SEO is somewhat unique as a technical occupation with the wide variety of activities the SEO professional performs. Unlike the computer programmer, for example, who essentially writes and tests code, the SEO is involved in data analysis, tweaking of code, relationship development for link building, education and evangelism, and often systems management to tune web servers and CMS’s. These activities are in addition to the everyday tasks such as on-page auditing, reporting etc that the SEO performs.
Although the SEO is involved in a wide variety of activities not all tasks are created equal. If we segment the tasks into buckets by level of impact on search rankings, we find some such as link-building and content creation are high-impact while many, such as rank-tracking, keep the SEO engine running but are low impact.
Inverse Relationship Between Actual and Desired Tasks
To understand more about how SEOs spend their time, we surveyed 65 SEO professionals about their task breakdown. We asked them about the tasks they actually spend time on versus the tasks they would like to be spending time on.
We found the SEO to be a bit of a conflicted sort. Although they spend a large percentage of their time on low-impact activities—up to 40%–they actually prefer to spend their time on high-impact activities such as link-building and content creation.
So is there a way out of the conflict for SEOs? Many of the low-impact tasks will need to be performed so long as SEO remains in it’s current form, but SEO technology can help significantly with automation. Download our whitepaper The Unoptimized SEO: How Manual Tasks Sabotage the Potential of Natural Search Marketers to find out the kind of impact technology can have on the life of an SEO.