i love seo

Let’s Not Forget that We’re SEOs

I love SEO. And I’m not just talking digital-PR-content-marketing-crazy-ideas-driven-coverage-centric-brand-awareness-ey SEO.

I love all that stuff too – all the creative ways in which we, as SEOs, now have to work. I love that we have to behave more like marketers than we ever did a few years.

But I also love SEO-ey SEO – SEO that’s measured on revenue… SEO that has you checking your rankings (shock, horror… dirty word) when you wake up in the morning, the last thing at night and several times in between.

I love the SEO that has you checking real time Analytics because you know your new landing page just annihilated a ton of long tail rankings. I love the sort of SEO that has you high fiving when you nail your cost per lead targets or when you finally reach the milestone of becoming the most cost effective sales source. I love the SEO that has a team of people sitting around a screen going through a website and trying to pick apart what might be causing a problem we’re having, or the type of SEO that sees people getting a real kick out of testing simple changes and seeing a near immediate impact.

Let’s Not Forget We’re SEOs.

We have had to adapt. Google has pushed us into behaving like brand marketers, into acquiring links in ways the PR industry would acquire coverage. And, as an industry, we’re good at it.

But let’s not forget we’re SEOs at heart.

It pains me to hear people say rankings are dead. I agree they have to measured differently and topics are important. But anyone who says they wouldn’t want to be number 1 for their headline industry SEO term is lying. If you’ve ever spent a penny on Adwords, you know the value of that.

It pains me to see apparent SEO campaigns measured in “brand mentions.”

When did our SEO goals become “coverage?” When did they stop being ROI? When did lead form submissions and online transactions just become another thing we talk about alongside infographics and articles?

I get it. Things have changed. You can’t aggressively pursue a small group of headline keywords in the same way we did before.

But I’m increasingly talking to “SEOs,” who measure campaigns in delivery of content, in number of people emailed for outreach…

That stuff all matters. Of course it does. But let’s not forget we’re SEOs.

How many links, where from, the infographic that got you there and the bloggers you spoke to on the way all fade into relative insignificance against the revenue a campaign has generated.

I love content marketing. I love creative link acquisition.

But I also love some of the elements of SEO that I associate with my earliest days in the industry – religious and obsessive rankings and Analytics checks and problem solving.

I understand why SEO agencies (ours included) have diversified and enhanced their content marketing offering.

But it would be a terrible shame if we ever reached a point where an SEO agency were afraid to call itself such.

After all, nobody invests in content just for fun, do they?