SEO - The Ugly Stepchild

For the last number of weeks, I've been doing a lot of SEO work for a client. Unlike experience design or creative development, SEO is a process that is incredibly granular, time-consuming and rigorous. It contains many aspects - from choosing what keywords to optimize your site with to understand the competitive set against each term - and each one changes every day.

The other challenge with it is that it's only half in our control (sort of like the rest of advertising). Except it's not just the consumer we have to worry about engaging, it's the search engine as well.

Studying the Google algorithm - although tedious - has been extremely rewarding. Anyone can talk about the basics of SEO (you know, the three sentences that usually contain the words content, headings, copy and links) but few people in agencies actually acknowledge that it is critical to the creative process.

We spend so much time designing experiences and ads / video's / apps that drive or distribute them. Most of our tactics - if not all - cost a ton of money to implement (whether on the media or the production side).

The great thing about SEO is that once the basics are in place, users find you. Sure, you have to update and stay vigilant among your competitors to ensure your ranking stays high but it's worth it when you don't have to pay for a huge percentage of your site.

I know it feels strange asking about keyword optimization in a meeting with creatives but if they're not thinking about it, you've got to be.

To start on the basics of SEO, check out this page and this great site.