What can the optimizer do, which no one else can do?

Original author: Rand Fishkin
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Rand Fishkin is known not only as one of the founding fathers of Moz.com. His charismatic posts and video appearances, coupled with an extraordinary and memorable appearance, are not only useful for industry professionals, but also very entertaining. Today, with the support of the analytical department of ALTWeb Group and the SERPClick project team, we are pleased to provide a translation of one of his posts, which appeared on the Moz blog in February of this (2014) year. This is a post-answer to the question “Do I need optimizers”, after which your opinion about the optimizer’s work may change (or finally deteriorate).

I recently read George Nielsen’s article on SEJournal called “Why Do We Need Optimizers Now?”

The post caught my attention, because it is about what is of interest not only to me, but also to many of my colleagues in digital marketing. Now this is especially true, taking into account the latest changes in Google’s policy in the field of link ranking, its new addiction to the brand as such and issues of behavioral factors (in particular, compliance with the user's intention). And since my point of view is different from that of Mr. Nielsen, I decided to share it with you. Here's how Nielsen begins his post:

“Our“ secret techniques ”no longer work, and creative agencies, copywriters and public relations experts consider us to be some kind of“ hacker ”of the marketing world.”

And here is how he finishes it:

“Let PR agencies continue to send out press releases on the Internet and let the advertising agencies continue to create new campaigns to increase the brand’s audience. And we need to continue what we do best: to establish communication with the most interested audience. ”

I agree with the opinion that other representatives of digital marketing often do not like the optimizers themselves. Let's be honest, yes, quite a large number of optimizers turned out to be "barbaric" by sending spam in the mail, littering blog comments, typing texts with keywords. But I still can’t give up the idea that what’s best for optimization specialists is “to establish a connection with the most interested audience”. I think that if we consider optimization as finding ways to satisfy user requests in the field of interest to them, then it is precisely for this work that optimizers should feel responsible.

When I think about what skill set is needed in order to carry out optimization, several possible ways to build this work come to mind. From my own experience I will say that the best optimization specialists are multitasking and professional marketers. They have enough knowledge about a large number of practices, which is combined with deep knowledge and their own experience in related disciplines, which are also directly related to optimization.

What can the optimizer do such that no one else can?

1. Create a strategy to increase search traffic.

Strategy is not just a set of steps. This is a unique approach that should take into account the strengths and weaknesses of the company, as well as find “holes” in the competitive environment that can be filled. In order for everything to work out, you need experience, you need to know how other companies received or lost traffic from search, and you also need an intuitive understanding of how behavioral factors, ranking signals and competition appear in your particular area.


2. Compilation, evaluation and improvement of the semantic core

What search queries drive users to your sales funnel? Which ones need to be prioritized and in what order? How can we measure the success of ranking a particular keyword and traffic for it, given that Google no longer presents this information in a standard analytics package? The optimizer can give answers to these difficult questions and as a result receive traffic and the result, expressed in profit from it.

3. Optimizing the sales funnel for visitors from search.

Optimizers know how to turn people from search into subscribers, and search traffic into a source of income. Using the right triggers, grounding pages, you can make tangible changes to the site, which will lead to the fact that an interested audience will come for your product or service.

4. Determine the cause of the decline or stagnation in search traffic.

By a sad coincidence, it was during the decline in referral traffic that marketing teams, other teams, and even company owners themselves turn to optimizers. In many cases, such a decline can be prevented if you have a professional specialist or an optimizing consulting firm, but I understand that no one actually calls the plumber when the faucet does not flow.


Many of the best optimization experts that I personally know spend a huge amount of time solving problems related to traffic loss. Sanctions, technical errors, seasonality, changes in behavioral factors, changes in extradition - this is a list of only a few factors that affect traffic. Understanding the cause and devising a strategy to address it can be a daunting and time-consuming task.

5. Assistance in managing your reputation for issuing

If the results contain extradition results that an individual or organization would not want to see there, a professional optimizer is perhaps the only specialist who can help here. Managing online reputation is one of the most difficult types of work in business (and therefore one of the most expensive). However, the damage that information on the network can inflict can sometimes be much more tangible than any costs.

6. Audit a site (or group of sites) in order to find opportunities to improve search traffic

Sometimes the cause of [bad traffic] can be some kind of nonsense, such as a long page load time or an incorrectly selected keyword that contradicts the header, or an incorrect XML file with a site map. In a number of other cases, the cause may be more complex issues, such as poor or non-original content, poor internal linking, or the placement of AJAX content inaccessible to the search robot, which will also lead to loss of traffic to this content. The optimizer not only solves all of the above problems, it can also find all the big and small technical flaws on the site, solve all the problems in the order of their importance, and also make the site and its pages as accessible as possible for both people and the search robot.

7. Get links, social signals and an increase in user activity in response to site content.

Those who were among the first to use various tactics and promotion channels related to social networks, infographics, embedded widgets and content management were most often optimizers. We are persistently looking for a methodology that would allow the message to spread further on the network, get the necessary visibility, which, in turn, gives links, mentions and affects the ranking [for the better].

Today's digital marketing is a complex environment in which a professional optimizer knows how to use dozens of channels and hundreds of tactics in order to attract the attention of an audience. Sometimes these tactics stun users and discredit SEO. However, optimization has never been one tactic.

I think if you gathered several optimizers in one room, we could bring a dozen more complicated marketing tasks that no one else could solve. This is exactly what optimizers are really good at. From my own experience I can say that the solution to these problems has not become easier or less important over the past 15 years. Therefore, this area continues to grow quite quickly, and specialists in the field of optimization are often proud of their achievements and strive to defend their professional pride, struggling with the sometimes simplified and incomplete perception of our work.

PS I admit that there are many marketers who have in-depth knowledge and skills in the field of optimization, sufficient to solve the tasks, but do not call themselves optimizers. In this post, I would still like to mention them all as “professional optimizers” - wherever I have already done this.

Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

Did Rand's article change your mind about optimizers?

  • 10% Yes, now I understand what service I can buy from the optimizer. 1
  • 30% No, unfortunately, has not changed. 3
  • 30% I am a professional optimizer and I have a good opinion of myself. 3
  • 30% Neither yes nor no, I have a different opinion. 3

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