I have decided to write this article because as an SEO pro for many years now, I have become terribly allergic to some astonishingly stupid comments. I am really tired of those that have opinionated comments on social media and the Internet in general, without any education, experience or qualification. With a bit of sarcasm and provocation, here are four of the things that get SEOs really crossed!
Obviously, it goes without saying that every job has its plus and minuses and statistically the disadvantages are more familiar to those who actually work in SEO and less to those who only heard about it. I have written this article for the SEO professionals who have worked their *** off for ranking websites organically on Google (sorry Bing, you don't count) and are tired of listening to clichés.
1. Doing SEO is easy, you just have to write content
So...obviously, I can't speak on behalf of all SEOs out there, but knowing how hard it is to rank a website on the top Google positions (again, sorry Bing, you got work to do), I feel that saying "doing SEO is easy, you just need to write content" is something I really cannot stand. Let's clarify what skills you need to do to be competitive in search:
Learn about your target audience
Do keywords and topic research to match their searches and intents
Technical SEO (not an exhaustive list):
Core Web Vitals
Log File Analysis
Backlinks analysis and outreach
Content Optimisation and copywriting
Knowledge of all SEO tools (not an exhaustive list):
SEMRush/ Ahrefs / SERanking/ Moz/ Majestic
And that's only limited to those working in-house because those SEOs working in agencies also have to develop other skills, such as clients' development and management, project management and communication.
Now, since math is not an opinion, to become an excellent SEO you need to have those 11 skills listed so the first person that will tell me again "doing SEO is easy, you just need to write content" will get from me a 400 words article and see how far he goes.
2. Who cares about conversions, the SEO job is done when you reach position 1!
If you are in a business that makes money online, you should know that generating traffic for the sake of it won't grow your business. This means that as an SEO you'll lose your job (or your client) sooner rather than later. So let's debunk a myth: traffic IS NOT all the same!
It's already hard enough to have to deal with Google itself (Bing doesn't count, too small), the algorithm changes, the competitors, the fact that writing content is very time-consuming.
We shouldn't have to worry about the quality of this content too.
The main goal of SEO is to produce revenue, so the real SEOs don't stop at traffic generation. They go beyond and optimise the entire marketing funnel. So next time you talk to an SEO about conversions, never say that they are not included, otherwise, you'll get another 400 words article optimised for the keyword "iPhone alternatives" for a mortgage comparison website.
3. SEOs favourite metric? Domain Authority
Take the time to read this story.
Just a few days ago, I happened to read on Twitter a debate between a small copywriter and the mightly Google itself.
The fight was about Domain Authority.
John Mueller, whose Tweet then was deleted, replied to her.
John asked in a sarcastic way to Moz (the inventor of DA) to push this lady's blog DA up so she could monetize her blog.
This simple reply from Google triggered all sort of reactions on the Internet, with some authoritative blogs publishing the "news".
The problem is deeply rooted in SEO and here is why.
On one side brands needs to see high Domain Authority before they invest money in a blog, and this puts pressure on bloggers to work on increasing their DA to be able to monetize better from their creations.
On the other side, DA is a metric developed by Moz, not by Google, which makes it completely useless in the eyes of Google.
So, next time someone is saying SEOs should work to improve their websites DA, please have some respect, it's a tough job.
4. I am not paying for an SEO audit, I don't want to learn about errors on my website
Those who know me, also know that this one is really getting me upset. So let me get this straight: if you have a problem with your headache, you wouldn't go to a doctor to ask him what is causing your headache, because you don't want to learn about possible issues that you might have. Okay, good luck with the diagnosis then!
In any case, I am certain of two things:
If you don't audit your website, how can you possibly know what needs to be fixed? I don't do guesswork, I do work that is informed by data as the bare minimum.
It seems like you already know the answer to your errors, so why do you come to me in the first place?
And remember that an audit doesn't have to be done on an entire website, you can also audit 1 single page if you wanted to. As a bare minimum, you need to have some data to look at and assess opportunities, threats and things that need improvement.