Halfway Doesn't Work

Ian Lurie

I had a change of opinion today. I used to say you can try a little internet marketing, then expand it.


That’s great, but it doesn’t work for a few of the areas that fall under the umbrella of internet marketing:

Search Engine Optimization. Doing ‘a little SEO’ to see what happens is like starting heart surgery then seeing if you feel better.

Design. Doing ‘a little design’ is like painting your front door and then waiting a year to paint the rest. By the time you finish, the door will have faded, and nothing will match.

Analytics. Doing ‘a little analytics’ is like driving on the freeway, opening your eyes every 5 minutes. It might work, but you’re bound to miss something important (and crash).

Development. Hiring the guy down the street or your cousin’s cousin to build your site is more like hiring 1,000 monkeys to fix a radio. In theory, it’s possible one monkey might throw the radio in just the right way. But chances are, you’ll end up hiring someone else, or buying a new radio.

A little perspective can be a good thing…

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Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. I have to disagree with the SEO part – there is very basics stuff (using a proper title tag) and then you get progressively more and more advanced 🙂

  2. Totally correct. In this case Halfway doesn’t necessarily mean the amount of work – it’s more a matter of how you approach it. If you have a plan in mind, that’s great.
    But too often I see folks who start, then stop because they don’t think it’s working, or decide to switch from ‘white hat’ to ‘black hat’ SEO strategies and back again, etc.. And that usually ends with awful results.

  3. A theme of a recenty Guy Kawasaki keynote at webmaster world was “Don’t worry, be crappy”. Not to be confused with half-measures, doing a little on the way to doing a lot is in my book not a bad thing. Testing and experimenting are good things. Half-measures and laziness are another story.

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