SEO Detox: How to Lower Your Stress Levels as a Digital Marketing Professional

Unless you have a nasty boss or difficult clients, being a search engine optimization (SEO) professional probably isn’t as stressful as many other jobs out there. Nonetheless, the field offers more than enough stress to go around, especially in areas like client relationship management, content creation, and linkbuilding.

If you want to make a career out of SEO you have to be prepared for the challenges that come with it. Here’s how you can become a happier, healthier, and more productive digital marketer:

1) Identify Your Causes of Stress

Before you can meaningfully lower your baseline stress levels, you first need to identify what it is that’s causing you to be stressed out. Major causes of stress can differ from person to person. But if you’ve been an SEO for some time, the following scenarios may be relatable to you:

    • Unrealistically small budgets
    • Having too much on your plate
    • Industry upheavals (e.g. Google algorithm updates)
    • Defining or keeping up with metrics
    • Client or colleague relationships

If you’re already feeling stressed, you probably have a vague awareness that something is wrong. Unfortunately, unless you define the issue, you’ll never be able to find a lasting solution for it. Once the root causes of your stress are better understood, only then can you begin purposefully exploring the different options available to you.

2) Use Automation to Reduce Time-Consuming Manual Processes

SEO professionals and other digital marketers often need to process and analyze huge amounts of marketing data. A lot of the time, doing this involves a fair amount of manual processing, which is both error-prone and time-consuming. You don’t have to be an industry veteran to know that this type of work can easily lead to stress, eating into the hours that could be used for value-generating activities or self-care.

Fortunately, there are plenty of apps out there that could be used to automate routine data entry and management tasks. Even Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets have automation features that will make your life that much easier. Investing time to learn these tools and features might be a pain in the neck at first, but it will almost certainly pay off in the end. Check out Semrush’s recommended SEO automation tools to find out what tasks you could automate.

3) Make Time for Yourself

Everyone says this but not a lot of us follow through on it. Laziness and digital marketing don’t go together and the field is full of people who make work their first priority. While this might be a good thing if you’re young, it’s ultimately unsustainable and the prevalence of mental and physical health issues in the marketing and advertising industries is testament to that.

Addressing this challenge requires a shift in our approach to work. We must genuinely emphasize the importance of a healthy work-life balance and not just use the concept as another buzzword. At the end of it all, getting burnt out from constantly doing “just one more task” not only affects you as an individual but also has detrimental effects on your productivity and your relationships with clients and colleagues.

4) Delegate

While there may be a few SEOs who fancy themselves to be rock stars, sustainable digital marketing is and always will be a team effort. As such, it’s important to recognize when tasks can be delegated or shared with team members.

Delegation can be difficult for some high-performing marketers because they don’t trust their direct reports to do as good of a job as they do. Regardless of whether or not that’s true, this kind of attitude can cause managers and senior marketers to overburden themselves with tasks that they really shouldn’t be doing, resulting in stress as well as poorer performance in other areas.

To avoid getting into this situation, try to cultivate an atmosphere of open communication within your team. This will not only allow you to distribute responsibilities effectively but it can help develop your team in a more effective, self-sufficient unit.

5) Invest in Continuous Learning

The idea that one might soon be replaced by generative AI or by younger, smarter marketers looms large in the imaginations of many SEOs, causing lingering stress and anxiety. There’s no real way to guarantee that this won’t happen but one can, at least, prepare for the possibility.

Expanding one’s skill sets to encompass not just SEO but also other related disciplines is a great way to retain value in the current landscape. If you’re an SEO who wants to stay relevant in the medium and long term, consider upskilling in the following areas:

    • Data analysis
    • Social media marketing
    • Content marketing
    • Machine learning
    • UX design
    • Web development
    • Cybersecurity

6) Reduce Stress at Home

No matter how much we’d like to pretend otherwise, things that impact our personal lives will almost certainly impact our work lives, and vice-versa. To mitigate stress at work, it’s necessary to control sources of stress at home. If personal challenges are significantly impacting your well-being, consider seeking professional help, whether through counseling, therapy, or other support services.

Take a Systematic Approach to Beating Stress

Popular coping strategies like stress-eating and impulse shopping may help in the short term, but they probably won’t make a serious dent in the work stress you experience each day. Approaching stress relief as a systemic issue isn’t going to be as easy or satisfying as giving in to your baser urges, but it’s the only way you can stay mentally and physically healthy over the long term.

Whether you’re interested in full-service digital marketing or simply want to talk about serious issues in the SEO industry, we’re here to help. Feel free to contact us to set up a meeting.

Arthur Piccio
Arthur Piccio
Arthur Piccio has been a professional content writer and developer since 2007. He has helped develop market-winning, localized web content for hundreds of brands based in the US, the Philippines, the UK, and Australia. He is currently a project manager at SearchWorks, the most respected SEO company in the Philippines.
Arthur Piccio
Arthur Piccio
Arthur Piccio has been a professional content writer and developer since 2007. He has helped develop market-winning, localized web content for hundreds of brands based in the US, the Philippines, the UK, and Australia. He is currently a project manager at SearchWorks, the most respected SEO company in the Philippines.