Talking versus Doing SEO

This is one of those days when I’m bored out of my mind despite reading my SEO boss’ highly advanced report that only a Promil-kid can produce… Hayyy. The truth is, SEO is not some glamorous-analytical job. Sure it requires a lot of analysis and love of details (read: OC-ness!).. but glamorous??? What others do not know is that the work is very tedious! Time-consuming! Patience-inducing!

I came across this post on the Outspoken Media Blog: Three Things I Wish Someone Told Me About a Career in SEO

Scroll down to the last subheading: Talking About SEO and Doing SEO are Very Different Things. It rang a gigantic bell inside my head. I can only think of that time when a client required me to set up 60+ custom-scheduled reports on Analytics.

Here’s my favorite part:

Talking About SEO and Doing SEO are Very Different Things

Designing high-impact link building strategies = awesome. Actual link building = not nearly as awesome. Talking about link reclamation efforts = awesome. Actually doing link reclamation = not nearly as awesome. Talking about restructuring a site to funnel link value = awesome. Actually restructuring a site…you get the point.

SEO in theory is awesome. SEO in practice is very tedious, and sometimes even downright mind-numbing. When you tell someone you are in “search engine optimization,” it sounds very high-tech and glamorous, and lots of people are really interested to hear about it. But I don’t feel very glamorous when I have spent seven hours straight queuing up prospects in Raven for pitching the next day.

That’s why I think SEOs love conferences so much. We get to talk about theories and methods and strategies and tools, and we pretend like we aren’t bored out of our minds when we are at our desks, individually categorizing and analyzing backlinks. That’s not to say the implementation process isn’t important—far from it. In fact, implementation is the bread and butter of the industry. But I think there is a reason the SEO field has such a high turnover rate. What people think it is, and what it actually is, are two separate things.

To anyone considering a career in SEO: You deserve to know the truth. Actual SEO work is a pain in the ass. That’s why companies are willing to pay us to do it. It’s time-consuming, repetitive, and very detail-oriented.

I think to be happy in SEO, given the actual nature of the work, you need to have a firm grasp of the end-game, and understand why the work is important. You need to be results-oriented, and you need to be exceptionally patient. SEO works, but it doesn’t usually work over night. There is a long lead time between implementation and gratification.

So, what’s the payoff for all of this tedious toiling? Well, for one thing, if you are good at what you do, it pays pretty well. But more importantly, when you do get to see the results of your work and you can actually watch your clients climb through the SERPs, or build a better online brand, or make their site more user-friendly….Wow, there is no better feeling than that. Really.

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Filed under Career Life, SEO Manager

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