Search Engine Marketer – 2007 Holiday Party Novelty

I love parties. I love the chatting, the interaction, and my uncanny ability to balance a food plate, glass of wine and witty repartee all while wearing adorable shoes. Wine makes me interesting! Meatballs make me slim! Music means I’m dancing!

Lately, however, a new element has popped up in my party repertoire. I have become a novelty. A “She works for a search engine marketing firm” kind of novelty.

This is uncomfortable. I am the master of give and take, the princess of parry and thrust. Although I secretly preen in the warm glow of all that attention, I am slightly embarrassed. It’s bad form to focus on one person in a group.

In the party setting my response to this attention is to be agreeable, soothing and shallow. Glossing over SEM, I move on to setting New Year’s Resolutions, puzzling over the water levels in the Great Lakes, and chatting about the latest books on people’s bookshelves.

Outside that sacred party environment though, given a platform… a soapbox… a blog, if you will; this is how I would respond:

To Those Who Suffer from the Guilt of Not Having a Website –

  • Why should you?
  • How would it benefit your company?
  • How would it fit into your offline marketing?
  • Are you motivated to do the hard work of keeping a site current, interesting and full of relevant content?

Get the noise of “I should” out of your head and start asking “Why should I?” Then either get a site or get over the guilt.

To Those Ashamed of Their Current Sites –

  • Is it really that bad?
  • Why is it failing?
  • Could you take a weekend to set some goals, define what success would look like and find the help you need to make it better?

Quit feeling bad about what you have and make some changes. It’s not rocket science (well, it’s kind of like rocket science but there is such a wealth of information online about online marketing that there is no excuse for staying clueless)

To Those Not Trying Because the Grapes are Sour –

Quit whining over your lack of success and figure out what went wrong.

  • Was your online marketing campaign managed by some Bozo in marketing?
  • Were you that Bozo?
  • Did you shut things down because your ROI failed to return?

Get over yourself. Get over your pride and get back on the horse.

To the Know-It-Alls Who Try to Intimidate the Under-Informed –

Search engine marketing is not about tricking search engines; it’s about creating an excellent user experience. About removing roadblocks and adding signposts. Understand that few are knowledgeable about search engine marketing and chances are, if you’re not doing it 40 hours a week, you’re probably not one of the few. Also, unless you learned it this morning, your info is dated and probably wrong. This is new, it’s exciting, and it’s constantly evolving. Don’t let what you think you know drown out fresher, more accurate information.

Finally, we could all benefit from listening to Teddy Roosevelt when he said (my paraphrase):

It’s not the critic who counts. Not the guy who points out how online marketing can fail. The credit belongs to the guy who is actually in the arena, who shows up late to the fight, with a site that sucks, a realization he’s been a Bozo, and a tanking ROI. The credit goes to the guy who errs and comes up short again and again; because there is no real achievement without error and shortcomings.

So get rid of your shame, get over yourself and begin… again. Because the credit goes to the guy who actually *strives* to succeed… who spends himself in a worthy cause, who knows the triumph of high achievement and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. His place will never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. His place will be with me, at the party… laughing at our failures… and setting our resolutions!