One of the most understated things when joining this industry is the stress and responsibility you have and feel on a daily basis. At small companies or even large companies there are times where the whole company are relying on a single person to make the right call. If an implementation goes wrong, you forget to check you’ve turned noindex off when doing a migration, or accidentally take down a website through a small error your actions impact everyone around you.
I think that a lot of digital marketers are under supported and underpaid for what they do. Let me give you an example from this earlier this year of what I mean. At a previous company I worked at, I was the sole person for SEO, it was a company doing multiple millions a year in revenue and they were merging their international sites. So, on a salary of £18,000 per year I was asked to create a strategy, guide the development team and test two very large sites where any downtime or loss in traffic was a large amount of money and potentially if migration goes completely wrong could put peoples jobs at risk, or at least put my own. Up until this point I had never had any experience doing site migrations (but knew the theory thanks to the forums I am active on). At the same time I had to cover for a colleague who had left picking up paid search which was completely new and migrate that too. The amount of stress was absolutely ridiculous.
What actually prompted me to write this article is that I’ve recently joined another company called Party Ark which has a small amount of staff, and relies solely on SEO and PPC. We’re having to migrate over to a new platform and once again have to do a migration over to international. So we’re moving from the .co.uk site to https://www.partyark.com/. In this scenario with the company being smaller changes are felt harder. My job is to make sure that things go as smoothly as possible with no changes to the business.
This tweet from Glenn Gabe actually stood out to highlight my point, taken slightly out of context but still relevant.
Are you serious? Of course I know that. I'm saying it can absolutely feel like a penalty. I had a site once call me that lost 91% overnight.
Being the SEO who has to handle that site that has lost 91% of their traffic through a single channel would be incredibly stressful. The whole industry has stress everywhere, you wonder about upcoming algorithm changes and penalties and not keeping up with competitors.
I don’t really know how to end this, it just felt right to write something after a long day.