Build SEO Momentum in 2012, Not Resolutions


While catching up with my RSS feeds this morning I caught this post from Jeremiah Andrick. In it, he politely (well, sort of politely) asks those New Year’s Resolution People to just stop. Admit right now that you’re a flake and won’t keep up with that workout routine. He doesn’t want you crowding his gym and I agree 100 percent with his sentiment. I agree with it both as it pertains to your physical wellness (dude, get off my machines!) and, of course, to your 2012 search engine optimization campaign.

Resolutions are shiny and, as such, rarely stick. If something wasn’t important enough to you last year to get it done that won’t magically change because the ball dropped again in Times Square. You’ll still ignore it. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have the power to make changes and better use new budgets when we really choose to. We absolutely do; it’s what new success is built on.

So don’t start 2012 with false resolutions; start it by building momentum.

Here’s how that pertains to SEO.

Set Clear Goals

Your direction for 2012 is set (or not) in your ability to set clear, actionable goals. I hope I’m not bursting your SEO bubble when I tell you “increasing conversions” is no more of a clear goal than promising yourself to “lose weight” in 2012. Clear goals not only identify the end goal, they also break down the action steps you’ll need to achieve it. It’s for this reason that if you’re serious about bettering your Web site and your business in 2012 I recommend you start the year with a full SEO audit to help you understand what’s happening on your site so that you know WHAT needs to change and where you’ll need to invest in your site to make it happen. If you’ve never performed an SEO audit on your site, it involves looking at elements like your internal and external linking, code validation, URLs, redirects, digital assets, mobile presence, conversions, etc, to find areas of strength and weakness. With your audit in hand, it can be a lot easier to develop an actionable plan and build that momentum.

Work for Integration…in Everything

Whether it’s search and social, social and email, online and offline marketing – the more you can integrate each of your different marketing channels, the more motion you’re going to build your for your business. That’s how you accomplish more, how you measure more, and how you create a unified marketing message. While the concept of “silos” was a cute SEO buzzword a few years ago, thinking that way in 2012 is going to do you more harm than good. Stop fragmenting your efforts and figure out how you can get more by making everything move together.

Adopt A More Effective Workflow

It’s the first official work day of the New Year.


Before you dive into 2011’s routine, stop and re-evaluate. Take another look at the tools you’re using, the applications you’re depending on, and the work environment you’ve set up for yourself. Is it working or are you still struggling to spend your office hours as productively as you can? Back in 2010 I shared 11 ways I increased my work productivity and though that worked for me then, I know I’m constantly tweaking it. While I still may use tools like my trusty egg timer, I’m also using apps like Rescue Time to turn my work day in a productivity competition. I use Dropbox to give me access to the documents I rely on whenever I need them; I use Shoeboxed to help me track expenses, and we use Harvest in the office to easily tie time to budgets. You may not think tweaking your workflow is all that important in helping you find direction in 2012, but I’d argue it is. The less you have to worry about HOW you work, the more you can focus on what you’re working on.

Be Mindful Of The Ultimate Metric

Before I signed off for 2011, I shared a cautionary tale of SEO drummers, the same old tune & how it results in people doing a whole lot of nothing.

Don’t follow the drum, follow the dollar.

The bottom line of your SEO campaign is not how many times you’re “right” in that Twitter war or how many people you can bring to your Web site, it’s your ability to make more money this year than you did last year. That means SEO’s bottom line, like it or not, is conversions. It’s not traffic, it’s not engagement, it’s not the success of your viral video. If you need to write that down on a piece of paper and tape it above your monitor to remember, do it. Let this be your focus all year long – Money. As cold as it sounds, nothing else matters. And if it’s not making you money, it’s wasting your time.

Stop Being Such A Pimp

SEOs were handed quite a few lessons in the year that was 2011, but Panda was perhaps the loudest lesson and most hard-hitting of all. Through Panda we were once again reminded to act like strategic producers, not mindless pimps. Our goal is not to throw out as many useless pages, keywords, strategies, links, etc, as we can. It’s to be mindful and to actually have a strategy, not simply constant action. As you head in 2012, use that thought to help guide your direction.

You have a choice this year. You can build momentum or you can you build up a list of false resolutions and distractions that will throw you off your game.

Oh, and don’t worry. One of the cool things about New Years is that you can celebrate it as often as you want, regardless of what your calendar tells you.

Your Comments

  • Ryan Hanley

    So I did make an SEO Resolution and I’m sticking to it.

    I’m producing 100 videos in 100 days answering 100 questions about Insurance. I’m uploading the videos to YouTube and then posting them with a brief intro and Call-to-Action on my Agency’s website.

    This will take us from 2 blog posts to 102 blog posts in a little over 3 months. We needed an Adrenaline shot to the heart of our Website and this was the best I could come up with.

    But I’m keeping this resolution, but I am a Pimp, An Insurance-Video-Making-Question-Answering-Blog-SEO Pimp…

    But I agree on everyone staying out of the Gym.

    Ryan H.

  • Jeremiah Andrick


    I think I love you. ;)

    I love this post, I tell people goals not resolutions all the time. I have a follow-up post I was percolating on that I will have to get out now, because I felt I should have been more constructive. Its just that I have made goal setting and discipline core to my existence and I know it is hard for people to change, in their work and personal life. Often true change comes at the cost of either really painful experiences, or something much deeper than the beginning of a new calendar year.

    Here’s to you an me getting our gym time in after the 3 weeks of resolution pain.


  • Jeff Bronson

    New Year’s resolutions rarely stick. While it’s a romantic notion to set out new goals in conjunction with a fresh year – they are often doomed to failure.
    Why not make resolutions when you are inspired, and they are realistic? Much better that way.

    “the more you can integrate each of your different marketing channels, the more motion you’re going to build your for your business”

    This is a big one for me this year. As someone who works full time, plus has multiple online business in vastly different niches, I’m leaning toward integrating most things into just using my real name vs. each venture’s identity.

    Given new platforms like Google+ based on your real name(usually), and the impending social media impact on all our marketing efforts going forward, it seems a better way to actually build your personal brand and be known as an interesting individual with multiple talents, rather than a drone for niche1 , niche2, etc.
    Your thoughts?

  • Dave Snyder

    I can’t think of a reason an SEO that in not strictly working on technical implementation inhouse somewhere wouldn’t grasp onto integrated marketing as an approach, but the reality is we see this everyday. It is really what is going to separate the big winners from the losers over the next few years.

    And I LOVE that inclusion of workflow development here. It is the most underrated piece of the marketing pie.

  • Jeffrey Romano

    I completely agree on focusing on improving workflows. Many times we fail to see how inefficient we work, though stick to the same methods, just ‘because’. Regarding, I tried it out, though its a bit strange for an SEO person I think since it basically tracks time. However, if you take facebook for instance, I use it both for work and leisure throughout the day. What good will telling I spent ‘x’ amount of minutes on it do me? I prefer using something like Toodledo which allows me to set a number of tasks i need to do per day, and then judge my performance on whether i finished my work.