You hear it all the time; “SEO is an art”. It makes an SEO sound like a mystic or a charlatan. (not that there are not plenty of those around)
My way of explaining how SEO is an art; its the ability to have a three-way conversation; one with the client, one with the public, and one with search engines.
The client’s language usually differs from the public. The public tends to use slang while the client uses official terminology or industry specific words. Like “Porsche 911” and “Porsche Carrera” – same car, depending on who’s speaking.
The client often has difficulty, or even an unwillingness converting their communications into layman’s terms for professional reasons. Now add to the conversation search engine. The search engine may not have been programmed to make the language connections that even humans do not use consistently. (called semantic search)
My favorite is “Cosmetic Surgery” vs “Plastic Surgery”. This industry is a real SEO challenge. It calls itself Cosmetic Surgery but the public calls it Plastic Surgery. The doctor calls it “breast augmentation”, while the public searches for “b**b job”. (I have to do that or this post ends up in p*rn SERPs)
Needless to say, the doctor is reluctant to speak in layman’s terms or risk sounding unprofessional. The doctor says Breast Augmentation and Rhinoplasty. But the online searcher does not take the time to spell “augmentation” or “rhino-something-I-cant-spell-that” when “b**b job” or “nose job” are so easy to type. And finally the search engine will put anything related to “b**bs” in the p*rn category.
That is a real SEO challenge.
SEO is an Art.