The Master Marketer BLOG

Navigating The SEO Data Maze

Posted by Jeffrey Schmidt on Mon, Aug 06, 2012 @ 4 PM

When new online entrepreneurs get into Internet marketing, they get excited about the possibilities it holds. Internet marketing is more statistics-based, and therefore more “scientific,” than virtually any form of marketing that's previously existed.

You can track individual customers down to their individual likes, dislikes, purchasing habits, and preferred search engines. You can sort this information into demographic groups based on any criteria you like, to find specific targeted audiences to engage. You can track what people are saying about your company all around in the world in real time on services like Facebook and Twitter.

However, this leads to one of the unexpected traps of SEO and Internet Marketing: the Data Maze.

Internet Marketing Data Maze

Enter the Labyrinth

Simply put, the trap of the Data Maze is that there is so much information available that it's hard to sort out what matters from what doesn't. So you just received a spike in traffic from 30-40 year old women who “like” Coca-Cola and Kittens on Facebook. Does this matter to your strategy? Is this something significant, or just the result of looking for patterns?

Just like a maze, the vast amount of data you hold forms walls around your thinking, trapping you and tricking you into focusing on mere distractions.  Like Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth, you have to be constantly on your toes so you don't get lost in your own Data Maze.

False Leads and Dead Ends

Just to preface this, it's worth noting that virtually no piece of data is truly worthless and could be useful to your strategies. However, these are all things that generally aren't important, and often tend to be abused by less-ethical marketeers looking to make impressive PowerPoints rather than impressive ROI calculations.

So don't get stuck in any of these blind alleys:

  • Pageviews, especially daily pageviews. In and of themselves, pageviews are good for nothing but bragging rights. “One million visitors in a day!” might be a nice bullet point on marketing materials, but if no one is actually buying anything, it's not making you any money.

  • PageRank. Google's PageRank system used to be a vital part of online marketing, but now it's been so depreciated that even Google themselves say it's not really worth worrying about.

  • Social Media Shares. This is another metric that can be a harbinger of good things, but is pretty much meaningless by itself. Shares increase exposure, yes, but are they bringing you customers and sales? Don't pursue shares solely for the sake of getting more shares.

  • Number of pages online. While constant blogging and article-writing is an important element of Internet marketing, you should still focus on quality rather than quantity. Hundreds of poorly-written pages will garner far fewer sales than dozens of good articles.

  • Klout. OK, the way things are going, Klout might be meaningful someday. Right now, it's just a popularity contest. You should be focusing on your customers, not the Internet as a whole.

Finding the Center

As the clock strikes Thirteen and you wish to be at the center of your Data Maze, you can cut through the confusion with one simple question:

How is this getting us sales?”

The path through the Data Maze is marked with profits. In any Internet marketing you engage in, think about whether it's targeting likely customers, and how directly you can tie those efforts to eventual sales.  Demographics, for example, should be primarily used for targeted marketing, not for courting Fans on Facebook.

If it's not garnering new sales and new clients, it's probably not worth investing in. Keep that in mind, and you'll complete your Data Maze.

Call DeepSky Marketing to find out how you can create profitable marketing strategies for your company. DeepSky Marketing is a company that provides businesses with profitable marketing systems and verifiable return on investment (ROI). To schedule a brief no-cost consultation call 707 823-3888.

Posted by Jeffrey Schmidt

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