There are a lot of aspects of SEO that make it unique, and unlike any other industry. It’s challenging. It’s fast-pace. It’s always changing.
Whether you’re already involved in the search industry, thinking about a career in SEO, or working closely with an SEO team – here are three things you should know.
1. There are no rules.
There is no rulebook when it comes to SEO. If there was, things would certainly be a lot easier.
Yes, there are best practices that we need to consider – ideal ways of optimizing page tagging, key technical components, structural elements, etc.
But, there’s not always a “right” approach to something. There are definitely wrong approaches though!
Something that I’ve really come to be more aware of is that there are often multiple approaches to resolving the same challenge.
There are often many strategies that would produce very similar results.
This really comes to light at an agency, when you are working with many different brands, people, personalities and teams.
Oftentimes, it comes down to figuring out what’s feasible, what’s right for the website at hand, and what’s going to have the most immediate impact.
2. There are no guarantees.
In some industries, the path for success is pretty clear. Do [X] and [Y] will happen. Even better, it will happen immediately.
For SEOs (and many expertise areas of digital marketing), this couldn’t be further from reality.
When you’re dealing with so many unknowns, dependent on search engines, and working in an industry that is constantly changing – there are no guarantees.
Now, this can be extremely motivating, stressful, and discouraging at times. Contingent on if you’re strategies are working and if you’re hitting results.
Unfortunately, we can’t control what search engines do. We can certainly encourage them to do certain things, but there are no guarantees.
Some approaches might work, some might not. You may need to test multiple tactics until you find something that actually works.
In fact, you may find that your tactics never work and need to move onto something else.
SEO is very much a test and learn environment. To be successful, you need to watch things closely, monitor results, and anticipate obstacles.
With that said, this ties into one of the most important parts of SEO – the powerful community.
3. There’s power in the community.
Now, to completely disclose my bias here, I’ve never worked in another industry. Digital marketing is where I started my career about five years ago.
But, one of the things that I’ve come to learn is the importance of the SEO community.
The SEO community is so great about sharing their experiences and approaches to resolving issues. We’re also usually pretty open about sharing failures, and things that definitely didn’t work.
My advice to anyone in SEO – learn from other experts, leverage the experiences of others, seek advice from your peers and colleagues, build relationships via social media, and read and participate on forums.
Again, SEO is an industry where there are so many unknowns. With this, there is more power in the community.
What else should people know about SEO? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or reach out to me directly via Twitter.