SEO is an ever changing world there’s no doubt. There was a time a few years ago when the SEO specialist worked diligently to figure out the “secret formula” for getting sites to rank high in the SERPs. For a long time SEO best practices were built around finding the right keyword density, health building links from high ranking sites, image optimization, etc. But that was when SEO was considered a science and all the boxes in the forms just needed to be filled out. Today, SEO has made a shift from this type of pseudo-science to being more of an art form. It’s no longer a formulaic endeavor with well defined steps to follow. You cannot “do SEO” one time and then walk away and realize success. It takes a multitude of ongoing tactics, skills and strategies to get a site to rank.
Why SEO is not a Science
No one is going to disagree that SEO principles can become very complex; but that does not make it a science. Think about quantum mechanics for example. It’s a very complex area of science – but it is science. There are some who feel that quantum mechanics can actually be understood; and those that claim the Google algorithm is too difficult or complex to be mapped. Why is that? Quantum mechanics and other branches of scientific knowledge remain the same and it moves real slow. It would be a lot easier to move a major corporation than to get science to rush. In reality, the scientific method will consume and demand lots of time. The problem with trying to map out Google is that it is constantly changing. It would be like getting a degree in quantum physics or mechanics and by the time you got your degree all of the information you learned has become outdated. With Google, there are so many changes so frequently that it is very difficult to keep up with it. There is nothing set in stone like there is in the scientific process.
Should we run tests?
Even though what the SEO company is doing is not science, there is always room for running tests and more tests. In many aspects, SEO best practices means you are testing, trying it out, testing and then trying it again. SEO is more of a craft where you can build experiences and then make educated guesses or estimates based on the current state of the search engines. The only way to succeed as an SEO professional is to make it an art.
SEO is an Art
If you want to define art it might be “the conscious use of both creative imagination along with skills to produce aesthetically appealing objects.” Most of the successful SEO experts have learned how to blend their creative thoughts with their scientific skills to experiment and improve their strategies. To be creative with SEO means thinking of ways to take a marketing program and make it encompass graphic design, social platforms, quality content, PR and link building tin order o drive the massive vehicle toward a single goal. Being creative as an SEO professional means working and reworking with site designs and codes in order to improve its usability and accessibility; and at the same time sustaining brand guidelines and staying within the client’s overall image and protocol. Every single day, the SEO expert has to be very creative in figuring out ways to target the most effective keywords through the use of a variety of content generation in a way that is likely to engage the audience. This means making intelligent choices between writing a blog post, a press release, using videos, or infographics. There are tons of these types of choices that are not an exact science; they take an artsy touch.
The Perfect Solution
Today SEO best practices are a lot more involved than they were a few years back. Many are still arguing whether they should go with an individual or hire an SEO company for their business. There are plenty of pros and cons both ways. However, because of the artsy and creative ideas that are required for successful SEO campaigns, it is usually better to hire an SEO company. This usually means that there are several individuals who work as a team and they all bring their own unique skill set to the table. They are able to bounce a variety of creative ideas around to develop a solid plan and this offers a lot of collective value that one person might not be able to provide. The industry is in need of more highly skilled professionals who are capable of blending both scientific skills with artistic creativity to reach SEO goals.