Menu Search


How to Get Back in the Saddle: An Insider’s Guide to Learning from Failure

Insights November 8, 2013


A key part of success is knowing when you’ve fallen off the horse. As an avid equestrian, I’ve taken a spill or two and know how much it can hurt. Within my first few months as a Brand Strategist, our company experienced a Google update and I watched as my fellow co-workers scrambled to stay at the top of Google’s rankings. As the dust settled, I was directed to an article, which discussed how failure could actually be a benefit in disguise – a stipulation for success. I began thinking about my riding career and the countless times I ate a face full of dirt. This lesson served as a forewarning – similar to my equestrian experience; this SEO journey was going to be a bumpy ride filled with thrills and agonizing setbacks.


For those of you feeling down from your latest fall in the SERPS, I’ve composed a guide to aid those “newbies” as well as reassure those veterans who are fighting the daily battle to keep a nose ahead of the competition. These qualities listed below are some of the key characteristics that I feel are fundamental to champion this industry.

1. Creativity


Lets face it, not every client comes to us with an earth-shattering product where bloggers are dying to throw links at us. As a result, innovation can be a vital problem-solving tool when it comes to creating fresh content. The ultimate goal is to create original content that is memorable and attractive to a specific online community. This “sticky” content can potentially help you earn quality links and beat your competition. Likewise, adopting a unique and clever strategy in show jumping can spell the difference between winning and just competing.

2. Patience

Thanks to advancements in technology, instant gratification is now a major characteristic of today’s culture. Cell phones, text messages, email, were all created to immediately satisfy users by providing them with the information they desire without the wait. However, in this realm, slow and steady wins the race. Similar to how a rider must be patient with their teammate. SEO, like Show Jumping, is a long-term investment – it takes time to reach the top of the SERPs just like it takes time to develop a winning horse.

3. Be Proactive

At times, Google can throw a few tricks our way, which keeps us SEOs on the edges of our seats and gives us a head full of prematurely gray hair. As a result, we must take-charge in predicting Google’s next move, just as a rider must anticipate the unknown in the jump course. This leaves us feeling like we are playing a giant game of chess with our careers on the line. As in the world of competitive sports, we must always be on the lookout for the competition. Thankfully, with the right tools and proactive competitive analysis, we’re sure to win the blue ribbon.


4. Perseverance

Thanks to Google and its array of unpredictable updates (e.g., Panda, Penguin, and most recently Hummingbird), we must learn to get back in our saddles every time Google bucks us off. Why do we do so? To be the best at what we do.

Attaining the top spot of the leaderboard in SEO is like any intricate and challenging competition – it can, at times, be flat out frustrating, exhausting, and challenging. Understanding when a strategy isn’t working and showing your resilience will make the difference between a champion and a participant.


Frontline Newsletter

Get our latest digital marketing insights and trending news, sent straight to your inbox.