SEOs, know when to fight and when to stop

Sometimes, you have to fight. Sometimes, you need to know when to give up.

This week was a good reminder for something I've experienced lots of times throughout my SEO career: Fighting really hard for SEO but knowing when to stop.

Most SEOs work in-house for a company or as consultants. 99% of the time, they're competing with other business interests. Developers want easy maintenance and low technical debt. Designers want the site to be flashy and dynamic. Branding people want the content to be short. You get the point.

All of them have a right to be at the company. Should SEO have a higher priority than branding, development, design, etc.? In most cases, yes. In most cases, good branding, design, and development also play into the favor of SEO.

But if nobody comes to a site it doesn't matter how nice it looks or how well it works. Sure, you can focus on paid search, social media, buy email addresses or build partnerships to get referral traffic but SEO is an extremely efficient channel.

Sometimes, designers, branding people, devs, and others want something that's not good for SEO. And sometimes, they win.

As SEOs, we have to fight hard by making the value of SEO as clear as possible to the decision-makers. Once we did everything in our power to do that, we have to let go. The battle is over. Sometimes people get it, sometimes they decide otherwise. When the latter happens it's very important to let any emotional attachment and involvement go and focus on the next battle.

When the decision is made (against SEO), it's not worth dwelling on it. At this point, you're just wasting energy.

Live to fight another day.