Tools to Help SEOs With ADD Get Work Done

add-seoAlmost five years ago, a client "diagnosed me" as having Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. She knew I had ADD because she did too. I laughed, and then did some self-evaluation…I think she was onto something.

I still haven’t been into the doctor to be formally diagnosed, but – all these years later – I’m convinced that there’s some truth to this (the people I work with - and my wife - would agree). And, based upon the many SEOs that I’ve talked to about this subject matter, I would say that the vast majority of SEOs believe they, too, “suffer” from ADD.

If you’re not too sure, or if you’re not familiar with some of the symptoms of Adult ADD, check out these symptoms, from Helpguide:

  • Trouble concentrating/staying focused – easily distracted; trouble completing tasks.
  • Hyperfocus – When you ARE into a subject, you are really into it; you lose track of time.
  • Disorganized / forgetful.
  • Impulsive – Have addictive tendencies (know any SEOs who smoke?).
  • Emotional difficulties – don’t deal well with frustrations.
  • Hyperactivity / restlessness – “racing” thoughts.

Why SEOs Have Symptoms of ADD

Today’s SEO is being asked to do a lot. To me, it’s no wonder that there’s some ADD.

A good SEO nowadays is:

  • Technically proficient.
  • A sound copywriter.
  • An analytics expert.
  • A usability consultant.
  • A PR genius.
  • A social networker who is strategic in their approach yet can mind the details to execute and actually “do some work”.

Chances are, you’re not going to find all of these attributes (at least not to the degree that you might want them) within one person. And, even if you do happen to find someone who has all of these qualities, they could – quite possibly – have ADD. Knowing that, understand that the qualities that make them “good SEOs” (inquisitive minds) can also lead to these folks drifting, following the trail, only to forget what they’re trying to accomplish.

SEO Tools to Get Organized & Get Work Done

When I originally wrote about this, there weren't many (any?) solid enterprise-level SEO management platforms on the market. My original self-evaluation taught me that SEO needs to be managed properly to ensure that good ideas and thoughts are put into actionable recommendations and completed by deadlines:

  • Is your company serious about process improvement and project management? 
  • Do you formally document your entire process and implement this into robust project management software?

Today, there are many tools available to help folks organize their SEO work, so that ideas result in action items which (hopefully) result in results. I won’t go so far as to endorse any particular company, but here are a few that have been on my radar:

Other tools might fall into this category (and if so, feel free to add them to the comments, below), but these are just a few that might be worth your consideration.

The idea here is that there are tools available now that didn’t exist before. This goes to show just how far search engine optimization has come.

SEO tools help us to be accountable to our clients/companies and earn SEO marketing dollars, where we may have struggled justifying the expenses, previously, for lack of transparency in what we do, lack of understanding as to what the value proposition is currently, or what the opportunity value could be.

What you’ll find in many of these tools is an integration of analytics, and an associated “cost per click” value (that is to say, “if you bought this organic traffic via AdWords, it would have cost you X” or “the potential value of traffic, if you earn positioning for this keyword is X”). While the CXOs may never really understand SEO, they will always understand “value” and “potential value”.

When you can break that down into further transparency, the purse strings should open up. When SEO is no longer a black box, but rather something that can be digested and understood, people will spend money.

In the End...

Creating a system and/or using tools to organize the work, keep team members accountable, and prove value will further legitimize an industry that many years ago had been called “dead” and help those ADD “sufferers” from getting too distracted, so that they can get some work done.

About the author

Mark Jackson is President and CEO of Vizion Interactive, a search engine optimization company. Mark joined the interactive marketing fray in early 2000. His journey began with Lycos/Wired Digital and then AOL/Time Warner. After having witnessed the bubble burst and its lingering effects on stability on the job front (learning that working for a "large company" does not guarantee you a position, no matter your job performance), Mark established an interactive marketing agency and has cultivated it into one of the most respected search engine optimization firms in the United States.

Vizion Interactive was founded on the premise that honesty, integrity, and transparency forge the pillars that strong partnerships should be based upon. Vizion Interactive is a full service interactive marketing agency, specializing in search engine optimization, search engine marketing/PPC management, SEO friendly Web design/development, social media marketing, and other leading edge interactive marketing services, including being one of the first 50 beta testers of Google TV.

Mark is a board member of the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association (DFWSEM) and a member of the Dallas/Fort Worth Interactive Marketing Association (DFWIMA) and is a regular speaker at the SES and Pubcon conferences.

Mark received a BA in Journalism/Advertising from The University of Texas at Arlington in 1993 and spent several years in traditional marketing (radio, television, and print) prior to venturing into all things "Web."

Read more of Mark Jackson's columns at ClickZ.