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The Art of SEO, 2nd Edition by Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge

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The Business of SEO

SEO has its roots in the tech community. Early search engine optimizers were web developers looking to make their websites visible in the search engines and focused on tweaking HTML to make their sites more search engine spider–friendly.

As search has matured over the years and taken its place at the marketers’ table as a legitimate sales and brand development channel, SEOs have increasingly been asked to focus on the business side of the practice—to evolve beyond the code and Microsoft Excel jockeys of the early days of the practice.

The benefits of focusing on the business of SEO are:

  • It legitimizes the practice of SEO. Talking about canonical tags is great for a techie SEO conference, but talking about share of search will go over better in the C-suite. In many companies, winning the C-suite battle to obtain budget and functional support is the only way to really succeed long-term in SEO.

  • It bridges the gap between the practice of SEO and the impact on the business. Focusing on the business of SEO will enable you to be clear about the ROI you are getting from natural search. Translating SEO-centric metrics such as rankings and traffic to revenue and dollars earned enables you to tie a business impact to your efforts.

Understand Your Market Opportunity

Most SEOs probably cannot say with certainty what ranking in the top search positions for their keywords is (or would be) worth to them in terms of traffic and revenue. We would never set out to develop a new product ...

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