Guiding Principles of SEO: The Only Two Jobs of An SEO Professional

There are so many tactics around SEO, and what defines the job of an SEO. If we take a step back and forget all the in-the-weeds tactics that get SEOs in trouble, all the myths and uneducated theories that give us a bad reputation, and methods that cause us to focus on chasing algorithm updates, and instead focus on what is really important, the guiding principles of SEO become clear.

When we strip away all these fly-by-night tactics and focus on the goals that every SEO should be striving to accomplish for their client, there are really only two primary jobs that an SEO has, and which they need to develop skill sets towards.

Create targeted and valuable experiences to earn traffic.

This means understanding the target consumer and either creating a strategy to create the experiences (content and design), or if you have the skillset, actually creating these experiences that earn traffic.

Increase conversions and user satisfaction by creating an environment that allows the user to connect directly with the content that best matches their intent.

This includes first, building the strategy for a focused site architecture that allows the search engines (Googlebot Persona) to find and properly index content with the correct relevancy. This will help deliver the user directly to the piece of content they need, and limit the need for additional navigation once within a website.

Second, creating an environment that includes content assets that are properly targeted towards the correct keywords and intent. These content assets, when visited, must provide the answer to the questions that the user is looking for, and one that best answers their question in the most complete way.

Third, measure and iterate on the process to make sure user satisfaction remains high, bounce rate remains low, and conversions continue to rise.

Some may argue that these two high level goals, at their core, include all the in-the-weeds tactics that SEO’s do every day, to which I would agree. But the one major difference between the current SEO’s job or mindset and what I propose it should be, is the starting point and guiding principles.

When we start with the two principles outlined in this document, the correct way to do SEO becomes clear, and all the thoughts that infiltrate our minds and cause use to take shortcuts, don’t seem valuable anymore.