SEO is not all Sunshine and Rainbows... Let me tell you something you already know
SEO's a little bit like playing a game and being a detective. Everyone is talking about unique content, link building and rankings but before you can do any winning at SEO you need to build the basics and get your training right and that often involves a bit of investigation.
You start with a relatively small problem that leads to a bigger problem. You start investigating that slightly bigger problem and uncover another problem, to solve this it creates another problem, and so on and so on.
You finally get to the bottom of what's causing the latest issue and start working backwards fixing things bit by bit to hopefully resolve the small problem at the beginning.
You then have pages of notes and a list of things to do, things to fix and things to resolve. This can often create mountains of work, technical head scratching, lots of article reading, discussions with colleagues and more often than not HUGE spreadsheets of data.
You've then got to explain all of this to your client or boss who is still in the mentality of it being just a small problem and we just need to get some links. You need to convince them that they need to pay you many, many, many more hours of your time to fix this small simple problem. You start talking confidentially and rattling off terms like canonicals, URL Redirects, duplicate content and indexed pages and your returned with a completely blank stare and completely rephrase your journey of being a detective and finding all these errors and how you found them and how your going to fix them and how excited you are to get to the bottom of the error and get it all resolved....
Your client doesn't understand your achievement and you secretly fist bump yourself in your own smug geek induced SEO coma and continue on your own little investigative journey smugly solving SEO mysteries.
When you keep hearing the terms SEO is dead and content is king you can't help but smile in the knowledge that good technical SEO's are worth their weight in gold and without them no amount of link building and content will help your website until the technical SEO issues are addressed.
SEO has become a blur of jobs lately and crosses over into PR, Journalism, Social Media and Technical. It isn't always about the buzzwords creating content and building links and there is still very much a need for a technical SEO's to uncover and resolve issues for the content and link building to actually work.
It's ok to be a technical SEO and it's ok to completely geek out when you resolve a technical issue and make a website better and it's also completely ok that quite often no one understands what on earth you are talking about. And of course I do still tell my mum I work 'ON THE INTERNET'
If anyone has figured out the reference to Rocky Balboa in the title, SEO is exactly that, you have to keep on investigating time and time again until you get to the success at the end and this can take a lot of years of training, learning and testing but it is a lovely feeling when you finally fix a website with several underlying technical issues and everything comes together. Then the client website starts increasing traffic, increasing sales and you finally get the praise you deserve for 'Fixing that small problem' But like Rocky you never just fight in one match. The minute you hang up your gloves the following morning is another day and it's time to put them on and start training again for the next fight. Like SEO, you're never finished, SEO is always evolving and changing and you are always learning to continually be your best and do the best for your clients and continually improve traffic, rankings, site speed, unique content, links, reviews and reputation.
SEO might have been taking a beating online lately but it is definitely not dead.