Search engine optimizers are like black sheep in a family. Our work is often misunderstood. Colleagues wonder what we are doing or how we make money for the company. Why do we read blog posts all day, they sometimes ask?
Success in organic search can be elusive. It’s often hard to measure. Other digital marketing channels produce more data for tracking and forecasting. With search engine optimization, however, we frequently guess. We run tests. We experiment.
I’ve been an SEO practitioner since the late 1990s. My agency now manages SEO for large and small companies worldwide. My day generally consists of the four activities below.
SEO: A Day in the Life
Learn via self-study. SEO was born in forums and blogs. Before SEO was an acronym, we were sharing and debating tactics. The forum at HighRankings.com was my textbook in 1996 when I began trying to improve my employer’s organic search performance. This was before Google, incidentally.
We used avatars and user names to hide our identities. But we were part of a community. We shared what we learned and argued theories.
Google launched in September 1998. A user named “GoogleGuy” — who, we found out later, was Matt Cutts of Google — would pop in and gently guide our suspicions.
Fast forward to 2020, and forums aren’t nearly as popular. But the SEO community lives on — in blogs, Facebook Groups, Twitter, and the like. Self-study is part of the job. We spend hours reading and discussing with other optimizers.