The 7 Habits of Highly Effective SEOs

Posted by in General Marketing, Search Marketing (SEO) on August 16th, 2007 8 Comments

In Steve Covey style I thought I’d write a post on the “7 habits of highly effective SEOs.”

1 – Big picture thinking
By ‘Big Picture Thinking’ I mean having the ability to understand the wider role that [tag]Search Engine Marketing[/tag] has to play in helping a business achieve its goals and objectives.

2 – Goal focused
Leading on nicely from habit 1, we move onto the second habit of being goal oriented as opposed to ranking focused. Again a Search Engine Optimiser’s job involves a whole lot more than achieving rankings. Would you expect a direct mail expert to just produce a mailing piece? Of course not, you’d expect them to help you achieve some pre-defined marketing goal. Why should Search be any different?

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3 – Good communicators
One of the greatest strengths an SEO can have is the ability to clearly communicate what [tag]SEO[/tag] involves and what it can deliver in both the short and long term. Unfortunately our industry is already full of jargon and many of the large SEO agencies further complicate matters by introducing new terms and acronyms. Is this clear to you?

“We need to optimise the CMS architecture to help target the long tail and improve spiderability. Furthermore, back link popularity and Google juice needs boosting through partnerships with high PR sites and an integrated social media marketing campaign. But seeing as your site is sandboxed we may need to focus on PPC in the short term. Visit SEO Moz for more jargon.

4 – Patience
SEO is a slow burn and being patient is key. Generating the required visibility on the natural listings won’t happen over night. Plus as I’ve already pointed out SEO isn’t just about rankings, so its best viewed as an ongoing process that needs to be refined over time. Think of SEO as part of your marketing DNA and remember cream always rises to the top. 

5 – Pioneering
The search engine landscape and search technologies are evolving faster than ever. So if you want to stay ahead of the game then you need to be a pioneer. You need to be shaping your own strategy and formulating your own thoughts on what works and what doesn’t. As habit 4 states – SEO isn’t a one off project, so make it a process that’s key to the success of your business. 

6 – Ethical
Black hat, grey hat or white hat? There are still a fair few SEOs that use techniques that search engines are trying to prevent having a positive impact. In the long term it’s best to play by the rules. If you don’t then the consequences could be quite damaging, not only for your visibility but for your brand also. 

7 -  Analytical
Measuring the true business impact of SEO involves analysis and knowing what to analyse is key. Right at the start a good SEO will do some benchmarking so he/she knows what your current situation is. Typical benchmarks include visibility on the search results, visitor numbers, conversions etc. As the project progresses it’s important to measure the performance of the work you are doing and track progress. If you find that visibility has increased, but sales have stayed the same then you need to ask why. Is it because there’s a problem with the site checkout process or is there a more fundamental marketing problem that needs addressing at a more senior level? A good SEO is also a good business analyst.

PS – Watch out for my next post – SEO Jedi Ranks! Are you a Jedi Master or a Jedi Knight?

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