Stop Waiting for SEO Heroes and Make Great Stuff

I have six professional heroes presently – and I don’t mind sharing. In random order, they are:

Seth Godin – For telling me to quit dead ends and focus on being the best.
Edward Tufte – Guided me into information design, recognizing and avoiding chartjunk, and telling stories visually.
Jakob Nielson – For telling it like it is even when it’s totally unpopular.
Richard Florida – For drawing attention to what drives creative people.
Steve Wozniak – For his approachable demeanor as well as the desire to spread knowledge.
Steve Jobs – For his relentless passion to innovate.

I’ve met Florida, Tufte, Jobs and Wozniak. If only for a moment (they wouldn’t remember me.) I had no trouble making the list above. It came to me in 3 minutes. Each have contributed through a career of hard work with a real passion to improve things.

Have any heroes emerged in the SEO world? Should we expect it? As I sat in a meeting recently all eyes were on me to save the business. My answers about content creation, social media, and slow, steady growth were not superhero answers. Some are looking for the cape crusader to save old-school companies with new marketing feats of awe. People start looking for a mild-mannered SEO to burst from the phone booth and fix the problem. I don’t know why.

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

MSNBC/BusinessWeek recently published Gene Marks’ Tech ‘Solutions’ Your Small Biz Can’t Use where he seems to dismiss “all things internet” and debunks “highfalutin software and gadgets aim to help you run your company.” The comments shred the article, and are very interesting to read.

5 Methods to Track Offline Conversions – and Plug Huge Marketing Budget Leaks.

One of the most difficult challenges is tracking paid search performance via telephone calls for the small business. While a few will spring for a new 800 number or IVR system to get some of that information and train phone staff in its use, many cannot due to the workaday reality. Often the busy office environment means metrics go out the window in favor of just getting the order out, so the company continues to guess.

Microsoft Adcenter follows Google’s Lead in Optimizing Campaigns for “free.”

It seems everyone’s bending over backwards to optimize my pay-per-click campaigns for free these days. Google did it a couple of weeks ago, and now Microsoft Adcenter has chimed in. Can the PPC campaigns really offer good value to customers without conflict-of-interest becoming a problem? Or is it a “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” issue?