When I tell people I do SEO, I usually get a response like this:
Them: “Oh, so you put keywords on websites?”
Me: “Yes and no. But mostly no.”
Even within the marketing industry, many people still expect SEO to be like a Band-Aid.
Them: “Organic traffic is down. We need you to wave your SEO magic wand and fix it.”
Me: “Sorry, my SEO magic wand was stolen by a dodo bird, which was then eaten by a dinosaur.”
To have excellent SEO, a site also needs excellence in many other disciplines: web development, web design, content, UX, data analysis, CRO, etc. An “SEO Problem” (drop in rankings and organic traffic) is not just an “SEO Problem.”
A holistic strategy is necessary for your SEO strategy to succeed long-term.