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Those of us that prowl these SE forums recognize the knowledgeable ones in the SEO biz, but those names aren't exactly household terms to those we need to convince. We need an article in Business Week, The Standard, USA Today, etc. that gives an overview of what it takes to get in front of meaningful traffic. If anyone knows of such an article, or happens upon it later, please post the url here.
I thought that was only a problem of the 'backward brits'. Rather glad to hear you've still got it over there too.
I would also value an article of that ilk.
There may be a vague realization of the problem, but it is certainly not mainstream. I am reading more and more articles which address this at the tech and/or large-scale marketing levels, but I don't believe most of the small commercial sites really associate themselves with the problems of e-commerce in general.
I blame much of this "just build it" mentality on the continuous mass-marketing and hyping of web presence by registration services and also some Fortune 500 companies that are touting e-commerce "solutions." Some television commercials come to mind which particularly rile me. The reality of a hard slog to market isn't very pretty, so it is conveniently written out of the marketing pitch.
Brett, you are a pro, by the time they come to see you, they are likely to have an inkling that there is something afoot. You are right, that works on a one-on-one basis, but I need something to illustrate the problem at a presentation to a group of web neophytes. BTW, here's a good punchlist that was contributed to a litte site I keep on this "reality" subject http://4geeks.com/gen/businessrealitycheck.htm
For a soundbite, I use "the world's largest, most disorderly classifieds." That seems to give some an idea of what it takes to be found, but a cover story in Business Week would make true believers out of them PDQ.
Oh well...It's a cool game..Got to be in it to WIN!!
Better to keep the topic hot by making everyone believe in the gold rush mentality. Of course if you can put up with some misinformed gold diggers (clients) selling them picks and shovels can be very lucrative.
[edited to fix silly spelling erorrs]
OK, I'm going to write an article on the subject - let's see how many journanlists are interested. I bet a "real world" article will get less attention than a "hype" article. Give it about three months and see how it goes down.
Ah, you're talking Conversion... now you are really moving into an area where the client may be in a state of denial (or shock). True, traffic isn't going to cure a poor concept or sell a product that noboby wants --well, OK, auction sites tend to disprove that last point. Anyway, look at the flip side of the reason to wave a "Big Name" article; suppose you've been successful in jacking your client's site to the top slots, now you have to continually prove that you did something.
Joking apart, getting back to the thread, tyhe large amount of work involved in "doing it right" is not understood. $50 submission programs make a mockery of the true activitiy and work that is involved.
Enough - I've got some sites to optimise!
Last fall when ads were flowing like water, of course the bigger site did breath taking income ($150k from sept1-dec31 - $1100-1600 a day) - right now, it is struggling to do $75 a day. The smaller site couldn't keep up last fall, but right now is making double what the bigger site is doing. That is what se targeting and user identification can do for you.
My soul responsibility has been taken ownership of the key performance indicators (session/enquiries & enquiries/bookings)for a group of travel companies for the last 15 months.
As I have progressed, I have managed to solely take responsibility for one thing - generating qualified traffic -period.
Gone are the days of having to stand in front of a board and be accountable for explaining discrepancies between bull**** assumptions and current conversion stats. Anyway - when you find the reality check article - let me know. I often get the "just tweek a couple of pages and submit - how difficult can it be" comment.
You guys have probably already thought of this, but I wonder if an "association of search professionals" might not be appropriate. The way I see it, an association with a basic "charter" that has a set of
standards (and rules)that everyone has to live by would add a quite a bit of legitimacy and strength to those of us that are members. Clients, bosses and, I think, the search engines themselves would have to take notice. If it is press released properly, this might be the "boost" needed.
Glad you enjoy these boards. IMHO, it's one of the last forums with the "right attitude" --not too caught up in its own omniscience yet aware that its being keenly read and used.
As for the "pro" association. It's a idea that will surely come, if it is not out there already, but many of us wear so many hats that I'm not sure we would feel qualified to sign up as a specialist.