Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shampooing Your Website

Q: Why do computer programmers take such long showers?

A: “Apply, lather, rinse, repeat”

Of course, anyone who isn’t a programmer is probably (pardon the pun) scratching their heads over this one. Most of us, of course, realize that the “Repeat” part of this set of instructions is only applicable to the first time or two that you encounter it. Once you realize that your hair is clean, you don’t need to keep repeating, right? That’s just common sense, right?

In the world of the online business, however, I actually encounter people with the opposite problem. Rather than locking themselves in an endless loop of scrubbing their scalps raw, they seem to miss that last step when it comes to working their websites. In a word, they give up to early.

They can apply the shampoo, lather it up, rinse it out, but if it doesn’t show immediate results, they don’t bother to repeat it. It goes like this: I’ll teach someone about a promotional strategy, say, blogging. The idea is to find some blogs, read them, and post some relevant comments on them, thus creating some buzz and even a few linkbacks.

When I meet with them again, and I ask how that went, I hear, “Oh, yeah. Did that. It didn’t work. What a bust.”

You went out and found some blogs relevant to your audience?


And you posted comments..?

“Yep. Well, I found one. It was sorta relevant.”

And you posted a comment?

“Yeah. I just said I agreed with him.”

Did you find any other blogs?

“No, just the one. And it didn’t help. I checked my traffic. Didn’t bring a single click to my site.”

Can you see where I’m going here? The power of most of the strategies, especially in the social networking, web 2.0 is in persistence. Ongoing effort. To do something just once isn’t going to bring in any results, and certainly not enough to decide if anything is a go or a bust.

Let’s look it over.

  • Apply

First of all, you apply the strategy. Get the basics all set up. Find the blogs. Set up your own blog. Set up profile pages on social networking sites. Find some link exchange partners. Get the basics moving and prepared.

  • Lather

Start to work that strategy. Contact the owners of the other sites for link exchanging. Submit some articles, and write some blog entries. Leave some comments on other people’s blogs. Find some “friends” or contacts on the social networking sites.

  • Rinse

Take a step back and check your results. Are you starting to see any traffic? You might see some begin to drip in. Which ones are showing some action?

  • Repeat

This is the clincher. Do it all again. And again. As you keep up this process, you’ll start to see which efforts are bringing in the most results for your site. Just like everyone has different hair, everyone has a different site, and different approaches will work better or worse. Just ‘cause we want to keep repeating, though, doesn’t mean to keep working a particular strategy that isn’t bringing in any results. Focus more effort on another approach. But keep on repeating.

Maybe the programmers aren’t so silly after all.

Mark is the co-director of, the search marketing consulting arm of Clickincome ( Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

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