When you signed up for a career in online marketing and SEO, did you think about how exciting it would be to work with businesses expanding onto the Internet, making use of all that burgeoning technology that would make your job so easy? Certainly you wouldn’t have to doing any boring repetitive tasks in a field as forward-looking as search engine optimization or search engine marketing? Wouldn’t your time be spent in planning how to out-compete your rivals, implementing cool new plug-ins to make any idea possible, and keeping up with the tech crowd on Twitter?
Well, the reality is a little different. Even with all that technology on your side, some tasks still need a manual touch. And even those that could be automated might not be, maybe because management thinks they don’t take much time or — the horror! — the budget may not stretch to include them. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. A recent study by Conductor.com showed that SEOs have to spend a signifiicant amount of their time on manual SEO-related tasks and — not surprisingly — they wish they didn’t have to.
The study involved 65 SEOs who answered questions about the time they spend working on specific SEO tasks versus the time they would like to spend doing so. What it found was that there are some activities that are crucial to good SEO but on which many SEOs spend more time than they wish they had to on them. Overall, respondents indicated that they spent almost 40% of their time on relatively low-impact SEO tasks such as rank tracking and on-page auditing.
The top three SEO tasks that SEOs would prefer to spend their time on are link building, content creation, and keyword research, while the top three they actually spend time on are rank tracking, on-page auditing, and on-page changes. All are definitely necessary optimization tasks, but the former are generally considered to be high-impact tasks while the latter and low-impact in terms of ROI. In fact, the study calls those who spend inordinate amounts of time on such manual tasks “unoptimized SEOs.”
(No extra points for jokes about what the end result of rank tracking and on-page auditing might be in the above stick figure Mr. Unoptimized SEO
It may be time to reassess the hours actually spent versus time thought spent on some tasks associated with SEO. Assessment might show you that it’s time to consider adding some tools to the mix, to help decrease the amount of actual time spent on certain manual tasks, to free up an SEO for the tasks that require thought, judgment, and decision-making skills and tend to be more profit-related. When you look at actual time spent, the tools — or even a full solution platform — might wind up being cheaper overall and provide the side bonus of happier SEOs who feel more fulfilled in their jobs.
Complete research report at http://conductor.com/unoptimizedseo