Pedal Harder, Dammit: In marketing, effort means more
Ian Lurie Aug 15 2011
I’d love to say I’m about to draw a spectacular parallel between cycling and internet marketing. But internet marketing isn’t anything like cycling. I’ve never barfed after a hard day of internet marketing. Nor have I gotten road rash because of a badly-behaved poodle. And I never won a bicycle race because of my brain or my writing skills.
But there are times in both when you just have to pedal harder, dammit.
I had a cycling coach once. He was about 5’6″ of pure muscle. I’m pretty sure he could leg press a VW Bug. He also spoke with an Italian accent so thick I could barely make out what he was saying.
He was awesome.
So one day, I’m analyzing my lousy finish in the previous weekend’s race (not unusual). I ask the coach, “What could I have done differently? Did I make a bad tactical decision? Should I have eaten different food? Maybe drink more water next time?”
He looked at me briefly and said “Pedal harder, dammit.”
I looked so wounded that he burst out laughing. But I got the point. Until your effort equals competitor efforts, you can’t win. By matching your effort to theirs, you get a chance to win.
Sometimes, you just gotta pedal harder
Here are a few signs that, in SEO, PPC, or whatever, you need to pedal harder:
- You’re obsessing about keyword-rich URLs. Unless you’re producing one amazing, truly mind-blowing piece of content every day and pushing that out to thousands of ravening fans, you need to pedal harder. Forget the URLs.
- You’re considering building dozens of ‘micro sites’. This is rarely a good tactic. Focus on one site and just pedal harder.
- Your site pages load in 25 seconds or more. I can actually shave while waiting. Drop every other marketing and development initiative until your pages load in 5 seconds or less. Pedal. Harder. Dammit.
- You are going to use a fancy ‘100% automated’ PPC tool. Unless you’re running 1,000 ads on 100,000 keywords, you’re making a huge mistake. In fact, even then, you’re making a huge mistake. Don’t expect computers to know how to market to people. PHD (Pedal Harder Dammit).
- You’re hiring someone to write content for your site. And paying them $5/page. Yeah whatever. Go for it. Someone else will PHD and kick your ass up and down the internet. Then you’ll learn.
- Every Tweet is a sales pitch. Social media is about curation (my short video for tomorrow). Learn to do it. It takes 10 minutes/day.
There you go. Pedal harder. Execute. Hmmm. Bet this post ranks for ‘pedal harder’ tomorrow. Maybe TheSufferfest guys will buy an ad.
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Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More