Search engine optimization (SEO) is a specialty that has become intricately woven into many other disciplines such as website design and architecture, website usability, website hits and conversion analysis, copywriting, and more. Many SEO professionals work very hard to understand other disciplines to create the best overall search experience. Yet these SEO technicians are often met with resistance, especially when working with other web specialists. Writers don’t want to change their clever headlines (even if they lack crucial keywords), designers take offense when you tell them their graphic was used inappropriately, and even conversion specialists become dumbfounded when our work doesn't show immediate results.
Even though we are in the middle of Search 3.0, there are people who still believe that search engine optimization professionals only have a single skill set. Others believe that the optimization process is simply putting keywords in meta tags while other unfortunate people believe that SEO and web design have nothing to do with each other. Put simply, a successful SEO hybrid will be a web professional who is equally skilled in SEO and one or more additional areas of expertise. For example, many search-savvy web developers will learn and understand how search engines access content on their website, and they will optimize their website to be easy as possible for search engines and searchers alike to access their content.
Are you an SEO Hybrid?
SEO hybrids come in many different shapes and forms. You might meet an SEO professional who advertises a search engine friendly website design. This particular SEO hybrid might be an information architect, a web developer, and a designer all in one. There are also SEO experts who specializes in news and blog search. These SEO hybrids might specialize in keyword research, writing search engine friendly articles for news and press releases, and even link development via blogs, social networks, and other media. Other SEO Hybrids only focus on the mobile aspect of search engines by paying attention to searcher behavior and usability. In fact, a SEO hybrid might not even have the abbreviation “SEO” in their titles.
Since SEO can be considered part art and part science, you will often find that many SEO hybrids have creative skills (writing, design, etc.) as well as analytical skills (coding, programming, scripting, etc). These skills are not mutually exclusive and having one SEO skill does not detract from other SEO skills. One of the greatest benefits of working with a SEO hybrid is that they can see the interrelationships between search behavior and website implementation that a non-hybrid SEO might not see.
Nevertheless, there is still a common misconception that an SEO professional is incapable of performing multiple jobs. Talented SEO hybrids can and do exist and, in my experience, I have not met an SEO professional who only specializes in search engine optimization.
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