t tech savvy learn a little programming – you’ll see the world in a different set of lens.
  5. Record EVERYTHING you do – from server end changes to link acquisition dates and more.
  6. Google won’t be around forever – optimize for the user first (cliche but still important).
  7. Excel is an SEO’s best friend.
  8. The SEO industry (and world) is a small place – work hard and don’t f**k up because word gets around.
  9. Search engines have a lot of work to do to combat spam.
  10. Find an SEO mentor at the beginning of your career who will go above and beyond the call of duty to help refine your skills.
  11. Learn the fundamentals of HTML and CSS – the internet is built on it.
  12. Take all industry news with a grain of salt.
  13. New to the SEO world?  Freelance for small businesses – their websites are usually outdated and could use the help.
  14. Developers can be your best friend or worse enemy – make them the former.
  15. 98% of all reports are useless – don’t create them unless you include action items.
  16. 79% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
  17. Monitor your web traffic like a newborn baby.
  18. SEO tools are only as effective as its user.
  19. Link development is the most grueling and time consuming SEO task – yet it’s the most important.
  20. Just because one SEO tactic worked for somebody else doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.
  21. Take a break and get some sunlight.
And with that, we are officially half way through 2011!