A huge bravo to SEO Sherpa for so accurately portraying the life of an SEO in funny cartoons. If not a single one of these cartoons resonates with you, then you’re either doing something very wrong as a search engine marketer… or something very right!
(Also: cool people share this post with their SEO friends at lunch time. Just saying….)
1) Explaining SEO to the uninitiated…
Whether it’s to a client in a meeting, or to your friends at the pub, what seems like a simple polite question for them to ask (e.g. “So how do you actually do it?”) ends up being over-complicated rambling that makes them wish they had never asked. And when you do try to simplify your methods as much as possible, they push for the more complex answers! You can never win…
2) Being so good at Googling, you could get the answer to anything!
We know all the right search operators to use and the most efficient way of phrasing our queries in Google to get just what we’re looking for. After all, we’ve had enough practice. So when people are struggling with the harder questions in life, we know exactly how to get those questions answered with Google.
3) We’re not afraid of experimenting with the recipe.
There’s definitely an art to SEO. As with cooking, you can follow a good recipe but without the techniques that you can only develop through years of experience and insight, the execution may result in something less than what you expected. Especially when Google’s secret recipe is constantly changing, you have to learn to be open to experimentation and use your own SEO intuition as to what will work and what won’t.
4) It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.
SEO is the Red Queen’s Race. “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” Similarly, Google makes so many changes to their algorithms that search marketers have to keep up-to-date with all the latest news and updates or risk watching their rankings drop with no idea as to why!
5) The inability to switch out of SEO mode.
Sometimes we get home and all we want to do is relax, read a book, browse the internet, whatever. But it’s hard to switch out of SEO mode! Browsing a website: “well, their site structure is terrible for SEO!”. Reading a book: “This chapter isn’t very keyword optimised at all!” A trip to the shops: “Their ecommerce SEO must be a nightmare with these ranges of products…”
6) Having to accept that your friends and family aren’t interested in hearing about the latest SEO update.
Every now and again, something shocking happens in the SEO world and you expect to be able to rant or gossip or share posts about it on Facebook. All your followers on Twitter have Liked it and Retweeted it and are discussing it on Twitter with you. But why does nobody care on your personal Facebook? :(
7) You enjoy meeting other SEOs because you can share SEO jokes and humour.
Meeting other SEOs in real life is like a breath of fresh air. You can have real life conversations with people in real life! Without having to explain what it is that Google actually does. And the best part of all… you can tell all the SEO jokes that you want without being the only one in the room that finds them funny.
8) Sometimes we know way too much more than we’re meant to.
There’s a lot to be learnt from the SERPs, and we spend a lot of time in there doing keyword research and competitor research… In fact, we Google so much we’ve got all sorts of weird little tidbits floating around in our head that we could only know from spending so much time in the SERPs. Sometimes those weird little tidbits just happen to be about other people…
9) Being extremely aware of your online search presence…
Lots of people Google themselves. The difference is that they see the first page of Google from a search of their name, and they’ve satisfied their curiosity. The difference is when you’re so good at searching for things, is that you know how much more can be found by just modifying the search query and continuing your search as an internet detective. Visiting a friend’s social profile, searching their username, find a photo, searching for that, find their secret forum account, searching that username…. There’s so much to be found of people online, beyond just searching their real name! And this terrifies us. Because we know how easy it is for people to do the same thing to us… and we wonder if they do.
10) Your “start to the day” requires more than one coffee.
By the time you’ve checked what’s the latest in the industry news, checked all the social media accounts you run, checked and replied to all your emails, checked your rankings and campaign tools, checked your Google Analytics, checked your Google Search Console and more…. you can breathe a sigh of relief and finally get some work done!
11) Wishing that you could optimise real life conversations.
Online attention spans are short. We know when to beef up content for keyword optimisation, and we know when to condense down our message to increase our conversion rate and how to fit our main message into a set number of pixels or characters. Sometimes you wish that others could fit their main message into a well thought-out headline. ‘Cause you ain’t converting.
12) The frustration when one of your SEO tools isn’t doing what it’s supposed to.
Whether something’s crashed, or your keyword ranking tracker is showing your result as being #51+ when you’re actually still on first page (I’m looking at you, Moz!), we’ve all had those frustrating moments of unnecessary panic due to a tool not working as it should. Computer monitor airbags would come in handy in times like this…
13) Feeling like the bad guy when seeking out new link opportunities!
“Link acquisition” often entails having to contact other people and ask for a link. Whether through guest blogging or contacting someone you’ve done business with or simply soliciting links from other websites. We get made to feel like the bad guy, as if we’re demanding links with a gun to their head, even when we try to be as friendly and reasonable as possible. But links are what makes the internet go around, and we try to provide as much value as possible in exchange for them. So another shout out to SEO Sherpa for actually creating some brilliant, unique content (these awesome cartoons) as part of their link building strategy. Solid idea!