Guest Post by Caitlin Smythe
Online marketing is a great industry to be in – some say it’s one of the few that have weathered the recession (along with candy making, debt collection and child care!). It doesn’t mean it’s not scientific and specialist, though, and SEOs are generally smart people with backgrounds in all kinds of disciplines ranging from computer science to media and advertising to finance, commerce and statistics.
SEO can be really satisfying when it’s going well and a website is meeting its goals. On the other side of the scale, there’s plenty of frustration when the mechanics clog up and rankings fall.
I read a forum recently on Sphinn that asked people to submit their pet hates about SEO. Instead of focussing on what’s wrong about the industry, however, I turned some of the comments around to reflect the insight some of them revealed:
- There is no shortcut or way to beat the system without first putting in the work: a great place to start is with realistic goals
- Similarly, there’s no way to measure success in online marketing without using precise metrics
- Remember, it’s possible to work with a client’s in-house link building or PR teams, but it’s essential that you first learn how to listen, learn and collaborate
- There are many “SEO gurus” (I wish this phrase would die) out there who specialise in scamming small businesses who are aren’t always clued up about the industry. Rule of thumb: hire an SEO firm that is transparent about what it does
- Remember that not all social media approaches work in all markets; focus first on building relationships
- Very expensive website design and SEO don’t always go hand-in-hand
- Just because SEO is the new kid on the block, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to marry traditional advertising with online campaigns
- Understand that if you go to an expert to get advice, it’s wise to listen to them if you want to get results
- And finally, if you want to learn about SEO, don’t read books, magazines or newspapers – get to know other SEOs!
Got any more gripes-turned-into advice? Let me know.