In a recent blog post, Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz brings up the many reasons that we can’t just be SEO’s anymore. Many of us are adopting the title of “inbound marketer” or “online marketer”. As an SEO in the game for about 5 years, I want to talk about why I never considered myself just an SEO in the first place.
An SEO wears many darn hats.
If a website is approaching search engine optimization in the way that it should be, then whoever is overseeing it has their hands in quite a few places. I’ve found myself doing any (or all) of the following for my SEO clients over the years:
- PPC Campaigns
- Server Support
- Conversion Optimization
- Coddling (my favorite)
- Creating Videos
- Market Research
- Business Consulting
- Social Media Management
- And the list goes on…
Really, there’s no end to this list, especially in today’s world. SEO is no longer about “meta” this and “keyword” that. It’s an end-to-end strategy that should be involved in every bit of your online presence. But furthermore, our duties pour into the real world. It’s about building relationships with people, be it bloggers, forum users, other companies in your industry, etc. There’s no one standalone fix, and recently I find myself and my team doing large amounts of all of it.
So what do I call myself now?
Personally, I’d prefer the term “Magician”. But a more realistic term would be something along the lines of “Brand Management”. Really when you break search engine optimization to its core level, it’s about people being able to identify your brand with a niche product. That product could be genuine, hand-crafted, leather shoes. It could also be hot air balloons.
Every one of the things mentioned above ties into how your customers will view your brand. When I’m rewriting DNS zones, I’m still helping potential customers find the right product when they type a URL in your browser. When I’m designing infographics, I’m creating information that will inform your customers and position you as a knowledgeable brand in your industry. Even when I’m coddling you, I’m making sure that you keep your poise to present the right brand image to your prospective clients.
Unfortunately, “Brand Management” is a long word. So I think I’ll stick with SEO until the BM acronym makes it big.