Setting your priorities

Today there was a major announcement that shook the Internet. Blogger and force of nature Lisa Barone announced she was leaving her position at Outspoken Media, the company she helped to found. She mentioned the quote,

“Your priorities are the things you do, not the things you say you’ll do.”

so it would appear that she wants to do other things with her life right now. I for one am interested to see what that is, I hope she isn’t done creating because I am a fan.

For all you out there reading this, I encourage you to make a change. Find your priorities, whatever they may be, and start doing them. Take a leap, take a jump, heck, just take a step.

Google+ – It’s like Twitter but harder to use

Google+ (Plus) Booth at Creative SandboxWhen you work in an industry sometimes there are tools you just have to use. For SEO professionals, like me, anything Google put out deserves your attention. Google+ (or Google Plus) is the latest, greatest, most publicized tool for SEO out there and there has been a lot of buzz about Google promoting it. I’ve been resistant to use it, but today I decided to set it up for e-Marketing Partner.

Too many Google accounts
It’s just too easy to end up with multiple Google accounts. I can’t remember all the reasons why right now, but I have two major Google accounts as well as multiple accounts I’ve setup for clients. Google doesn’t offer any method to consolidate or merge these accounts. To my knowledge, it’s not even possible to move specific items to a different account without losing all of the historical data. My personal Google+ account was already setup under one Google account, and my places page under another account, so I now have Google+ pages under two different accounts. Awesome.

No one I know is using Google+
There are over 400 people on my Facebook friends list, at least there was before Facebook went through their latest redesign and put hid it. After setting up Google+, I type in the names of a few of my tech savvy friends and get nothing. There is a nice and simple 10 step process for importing Facebook contacts into Google+ via Yahoo and Gmail. I chose not to go that route, so I’m stuck without friends in my circles.

Google+ lets you follow celebrities, just like Twitter
Finally a page pops up that goes through a little wizard and comes up with “Follow public posts from interesting and famous people – Add celebrities, journalists, photographers, and more to your circles to see what they’re sharing publicly.” So… is the whole point of Google+ to follow famous people? Isn’t that what Twitter is for? So there are circles and there are follows and there are different circles in the follows? So confusing.

Will Google+ get better?
Will Google+ improve? I’ve waited quite some time to focus on Google+ because I was hoping that it would get better, but so far I’m not sure it has. Facebook is relatively easy to understand, easy to use and easy to share things across. Google+ should follow suit. Unfortunately Zuckerberg and company are doing everything possible to make FB more confusing and harder to use every day, trying to bring Facebook down to G+’s level.

The journey for the perfect social media platform isn’t over. Google will eventually either figure out how to make Google+ better or scrap it like they have with so many other projects. In the mean time, it probably won’t hurt to use it for SEO purposes, but it’s just too frustrating and difficult to deal with for the average non geek to migrate to, and it’s of little use without a more serious userbase.

Run your own SEO race

Marathon RunnerThis article, An SEO Campaign Is Like a Marathon by Nick Bernard is probably one of the best analogies for an SEO campaign that I’ve read. SEO isn’t a sprint, isn’t a one time shot and isn’t a quick solution. It’s like preparing for and running a Marathon.

Of course, if I had been writing this post I would have compared it to the Baja 1000, Dakar Rally or 24 hours of LeMans since I’m not so into the running analogies. SEO is a long, sometimes torturous and grueling process. If you come out the other side a winner you have accomplished something, if you quit, cheat, tire, you lose. If you stumble you have to get back up, but when it’s all over with it will change you.

If you have a business that needs more marketing I encourage you to read this article and start your own SEO campaign. It will change your life.

If you are the world’s largest stock show and indoor rodeo, maybe your website should reflect it.

Most of us, either now or in our past, have worked for or been involved with an organization with a specific purpose. Nearly everyone business has some type of claim to fame, sometimes globally and sometimes locally. If you are involved with a business or charity, it is in your best interest to plainly communicate what you are about through your website. If you don’t blow your own horn, nobody else is going to.

One example that comes to mind is the National Western Stock Show. Since 1906 this annual event draws more than 18,000 entries with animals ranging from 20 different breeds of cattle to rabbits and chickens. Tickets are sold both for grounds admittance and for ‘special events’. One event I attended last year and particularly enjoyed was the Draft Horse Show and Pull. The massive Belgians, Percherons and Clydesdale horses are phenomenal creatures and watching them try to pull a loaded sled sounded like fun, unfortunately, the National Western website is a little light on the event information. There is, as of this writing, a total of 91 words dedicated to the description of the five scheduled 2012 performances of the Draft Horse Show.

This Draft Horse Show is unbelievable. Not only are there some amazing pulling feats by mules, draft horses and working teams that are hitched just like they would be on a working farm, there were a number of other events. There were mule barrel racing and a 6-Horse Hitch performance. Now, if you aren’t a horseman, which I’m not, you probably have no idea what a 6-Horse Hitch is. Think about all of those Budweiser commercials with the famous Clydesdale’s pulling the fancy wagon, that is a 8-Horse Hitch. In the 6-Horse Hitch competition multiple competitors bring their teams and beautiful wagons and show their expertise by driving the hitch around the arena. It is an beautiful site, kind of like this video.

The National Western Site doesn’t explain any of this. There’s no videos, there is minimal explanation of what goes on in the event, and it’s filled with terms the uneducated won’t understand, and this is ALL THEY DO. The people who work for the National Western spend all year getting ready for their Horse Show, Livestock Show and 12 Special Events. If anyone is an expert on any of these topics it is these people, but they have done little more than list the events.

Don’t be like the National Western Stock Show. Put your passion to work for you. Write content, film videos and share them on your website. Explain to people what kind of events you are hosting and exactly what they are going to experience. Let you customers know why they should attend your event, visit your office, purchase your goods or use your services.