Disclaimer: This is elementary knowledge, purposed for beginners and optimization shoppers, not industry cohorts though industry contributions in comments would augment the information.

What do you know about “Joe” the SEO?  Did you know (of late) many specialists find the label misleading or not representative of offered services?

Get a better understanding of services and objectives of online marketing before opening your brand’s ad wallet.  I saw a post today on Search Engine Guide.  The author illustrates what SEOs really do.  SEO initiatives are not mysterious or magical; misunderstanding is facilitated by a wealth of misrepresentative literature.  The frustration on both ends is unfortunate yet understandable.  Let’s consider some mentions and elaborate to give readers a better understanding of the industry and some practical expectations.

SEOs don’t spam keywords…
No, we don’t.  Such a notion is referred to as stuffing.  What we do is place keywords and phrases into content, making it more recognizable by engines.  Technical SEO addresses search engine needs but overall professionals engineer content for consumers, not algorithms.  In fact, these days LSI or latent semantic indexing is favored.  Basically, engines are getting smarter, realizing the ‘ambiance’ of the page rather than searching for ‘key’ words and phrases.  The process makes for a better (human) read and experience.

SEOs don’t sell your goods and products…
We are marketers and not the engineers of products and services.  We can’t effectively market a lousy product or service; the best SEO in the world wouldn’t be a whole lot of help to an ill-producing brand.  We’re responsible for the quality of marketing and not that of your services and products; the latter job will always be yours.  Consider some hidden factors in achieving online goals.  What we can do is provide insight on how to better engage customers to your brand, which naturally predates selling.

SEOs don’t drive traffic…
There was a very enlightening post done recently on two important SEO metrics.  The author elucidates the non-intuitive dynamic between Web traffic and conversions.  What’s better than high Web traffic?  The answer is more conversions.  How can a brand address conversions?  It’s done through focusing on target markets, the users.

SEOs don’t build links…
Well, link building (read interview with SEO guru Rand Fishkin) is a part of SEO but the author was getting at the end goal of link building, which is building relationships.  Your attraction toward SEO is understood.  Millions of people leverage the Web, recruiting goods and services; your brand wants to enjoy healthy revenue streams from online properties.  SEOs help build links, which for one, help SEs better rank your site; yet, as we see above, that’s not the ultimate recipe; user engagement makes for delicious online marketing.  Think about it. What’s better?  Having browsers find your brand through SE searches or having browsers come directly to your brand for a need?  SEOs help with the former but we concentrate on the ultimate, bigger picture, building relationships with customers.