Search Engine Experts is a search engine optimization firm with a unique search engine techniques and proposition. We beileve that it is better to have SEO professionals only specialize in SEO (SEO Specialist) and its usability professionals only specialize in Web site usability (SEO Generalists).
So what is the difference between SEO Specialist and SEO Generalist?
In our opinion, beginner, intermediate, and advanced SEO Specialist have a wide variety of skills. A beginner SEO Specialist, for example, has keyword research and search-friendly copywriting skills. An intermediate and advanced SEO Specialist has additional technical skills, including coding and programming.
There are even SEO specialties within the industry. Some SEO Specialist focus on the entire copywriting aspect of the optimization process. We have a great deal of admiration for this group, because it can be tricky to make a client happy with copy that doesn’t conform to the way the client has been trained or educated.
We find it very, very difficult to work with journalists and PR professionals, for example. news items and press releases need catchy headlines. News articles must conform to an inverted-pyramid (most important information first) writing style, which is actually a good way of writing for SEO, too. However, we also understand that if a news article doesn’t contain the words and phrases people type into search queries, that article might not receive qualified search engine traffic. We only get copywriting for our clients if can get our clients to strike the balance between search-friendly copy and journalistic style.
Likewise, as a SEO Specialist, we have to work with other developers and usability professionals who clearly do not understand search-friendly Web site design. Somehow, the definition of search-friendly design has come to mean a site navigation scheme formatted as text links (only) and a keyword-stuffed URL structure with an ASP/CFM/PHP workaround for dynamic-looking URLs. And therein lies the problem with being a person who only specializes in SEO.
When people only write and design sites for the commercial Web search engines, they forget the entire user experience. Web site usability doesn’t even enter the picture. Search engine spammers define conversion points as ranking and click-throughs only. I could easily program a click bot (define) to do that.
On the flip side, SEO generalists have a wide variety of skills. They have keyword research and copywriting skills. They can code and program Web sites. In other words, many SEO generalists are Web developers or Web site usability professionals who have optimization skills. SEO generalists often see the big picture.
If a copywriter forgets to write a title tag, for example, at least the IT staffer will know and remember how important title-tag content is for optimization. Of course, We’d never expect non-technical staff to understand how to implement a ColdFusion URL workaround. However, we can expect non-technical staff to understand a URL structure that isn’t spider-friendly can and does interfere with a search engine’s ability to retrieve content.
On the surface, it may seem so, except that the term “SEO specialist” can be misleading. A top-of-the-line SEO specialist has a wide variety of skills. Some people might label an SEO specialist as an SEO generalist because of the skill set.
The bottom line for me isn’t whether an SEO professional is a generalist or specialist. It’s delivering a Web site that meets user goals, business goals, and search engine goals. A truly great SEO professional is a person who can apply his or her skills to attain all those goals.