What do bartenders and websites have in common? Both need to be optimized to succeed. So says Jill Whalen in an amusing article at Search Engine Land. She demonstrates how the rules of optimization may dually apply to 'tenders and 'sites alike:

Rule #1: Optimization shouldn't turn people off.

  • As it applies to bartending: Sarcastic humor amuses some but offends others. A bartender who doesn't draw such distinctions is less than optimized.
  • As it applies to websites: Is your site stuffed full of keywords? Is it slow-loading? Is it optimized for search engines, but not people? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, it's no doubt turning people off.

Rule #2: You can't fake optimization.

  • As it applies to bartending: A bartender who is nicey-nice to everyone comes across as phoney-baloney to some. A super-friendly server is therefore "not optimized because she's only pleasing one segment of her clientele." 
  • As it applies to websites: Are you overdoing it with content? Are you using automated software to scrape articles off of other sites? Have you hired someone to turn out reams of low-quality articles? None of these practices will produce long-term positive results, Whalen warns.

Rule #3: Optimization is hard work.

  • As it applies to bartending: The optimized bartender is authentic. She also works her butt off to please each and every customer with a personal touch that matches their preferences.
  • As it applies to websites: Are you thinking about each and every potential customer, client or user of your website and making sure it offers features they need? If so, you're on your way to optimization, she concludes.

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