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Analysis Paralysis

There are steps to success at Internet marketing. First, you have to want to succeed. Second, you have to learn what to do, learn the rules of the game, and third, you have to actually "do it." It's like baking a cake: reading about it in a cookbook isn't enough, you actually have to break some eggs, throw in some flour, and butter and cook the thing.

Analysis Paralysis
Which leads us to analysis paralysis. This is one of the diseases of marketing that afflicts companies big and small, but seems to strike with more virulence at the larger companies. If one is a small business, and two a partnership, then three or more is an endless corporate meeting at which everything gets discussed, and nothing gets done.

Signs of Analysis Paralysis (SEO)

In search engine optimization, these would include:

  • Inability to decide on target keywords - you know you need keywords, but you just can't agree on what they are, so your team goes round and round and round with lists and lists and lists of keywords, but never a prioritized list.
  • Inability to change the website. Now that you know those keywords, you need to implement on the website: changing TITLE tags, META DESCRIPTION tags, and of course web content. But you can't because you, the content team, the web team and every other team can't agree on how the website should look or feel.
  • Metrics ad infinitum. You start some changes, but the boss wants hard and firm metrics about everything - which isn't available, or possible, and absent firm metrics... inertia / no decision is made.
Similarly with all the other aspects of SEO such as link-building. Your company decides it's "too hard" and so you never actually do it. You know you should, but you just don't get started.

Signs of Analysis Paralysis (Social Media Marketing)

In social media, the hallmarks of analysis paralysis are things like knowing your company needs a Facebook page, but inability to agree on what it should look like; or knowing you really should claim and set up your Yelp listing, but inability to actually go claim it, and optimize it. Or fear. Fear is a big one in social media.

Your company realizes that you can't "control" what people might say on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, and so determines it is better to just stay out of this for now, not realizing that the conversation goes on with or without you.

In sum, analysis paralysis is the affliction of knowing you should do something about SEO, about Social Media, about Internet Marketing... but an inability to actually DO IT.

Go break some eggs!

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