Previously, we’ve discussed the importance of knowing what we can realistically expect from our search engine optimizer and how important it is to follow his or her guidance. However, when it comes to anything to do with the Internet, you’ll find that many of his tasks will actually overlap with your marketing needs. It is clear that while both the SEO and the marketer may be on separate teams, there will be times when they will have to work together to solve problems. If SEO professionals want to really prove their worth, they will have to have some killer problem solving skills. As they explained at Search Engine Watch,
A problem-solving SEO is someone who can pull and interpret data like nobody’s business, while understanding what makes their users tick at the same time. An SEO who can balance qualitative and quantitative aspects of our day-to-day jobs will be the SEO who is respected among her “marketing” peers.
Successful SEOs will need to fill both the technical and experiential needs of their users and that will take more than knowledge, it will require a bit of insight as well.
Learn to Sift Through the Data
An SEO needs to be able to determine how much data the client needs. SEOs often have access to loads and loads of information but the majority of it will be information the client will not care about. By carefully selecting data that the site owner actually needs and cares about can save an enormous amount of time.
This may not always be easy. As clients, attorneys may not always know what information they need and what will be useful to them; at least not until it’s been pointed out by their SEO. One of the key problem-solving skills for the SEO is to help attorneys see what information they need and show them how it can be used to drive their business forward. Consider the comments made by Krisa LaRiviere, at Search Engine Watch,
With the challenging landscape of SEO comes the challenging landscape of SEO reporting, and I’m not just talking about merging SEO data sources into one Excel file and adding a logo to try to make it look professional… I’m talking about how to make all the data points and metrics indicate real progress.
This means that the SEO will have to set up reporting metrics that will show the progressive results of the work that’s been done.
Finding the Middle Ground
SEOs must pull from more than one source to decide on the right direction to take a company in. They shouldn’t just rely on the data they’ve received but they must also fall back on their past experience and the insight they’ve picked up over the years. This requires maintaining a balance between what the papers and analytical tools may show, and what personal experience has taught them to find a middle ground that will help them to make decisions that will move the business forward. And with all of that, there is always the human element that needs to be factored in to any decision making process. Understanding user behavior, along with everything else will help to foresee unique problems that the data won’t show. Consider the comments made at New Blood,
“With proper problem solving skills and processes, you can turn any problem into an opportunity and not into disappointment. Solving your business issues can help increase and maintain productivity. Entrepreneurs who are great problem solvers within any type of business are best prepared to answer all their customer’s needs effectively, as well.”
Learning how to be effective problem solvers is key to any business success but it is excruciatingly important for those online. Whether your role is the SEO or the attorney who’s hired one, problem solving is essential to your success.
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