SEO Needs a Foundation

There are major supporters of search engine optimization and a fair number of people that claim it’s web snake oil, nothing but smoke and mirrors to sap unsuspecting victims’ wallets. I think the latter stance is quickly losing ground as more and better SEO tactics place websites at the top of search engines and help generate traffic. However, there is one pitfall to all those wonderful SEO techniques. They need a solid foundation of content to be effective.

Typically people that discover SEO want to jump in headfirst and be at the top of search engines yesterday. To say nothing of the finesse necessary to optimize a site, jumping right in often doesn’t work because they don’t have a valuable site yet. It’s a cobbled together group of “common links” with little to no points of interest. Unless you want the site optimized for the key word “boring” some development probably has to precede SEO techniques. Content is always king and given a choice between the best optimizing techniques and good content on a site, I’ll take content every time. Start optimizing by putting some TLC into your site, update it, make it more interactive, and then use the fancy techniques because all the SEO in the world won’t make a bad site interesting.

 – Eric

Email Marketing Innovation: Does it Exist?

Innovation can take on a lot of meanings.  In the tech community it usually means the cutting edge, the newest thing.  When it comes to marketing online the cutting edge can be a great tool.  It can also be a quagmire that will halt your process because instead of creating and delivering a marketing campaign, energy is focused on revising everything to be state of the art. 

As an example people often want to begin email marketing by dissecting how many different groups they believe are necessary to make a customized message.  Segmentation is a valuable thing at the right point in the process but if someone only has 100 people to send to, making 10 categories and 10 customized topics probably isn’t worth the effort.  At that point, time is probably better spent picking up the phone and talking to each person.  Instead of trying to customize a newsletter, start one.  Its OK to start with a general topic because the group is so small it can serve as a sample audience.  As the list grows and you begin to measure what there is an audience for and what is tracking the best results, segmentation is a natural extension.  Segmenting small lists before getting started will make doing your email campaigns exponentially harder, resulting in more effort and/or more money.  The metrics won’t add up and soon the email campaign will be abandoned, a victim of trying to do too much too soon.  Take stock of what step in the process you are on, overcomplicating your campaigns will only cause frustration and overexertion.

– Eric

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