I wrote a few months ago how taxes make my brain hurt, and I guessed that SEO probably makes your brain hurt too. There’s so much information out there. How do you know what part to listen to, what part to ignore, what part to run away from?

I’m in the online marketing business, and more and more, I’m getting frustrated with all the noise. I think so many SEO companies do their clients a disservice by making it so complicated and deep down in the weeds. We have a business to run, right? It makes it awfully hard to keep the business running when there’s so much “stuff” to keep up with. The reality is that we really don’t have a lot of control over what Google displays, nor where we show up in the search results.

And yet so many people are running around trying to find the secret sauce that will guarantee results. So I’m going to devote the next several posts to a series that I hope you’ll relate to, and more importantly get some ideas and useful information. This is going to be all about why online marketing drives me crazy in so many ways.

Some of the topics we’ll cover include:

  • How to “SEO” your website – Does it really matter anymore to “do” SEO these days? What’s important and what can be ignored? What technical issues are likely to crop up that you need to address, and how hard is it to fix?
  • Google Rule Changes – Google is CONSTANTLY changing the rules. You’ve probably heard of Google Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and a bunch of other things. Some of these even have version numbers like “Google Panda 4.0”, like it’s a software version you need to install on your website. How do we keep up with it all, or should we? Things that were once “in” are now really bad juju for your website, and yet some people still talk about them as if it’s still relevant to do.
  • Too Many Choices – There are so many things you can do to “market” online, that it’s hard to figure it all out. What’s the right formula? Is there a right formula? Sometimes it’s easier to just keep throwing things at your Facebook wall, but is that marketing that’s going to get results? Should you be on Pinterest? Twitter? LinkedIn? Google+? Four Square? Squidoo? E-mail marketing? SEO? Paid placement? Agh!
  • Searcher Intent – Just because you show up on the search results for a search term, if someone is searching for it, is that really what you deliver? You have great stuff (products or services) that you want people to buy. But trying to discern exactly what the searcher really wants can be a challenge. Maybe they’re looking for help or a DIY solution. Maybe they’re kicking tires. Maybe they’re sniffing out competitive pricing information. It’s hard to know, so how do you entice them with the right language when they’re not ready to buy?
  • Gaming the System – This relates somewhat to Google Rule Changes. Many people try to game the system and get consistent results, without getting spanked by Google. It’s a delicate line to tread. Do you want to risk your business by riding the edge too closely? One misstep and you fall off the cliff. Not cool.

These are some of my thoughts on some topics that we’ll be covering in the next few articles, and more importantly, what can you and I do to make it a safe and sane place to market without losing your mind?

What are some of the things that drive you bonkers? Comment below, and maybe we’ll add it to the mix on this discussion.