Are you “overwhelmed” with opportunity?
In the first part of this series, we learned:
- That online marketing can dramatically increase the size of your business, even if your business occupies an extremely small “niche” in the market.
- The #1 problem that prevents business owners from getting the growth that they need to have a healthy, sustainable business.
- Why *now* is the best time to take your marketing strategy up a notch, to capitalize on the current market conditions.
- How some simple tweaks in keyword strategy can give you better results, with less work, via the “How Many Keywords Should I Target?” video at the end of the post.
At the end of that post, I made you a promise – to return in Part 2 with a five-point plan for “getting your strategic house in order” – and I will keep that promise.
But first, there’s a “thing” that I *need* to talk about, that most internet marketing “experts” would rather not talk about at all. Not just because they don’t have an answer for this thing, but because it also plays into the whole “I just need one more course and then I’ll succeed” mentality that keeps their customers coming back.
My partner Leslie Rohde gave this “thing” a name a few years back, and we’ve been talking about it ever since.
He called it “Overwhelm.”
Overwhelm is what happens when you’re busy with the day-to-day chaos of running your business and your life, and then, as if that weren’t enough, you get an avalanche of conflicting advice and “information” heaped on top of your head.
One person tells you to use *this* tool or *that* technique, and the next person tells you it’s garbage. Everybody’s got an answer, and almost *none* of them are actually speaking from experience. This week a “blog network” is going to save you1, next week it’s some weird “loophole” in Facebook or Twitter or Gmail or… whatever – and who knows what crazy thing it’ll be next week!
You know what I’m talking about – so tell me, how does it feel? Do you feel like you’re making progress, or is it more like “treading water?”
When all you’re getting is static, it’s time to change the channel!
Or maybe turn the TV off for a while… because the Answer to Overwhelm is Focus. Multi-tasking? Not so much. Do one thing at a time, do them in the right order, and presto-snap before you know it, you’re not treading water any more, you’re swimming circles around the competition.
So here are five simple (not always easy) steps to get your strategic house in order, and make sure you’re focusing on the right thing, right now:
(Since you’re probably here, first and foremost, because you’re interested in SEO, I’m going to tackle that first – and then get into the *real* business of online marketing. This is the *exact* same approach that we use for our private clients and the students in our SEO Braintrust coaching program.)
- Make Analytics a Part of Your Business:
You can’t make good decisions *about* your business until you understand what’s going on *inside* your business and on your web site. In the SEO Braintrust, we teach all of our students to get Google Analytics installed, “instrument the heck out of your site,” and start tracking all of your marketing campaigns (in spite of what you may have heard, this does *not* have to cause problems with SEO!). When you know what’s working, you can do more of it, and when you have good data, you can even fix what isn’t working.
- Get Your Keyword Strategy Straight – By the Numbers:
In the first post, I gave you a free video directly out of our online training library, showing you how badly “out of focus” most business owners are when it comes to keyword strategy. In today’s video (we’ll get to that in a minute), Leslie Rohde takes you step by step through his “Zone-Based SEO” system. When you watch the video, you’ll get it right away – it’s very simple – but it’s also very powerful. I’ll be *shocked* if you aren’t a complete convert to Leslie’s system thirty minutes from now.
- Get Your On-Site SEO Done – Then Move On:
On-site SEO, with the occasional minor shift or tweak, is pretty much a one-time job, once you know what your keyword strategy is – so stop staring at your website, turn your chair around, and look out the window. There’s a big wide world out there, and literally dozens of profitable marketing strategies that you can use to find your target audience, get traffic and make sales while the “link building” stuff mostly takes care of itself.
- Focus on Testing and Conversion:
There’s an old saying around the online marketing world: “It’s easier to double your conversion rate than to double your traffic.” Of course, we’d like to do both – and you can – but getting more money out of the traffic you’re already getting is a *huge* source of leverage for all of your marketing efforts. Simply adding an email marketing component to your strategy is often *more* than enough to double your overall conversion rate.
- Open Up the “Floodgates” – One at a Time:
By “stage five” here, you ought to be seeing increases in traffic, increases in conversion, and other goodness – but you’re now at risk of what I call the “More, More, More!” Syndrome… when you start to experience real success, it’s easy to start thinking you can do it all. Well, you can do it all, as long as *you* aren’t doing it all yourself, and *you* are intelligently directing the strategy behind it. This means we don’t start doing Adwords and Facebook and Mobile Phone advertising all at once – tackle them one at a time, make them profitable, systematize the day-to-day aspects, and then – ONLY then – tackle the next opportunity.
Okay, that’s enough mental re-programming for one day – let’s get to the *actionable* bit:
Watch this video. Take notes. Seriously – here’s a tip for you: if Leslie Rohde is talking, you should be taking notes. So just grab a pad and a pen, write “Action Steps” at the top of the page on the left side, and write “Insights” at the top on the right side, and draw a line down the middle. One column for Action Steps – stuff you are going to DO, and another for Insights – stuff you want to think about and remember later. When you’re done watching, or if you just hate watching videos, you can download the PDF and print it out.
(In case you hadn’t guessed, yes – I’ll be back again in a couple days, to tell you about our “mastermind” coaching program, which has been going on continuously for about a year now, and your opportunity to join in the fun. I’ll also tell you the names of the blogs that I read on a daily basis to stay “up to speed” on online marketing so you can subscribe to them yourself, and announce the big, stunning, “holy cow” reason why now is the best time ever to join the SEO Braintrust.)
1 It’s a long story for another day, but blog networks will *not* save you – they’re one of the *worst* forms of link building imaginable – clearly at odds with Google’s guidelines, and extremely easy for search engines to detect. I know they all say that Google “loves” them – but they’re flat-out wrong about that.
Ricardo Weatherly says
You guys always over deliver, and seem to really clear up all the mumbo jumbo you get from other gurus.
While I agree tracking is critical, I’d never use Google Analytics, despite its popularity. Google has shown a desire to become more than just a search engine and I don’t want to supply data to a possible future competitor.
There are alternatives to Google Analytics, of course. Like just buying Urchin from them and storing the data yourself.
Howard "OutSourcerer" Tiano says
Great video Leslie! Never heard such a systematic approach to determine search term priorities for SEO work, especially for your clients’ sites. I actually understood it!!
Not all of them have the site maturity you speak of in your caveat. 🙁
and Dan…you’re not bad yourself! 😉
You should have a “buy me a beer” button on the page. Now you’ll have to wait till the next event!
Looking forward to the next video.
I want to join your seobraintrust coaching program. So, please show me how can I pay you to join the program?
Hi Dan, fantastic content!
I like the way you defined “zones” so our work is to
coach terms to rank better.
I will use the approach and let you know how it goes.
Thanks for sharing!
Alex Newell says
I’ve been trying to piece together an SEO plan without much progress. Thanks a lot for shining a light on such a complex task.
Great information. This systematic aproach is a real gem, so all we have to do is follow the different points in order to achieve the targets surely.
Excellent material as usual.
This has turned out to be an absolute gem. This method is very practicial, stupidly simple, and absolutely brilliant, all at the same time! Will put this to use right away.
I needed this broken down thanks guys
I HAVE been overwhelmed, Dan! You are so right. I run a non-profit, do all the web stuff, and watch as the seo gets ignored or put on the back burner. And WHEW! YOU come along and are a GODSEND! Of all the many sources of advice I’ve read from, yours seems to be what I come back to, because it consistently makes sense. THANKS SO MUCH for sharing your practical know-how. And fatherly advice. Now I just need to put one foot in front of the other and DO IT! Many thanks again.