We Are Making Online Marketing More Difficult Than It Has To Be


One of the quotes I fell in love with in college is attributed to Albert Einstein: “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” To my ears, the sentence called on everyone, from scientist to laborers, to express their ideas and thoughts as simply as possible, which serves to aid the examination and application of the best ideas.

Sounds simple enough right?

Well, lately I’ve been thinking the same thing as it regards SEO, content and social media. We need to return to simplicity.

We get so wrapped up in the newest, shiniest toy that we forget we cannot all be everywhere at all times; neither can our businesses execute every idea or concept simultaneously. And you know what, simplicity is what our audiences crave as well. I believe our online communities are saying to us what Omar Little said to Prop Joe in The Wire: “[We] like it simple.”

Whether you agree or not, isn’t it time we experiment?

Shouldn’t we try shorter, punchier content? Doesn’t making a commitment to one social media platform before you jump to all the others seem like a logical, worthwhile idea? Wouldn’t it serve everyone’s best interests if we stopped obsessing over Google penalties and start creating content and user experiences that the algorithms reward, not punish?

If you’re ready to give this approach a try, I have three simple (of course!) ideas to get you started.

Quit over-thinking content

Do what you can with what you have. That might mean one blog a week or two blogs a month. The key is focusing on what you have the resources to do well, then executing that plan. Once you have your keywords and personas in hand, spend some time brainstorming content ideas and content types. But spent even more time thinking about content outreach and amplification, for not even the best content does your website any good if it remains hidden from the folks who need it.

Make social media a priority, not an obsession

I get it. I get it. You cannot help but jump on the latest platform, eager to be an early-adopter. That’s a lofty goal, and one that very well may help you down the road. Right now, however, you need to simplify your plans and focus on which platform can help you most in the next 90 days, then go from there. Have your social media and SEO folks pull the latest data from Google Analytics to discern which platforms are sending your website the highest quality referral traffic. Don’t obsess over goals, metrics and such, yet. Put your eggs in the basket that’s proved most consistent. You can re-asses and reassign later.

SEO isn’t synonymous with table salt

In the restaurant industry, the bromide goes that “salt makes everything taste better.” In the online marketing world, a similar line of thinking revolves around SEO. Don’t fall for this ruse. While important, SEO won’t iron your clothes, make you dinner or rescue your business from the likes of poor content or bad overall strategy. My advice: Keep SEO at the center of your digital marketing plans, but not to the extent that you neglect other, no less significant areas of your business, including content strategy, user experience and email marketing.

This is a post that has been rolling around in my head for some time, primarily as a result of seeing business owners neglect the little things, which ultimately become the big things.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

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