Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Business Change, and Influency*

As smart as I’ve convinced me I am, at the end of the day I’m insignificant.

The picture above says it all. Each of us is lost in a much larger world, and when it comes right down to it any business owner knows that his or her goal is to get just a little bit bigger, to stand out.

There’s a lot of irony in there. From believing that Virgin America Customer Service might care what I think, to my musings on new forms of computing devices like the Google Chromebook, to my comments about über statistician Nate Silver, the fact that I believe I can make a difference when I’m so small is pretty funny. But try I do, every day.

There are successes. What we do in Search Engine Optimization and Long Tail Marketing works, pretty much every time. And we’re about to push that success into what we’re calling Influency*; stay tuned. But the battle to stay above water persists. We do something complicated here, and while we try to boil it all down to what’s simple for our clients, there’s very little “Plastics, Benjamin” happening for Answer Guy Central.

Even today’s picture figures into this theme; it comes from, a web site with a name that evokes my frequent rants about the changes in journalism.

Why am I throwing so many things together today? So you don’t have to.

A couple of days ago, I came across this post dealing with the subject of speeding up a WordPress-driven web site. And it’s a great primer on a bunch of things that the novice content management system user needs to understand.

I commented there. In fact, I got involved with another reader’s comment when I noticed that the somewhat esoteric point she was making was not being resolved by the answer that the person who wrote the article gave.

In other words, Computers Are Hard. Content Management Systems make managing web sites easier, to the point that even non-technical people can handle most of what’s going on ‘under the hood’, but the truth is that even so-called experts are rarely as good as they think they are, and things happen. Even the mighty Kim Dotcom of MegaUpload nowhere, just yet is finding this out, now.

Just managing comments, as that article I referred to a moment ago proves, can be incredibly difficult. Gizmodo does it the wrong way. C|Net is improving, but it was ugly for awhile. Reuters has the right idea, but still suffers from the bane of social networking that is NOFOLLOW.

And don’t get me started about supposed all-in-one solutions like Hubspot. Hubspot’s a great idea, but ends up being just a redirecting of effort for most of its “once we have you you’re stuck here” customers.

If it sounds like I’m running a tremendous number of ideas together in one story, well . . . I am. And that’s the point. You can boil everything down to Influency* , but before we can, we need to figure out what everything is . . . for you. And that isn’t always easy. It’s why I spend so much time talking about Search Engine Optimization. It’s why, with all the great, easy-to-use tools there are to get you more traffic and more business, I still recommend hiring The Answer Guy to do your Marketing. Because this stuff is easy.

Except, it isn’t.

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