How to Avoid ‘the Perfect SEO’ Monkey Trap

What if I told you there’s an online trap that’s so good that it’s snared countless thousands of business owners and bloggers? Well, there is. And it’s so effective that it’s a huge drain on productivity and bottom lines everywhere. What is it? It’s the SEO monkey trap.

Now, because your business has to be online, it’s important that you keep your hand out of the SEO monkey trap. Or, if you’re already stuck, it’s time you learned how to get out. Let’s talk about both in this edition of Blogging Tips, Tricks, Pointers, and Resources.

The SEO Monkey Trap

Just in case you’ve never gotten the “Monkey Trap” object lesson in Sunday school, here’s the quick version.

How do you trap a monkey? Put a piece of fruit at the bottom of a container with a narrow opening. The monkey will be able to put their hand in to grab the fruit, but then won’t be able to pull their hand out while holding the fruit. Then things get frantic, as the monkey can’t get the fruit – or get free. They don’t realize they should just let go, pull their hand out, and then dump the fruit out of the container.

(Full disclosure: I’ve never gone monkey hunting, so while I don’t know if it actually works, it’s a great object lesson.)

How is SEO a monkey trap?

Well, how often do you get so focused on having the perfect SEO keyword or phrase that you spend hours perfecting that single post? Have you paused many advertising campaigns, waiting to make sure it was perfect before you hit “send”? How many blog posts did you postpone while your team did more research on that perfect SEO terminology?

See what you just did there? You’re holding onto that ideal fruit – and as a result, you’re stuck. SEO Monkey trap.

Here’s How to “Let Go” and Escape the SEO Monkey Trap

Here’s the thing with SEO: so many people get so caught up on having the right term that they forget WHY SEO exists in the first place.

Search Engine Optimization is designed to help people find the best results to their query.

SEO is an ever-evolving algorithm. Getting tied up on the perfect keyword is ridiculous for several reasons, the first of which being that SEO is always changing. First it was key words. Then it was short key phrases. That was followed by longer key phrases, before the algorithms realized they had to take both conversation and phrasing into consideration. Why? Because voice-to-text is getting less awful.

For example, I’m probably not going to just do a search for “socks” – instead, I’m going to search “compression socks with fun designs.” I’m going to type something like how I’d speak it – or I’m going to try the voice-to-text option and hope it understands me correctly.

So if you’re ready to let go of the SEO monkey trap…

Recognize that perfection is ideal. It isn’t attainable in this lifetime!


  • Pick a keyword and publish already. Good and published is far better than perfectly unpublished.
  • Recognize that SEO is an ongoing, evolving thing. It’s part science, part art, and part guessing what the next big search term will be.
  • Look for search trends so that you can continue to update your website’s SEO on a regular basis.
  • Most importantly, build a solid SEO foundation that taps into a wide variety of appropriate and useful SEO keywords and phrases.

Then, as time goes on, you can revisit old posts, edit and update them, and add finesse to improve your CTR, bounce rate, and overall SEO standing. Republishing also means you’re getting extra mileage out of an old post. Oh – and because you’re keeping things relevant, you’re boosting your page rank and SEO standing.

And, for the love of SEO, quit keyword stuffing.

Once you’re able to let go of the SEO monkey trap, you’ll be amazed at how much easier lead generation becomes… Mostly because you’re finally pushing ahead with those ads, blog posts full of story and soul, and projects you sidelined while doing “more research.” And then you can focus on other, more important things – like your content marketing strategy.

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Kimberly C. Starr

I'm a ginger who loves reading, eating, being a nurse, spending time with my family, and writing about it all. I believe humor is the best medicine, followed very closely by chocolate and tacos. To read more about me, click here.

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