Today I read an article on Marketing Sherpa about formalizing an SEO process and plan. Wow! It took me back to college, aka twenty years ago, when I was enrolled as an accounting major. Yes folks, this SEO started out as an accountant.
My Reality Check as a Future Accountant
My college years were self-funded. I lived off waiting tables and I paid tuition via grants and loans. My 30+ hour work weeks were spent waiting tables. My days as a server did more than just bring in money. They taught me about sales, marketing, and why I’d make a horrible accountant. I said a horrible accountant, because I’m a pretty good SEO.
One customer in particular was a Senior Vice President at Merrill Lynch. He was my regular and would even being in his family to meet me when they were in town. While he certainly helped fund my college years and I’m thankful for him generosity, I’m much more thankful for his honesty. He point blank told me I’d make a horrible accountant. He literally laughed when I told him accounting was my major and he said I was going into sales whether I liked it or not. He was right. If you read through my bio you’ll see I’ve spent most my years in some form of sales and marketing. It is who I am and it is pointless to run away from your core stengths.
Sales and marketing aside, I do have slight tendencies towards OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and I’m a somewhat anal-retentive clean freak. This is one of the reasons why I gravitated towards accounting. It balanced and it had rules. I like rules even if I don’t like people telling me what to do. Enter in SEO. I like SEO. Actually I love SEO. I’ve loved SEO from the moment I figured out what the heck it was some ten years ago. I do so because it has rules. I can ignore the rules if I choose, but then I won’t rank well with the search engines. I like cause and effect. SEO is all about cause and effect.
Marketing Sherpa’s article compared three types of SEO: trial, transition, and strategic. Like most, I started at the trial stage. But the accountant in me loved SEO, so I quickly migrated to the strategic phase. No surprise, those who are strategic and actually have an SEO plan and process have greater success. According to the article, 150% vs. 25% in conversion rates.
Oh Marketing Sherpa I wish you and SEO were around twenty years ago. You would have saved me from those horrible ACC 500 level classes that made me sleep. You would have let me find my passion well before I shelled out tens of thousands of dollars for a degree I never use. You would have saved me and liberated me from a world of numbers. I hate numbers. Oops. I hate numbers that don’t exist within search traffic estimates and Google Analytics reports and Facebook likes.
Are You an OCD Personality?
Before you launch into SEO you need to ask yourself one question: Are you OCD type personality? You need to be. The good SEOs are because we like structure and a plan and the idea of cause and effect. If you are more the “loosey goosey” type, you are my hero but you will stink at being an SEO. Your time will be better spent being creative, then in teaching yourself a skill-set that is outside that of your core strengths.
To all of my fellow OCD SEOs out there, I solute you. We are a strange and unique bunch of geeks. More importantly, we are a group who has followed our passion, embraced our core strengths, and we are usually happy people. And that, my friends, is the true level of success.