What we don’t know scares us. The dark. The bottom of the ocean. The future. SEO.
Part of the reason SEO has a poor reputation is from the prevalence of low-quality providers parading around like experts. But I think the biggest reason for our reputation issues is a lot less complex: people don’t understand SEO.
We don’t trust car mechanics because we don’t understand what they are working on. We’re not sure how time-consuming it is to rebuild a brake line or know how much a new brake rotor should cost.
We don’t trust financial advisors because retirement plans can be insanely complex and we don’t know how to tell if Stock A is more valuable over the long-term than Stock B.
People don’t trust SEOs because they don’t understand how Google works. They aren’t sure what ranking on page 1 means and have no idea about canonical domains, exact match anchor text or link networks.
Until people better grasp how search works, every SEO should also view themselves as an educator and teach people about the importance of search, data-driven marketing and attributable results. The more people understand about SEO, the more valuable we become.
You might have signed up to just “do” SEO but you also need to be a teacher to the less informed.