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I wish everyone understood that you aren’t entitled to traffic. Having a website doesn’t mean you deserve search visibility. Just because search could help drive customers or clients to you doesn’t mean it will, or even that it should.
I wish everyone understood that search engines are trying to find the best results, and that SEO is an effort, not to trick them, or simply “play by the rules,” but to help you make the best pages — for searchers. What searchers want from a result may not match what you want from search. You don’t “do some SEO” or simply “make pages for your important keywords” and wait for traffic to flow in. You have to understand the engine, sure, but you also have to understand the search audience, because every algo change or SERP update is an effort to better serve searchers.
Tl;dr I wish clients understood that search isn’t serving them, it is serving searchers.