Let me start by asking you a question, “How sure are you that your current SEO campaign works as well as you had hoped?” You might tell me that it does work with absolute certainty. But you know what, sometimes our minds can play tricks on us.

Cognitive Biases are the systemic pattern of deviation from the norm in judgment. In other words, it is the way in we create our own subjective reality and we do not believe in things other than our own thinking.

Some cognitive biases that typically affect people who run SEO campaigns are:

  • Salience- This is a cognitive bias where your focus is fixated on something that is more prominent than other variables. In other words, you’re going to filter out the ones that you think are non-important, even though reality dictates otherwise.
  • Confirmation Bias- This is where you only listen to or see evidence that your underlying assumptions are correct and you dismiss anything that says otherwise.
  • The Bandwagon Effect- We are herd creatures in that we follow where the vast majority of people go. If one person tells you that your SEO campaign works, you will believe so even if it was only one person that said it.
  • Complacency- This is where you just stagnate because you are complacent after hearing positive news about your SEO campaign. You do not change things up even though there is a chance to improve your performance and get higher ROI.
  • Resistance- This is where you convince yourself that your SEO strategy works for just about any client. You’re resistant to any change probably because you are afraid of change or you are afraid of the possibility that you’re going to fail.

Despite these cognitive biases being common, you can always do something about it, or at least, somewhat improve the way you think. Here are some tips:

  • Challenge Yourself

One of the reasons why the scientific method works is that you always do things that will challenge your beliefs; that you could possibly be wrong with your current SEO implementation.

Look for possible evidence that your assumptions might be incorrect. If there are none, then that just means that your SEO campaign does work.

  • Change is Constant

And so, too, should your SEO campaign. Think about it, there is always something that you can improve upon, especially in terms of search engine optimization.

  • Get Different Opinions

Usually, when you work on SEO, you work with a team of talented individuals as well. And, you must understand that all of us are fallible; that we are also prone to mistakes.

If you absolutely think that there’s nothing wrong with your current SEO implementation, then you might want to ask some of your colleagues if they think so too. Getting another person’s perspective will broaden the way you think.


Each and every one of us is susceptible to one or more of these cognitive biases. But, the good thing is that we can always do something about it.