I post at SearchCommander.com now, and this post was published 14 years 9 months 9 days ago. This industry changes FAST, so blindly following the advice here *may not* be a good idea! If you're at all unsure, feel free to hit me up on Twitter and ask.
I have personally suffered from many of these afflictions below, and as a result, I’ve had a loss of productivity, loss of time, and most likely a loss of income.
This started out to be a quick list of things that I could do to improve in 2008, and it wasn’t going to be an actual list of New Year’s resolutions.
But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized they applied not only to me, but to employees and probably to Internet marketers all over the planet.
One thing led to another, and the list started growing, and the next thing you know, it’s a blog post.
In 2008, I hereby resolve to:
1. Pay less attention to visitor counts, and more attention to conversions.
One of the best tips overheard at Pubcon 2007 was from Rand Fishkin, pointing out that it’s much easier to double your conversions than to double your traffic. Take better advantage of the traffic you already have, instead of chasing after traffic that you don’t, and and you’ll make your clients much happier.
2. Spend less time in forums, reading peoples advice whom you don’t know
Forums are one of the biggest time wasters on the Internet, and although many are filled with valuable information & advice, they are also frequently the source of misinformation and rumors.
Unless you’re actually researching an issue for a solution, try not to get sucked into the pointless theoretical conversations, and wandering around these communities filled with anonymous users.
Instead, save yourself valuable time, and try asking specific questions in one of the communities or web pages where experts are hanging out, offering to answer specific questions with their reputations on the line; and you can also ask me too!
3. Spend more time reading the blogs and articles written by industry leaders
Unlike many forums, when a search engine expert posts something on their own personal or company blog, they have a reputation to protect, so you can bet it’s usually going to be accurate.
If it’s not true, the rest of the internet marketing community will be all over them with comments, pointing out any factual errors, and keeping them accountable for what they say. (See my “recommended reading” links on the left for more)
4. Pay less attention to search engine ranking reports
It doesn’t matter where you rank for any given phrase, because ranking itself makes you no money. The actions taken by a visitor after they reach your website that’s far more important, and analyzing visitor behavior is a much more valuable service you can provide than ranking phrases for your clients egos.
The hard part is of course getting clients to understand this, but once you’re making them more profitable, they’ll quickly get the picture.
5. Develop more niche affiliate relationships for products or lead generation
It’s highly likely that the most profitable website in the world has not even gone online yet, and every day new opportunities, new inventions, and new ideas pop into people’s heads all over the world.
By developing more “affiliate” relationships as opposed to flat rate services, you will have more incentive to do a good job, add quality content, and develop the valuable links. You both will be much happier in the long run, making everyone more money.
6. Stop worrying about keyword density & the search engines
Running your text through a keyword density analyzer and agonizing over small changes that will get you to that “magic percentage” is a complete waste of time, especially since the magic percentage changes every week. By providing valuable information, tips, knowledge and content to your readers, or to your client’s readers, is going to provide a greater long-term benefit, as the search engines get smarter at determining the subject of a page.
7. Unsubscribe to most of the “Guru” newsletters
The proliferation of “get rich quick” schemes seems to be accelerating rather than declining. More and more self-proclaimed “experts” continue to develop and share their email lists, to which they market “the next big idea” in the form of downloadable products, e-books, linking schemes and membership sites you can join.
The VAST majority of these products and schemes are just recycled ideas anyway, and you can get back a significant portion of your time by simply unsubscribing. Trust me, if it’s something “really good”, you’re going to hear about it anyway.
8. Develop more video content, and do it properly
It’s all about content, no matter what industry you’re in or what you’re trying to accomplish. You know you’re already behind the pack when it comes to producing and distributing video content, but nobody is likely that far out in front of you.
Video is undoubtedly here to stay, and by completing all of the the meta-info, and by supplementing your video pages with surrounding text, you’re going to better capture the attention of your audience, attract more inbound links, and basically, do much better than the next guy.
The day may not be far off when videos can stand on their own and actually be indexed by the search engines for content, but for now that’s just wishful thinking, so don’t be lazy.
9. Participate more often in the Sphinn community
Whether you’re trying to increase your own visibility, or you’re trying to stay up to date on the latest information available about the search marketing industry, you’ll find no hotter community than Sphinn. Everybody who’s anybody has an account on Sphinn, and nothing goes on in this industry that escapes attention there.
Read, vote, submit, and comment (when appropriate) as often as you can, setting aside at least a little bit of time each day.
10. Attend at least one major industry event annually, such as Pubcon, SMX or SES
You’ll never have a better opportunity to mingle with the experts and pick up inside bits of information weeks before the rest of your competition does.
Barely half of the value even comes during the sessions, with incredible information and relationships to be acquired at lunch time, in the halls after sessions, or over cocktails in the bar. You’ll simply never get the really best stuff by only reading all of the great live bloggers who were (or werent) there.
I have a few more too, that pertain to my business personally, that include doing more speaking about search, and continuing to increase my use of my own Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In, accounts. I also want to escalate my activity and improve in all things Web 2.0 and social,.
Anyone have any more to add to this list?