To supplement income as we build MinutesNotice, we'll occasionally do some web site optimization work for clients.  I spent some time over the holiday thinking about common things I've heard from clients/prospective clients who need to make sure their web site is optimized for traffic:

  • The recession has sharpened focus on results.  No big shock there.
  • Search engine optimization is no longer enough to solve problems.  Web traffic has diffused from search engines to a variety of social platforms and mobile applications.  I think this trend will continue in 2009.
  • Mastery of social networks is desired, but a lot of marketing managers don't know how to get started.  Companies that have gotten going do so with mixed results that leave a good or bad impression.  i.e. there isn't a lot of middle ground with where people stand on the corporate use of Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Social networks are link proliferators, yet this is typically either misunderstood or underappreciated by a lot of people.
  • ROI tools for social media really don't exist, so companies that make an investment have to make some incremental investment in measurement… or make do with existing reportage.  I think some startup will create an interesting tool here in '09.  Maybe Twitter can monetize by offering detailed reach/viewership statistics to companies.

Put succinctly, it takes a special breed of person willing to embrace the risks of experimentation to see what will work.  I find myself purposefully killing some of my own consulting opportunity by suggesting simple, early first steps.  Create a Facebook account.  Check out Ads & Pages.  Create a Twitter account.  Twit.  Take two aspirin and call me in the morning. 😉

My greater point, however, is the fact that I truly believe internet marketing has gotten a lot more complex over the last 2 years.  A few years ago, it was suitable to buy a few domains, set up analytics, make sure your metatags, headings, titles, and text were optimized for your outcome.  Get Page Rank working in your favor.  Done.

But traditional SEO is only part of the game now, and you need a lot more to win.