If you’re like me a short time ago, thinking about making a change in your business or pivoting to another field, you’re probably also already trying to talk yourself out of it. Thinking about all of the factors that will need to be changed if/when you make this change is daunting – what about all of the old blog posts that link to each other, the email sequences, the freebies, the pins and posts and all of the things?! If that sounds familiar and gets your pulse racing, this is for you. Let’s reframe and shift the perspective to focus on what matters even more than SEO.
If you've been in business for awhile, you've probably built a nice little web of your own -- I don't mean a network, but rather a web of your own making. Links from one blog to another, a social media post that directs readers to your blog, countless pins scattered all over the internet. It feels daunting and intimidating to even imagine how you'd begin tracking down all of those pieces that direct people your way. I know I really value a neat and tidy package, and the idea of inaccurate, outdated, or unnecessary content out there on the internet with my name on it was almost enough to keep me from making a change and pulling on that loose thread.
When we look at this picture from an SEO (search engine optimization) standpoint, it might feel even more daunting. For those of us (yep, I'm definitely one of these folks) who aren't SEO experts, it seems like a mystical, magical creature. We don't know how to catch it -- or if it even is possible -- and if we do manage to catch one, we want to hold onto it tight. After all, if you let that unicorn go, who's to say another one will come along? If I delete all those old blog posts that had actually managed to get themselves onto the first page of Google search results, will I ever find my way back there with a new blog?
I won't give you any technical SEO advice here -- there are definitely others out there who can do that much better than I could. There are surely tangible things you can do to make the transition as smooth as possible. What I'm here for, and I will advise you to do, is to stay in "research mode" for the shortest time possible. If you've got 20 tabs open trying to find just the perfect solution so that you are taking the least amount of risk possible, here's a spoiler: it's not out there. Whatever approach you take, there will be problems and there will be benefits. Move on from this stage as soon as you can to avoid getting into analysis paralysis.
Because actually, if you're still in the 20 tabs "research" mode, I've got a question for you. Is this your zone of genius? Is this the work that lights you up, what people come to you for advice about, the thing that you lose track of time while you're doing it? Or are you (like me) just wasting time on this because you don't want to hire it out or take a chance? Maybe you're good at solving problems -- it might even be in your zone of excellence -- but is it really the best use of your time? These ideas, the zones of genius and excellence, come from the book The Big Leap, which I talked a lot more about in this blog about the 5 books that defined my 2020 uplevel.
Here's the deal. Even if your web presence is a mess while you're figuring it all out, it can still be powerful. Maybe someone will click on one of your old pins and end up on your website finding just exactly the freebie or the service they didn't know they needed. Don't get so bogged down by seeking perfection that you deprive the world of what you have to offer right now.
What matters more than SEO, a cute, organized Pinterest board, or a nice, neat internet presence is being true to yourself. If this new direction for your business is where you are feeling called to be, then that matters. Focus on being in alignment with your purpose, doing work that you love, and creating something that feels good. If those things are your priority, then leave some space for magic to happen through them. Let go of the illusion of control, risk having a few broken links, and step into your new, powerful identity.