While search engine optimization is moving more and more into the mainstream, it’s still largely misunderstood.
Here’s my version.
What My Friends Think I Do – I guess it depends which friend you ask. If you ask my friend, and business partner Jeff, he might say something like we build highly-customized web strategy campaigns for lawyers (he handles sales).
What My Mom Thinks I Do – My mom, who still struggles with the difference between a single click and double click (love you mom), would say I work with lawyers, marketing, and the internet.
What Society Thinks I Do – Spam. Most people still associate seo with spam. Here’s just one popular example.
What My Boss Thinks I Do – My bosses are my clients. And like my friends, their understanding of what I do varies greatly. Most of my clients can connect the dots that people use the internet to find products and services, lawyers like them among those. A more limited number of my clients understand some of the basics. And a very small percentage understand some of the more complex concepts. And I have one very knowledgeable client that has been following search marketing for almost a decade and even attends search trade shows.
What I Think I Do – I think I help teach lawyers about how to effectively, efficiently, and ethically build their professional profiles online. I know, that sounded a bit markety. But I do believe that in order for my services to be most effective, I have to be on the same page with my clients and show them the what, how, and why of what it is we do.
What I Actually Do – Unfortunately, many lawyers have neither the time nor the desire to learn very much about web strategy. And that’s okay too. Which means more of the heavy lifting, in terms of execution, falls on us. We do site evaluations and audits, competitive analyses, one-on-one consulting sessions, paid search management, link building, content development, and local search marketing.
I’m no Peter Gibbons. The legal web marketing space is competitive and this can be very complex work. Mom probably won’t ever really know exactly what it is I do. I’m trying to move her from “works with computers” to helping her understanding some basics of search.
But there’s really no magic of voodoo to it. We just help lawyers organize their online data, develop content, and get that content in front of people who can further publicize it. If there’s any magic, it’s the magic of how well information travels to so many people online.
Most of my clients will be checking their traffic and rankings on a daily basis. Which isn’t a necessarily the worst thing. But we’ll continue to try to show them the bigger picture of how the web and search engines actually work to grow a business.
I’m not ninja. Although I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I wish I was. Or maybe a samurai.
H/T: Tom Harari for the great image.