Few television shows are as close to a one-to-one comparison to Search Engine Optimization like The Biggest Loser. From the personal trainers to the eliminations to the goal of the show, trimming down an SEO site is eerily similar to the weekly weight-loss programming seen frequently on NBC.
Every contestant is obese. When a SEO is first contacted by an internet business, whether to join the In-House team or as an outside consultant, it is very rare that the website they start work on is doing well at all. Almost certainly, the website will be fat, out of shape, and will require work, whether through link building (working out), or on-site optimization (diet and lifestyle). If things were working out great and the person had great control of their site or their SEO services, they wouldn’t be contacting you, the personal trainer.
The process takes a long time. SEO is not a quick fix. While we can make some quick, immediate changes to a website (diet and lifestyle), it takes long term commitment to link building (exercise) and maintenance of the website to get to our ideal image, which is a front page rankings. Hopefully, these front page rankings will convert traffic into customers (dates!).
Every person requires a different trainer style. Every client and company is different. Some clients will require ninety e-mails and countless phone-calls to finally change their title tags (dietary habits), while others will do so instantaneously. Some of these clients will like you a little too much and start calling you even when you shouldn’t be working. This happened to Bob Harper in Season 8 with Amanda – I know, I thought it was a little weird too.
The less efficient contestants get cut. Many times you will have to eliminate entire parts of a website and restructure them to get your ideal picture. At the end of the process, you will be left with the best parts of your website, and those parts will be in the best shape of their lives, due to the link building and on-site optimization that was implemented throughout the process.
Unfortunately for the contestants (and the SEOs getting paid), the show ends. Whether it’s by mutual breakup, the company folding or underperformance by one or both parties, the website no longer has its personal trainer. This, of course, can lead to..
.. the contestants getting fat again. Ranking first doesn’t mean you have to stay first. Many times websites will lose their dedication to link building, start scaling inefficiently, and get passed up by fitter, sexier competitors. Many of these contestants were fat in the first place because they had no concept of optimal SEO practices, and if they choose to never take them up or really learn them, they’re bound to get fat again.
So what lesson can we pull from this tale of obesity and sorrow? Learn your SEO, continuously practice it, and, for heaven’s sakes, work out. And I don’t mean link build, please get in the gym.
I don’t want to see you on that show.
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!