My family just made two purchases this week: Guitar Hero III and Dance, Dance Revolution.
You may be asking yourself “What does this have to do with internet marketing?” Well, I think I’ve decided that search engine optimization is to copywriting as Guitar Hero and DDR is to playing music and dancing. Yes, they’re fun, creative activities all on their own. Yes, it’s great to get positive feedback from people such as “Hey, nice job!”
But there’s something undefinably gratifying about having statistical evidence that you rock.
I’ve been busy this week doing end-of-month analytic reporting and analysis for some of my SEO clients at work. I feel like I’ve done a good job for them, but “feeling like” you’ve done a good job is not nearly as nice as looking at those numbers and realizing you’ve really made a big difference in their traffic, average time on site, and conversions.
For me, this sums up in part why writing for the web is where it’s at, and why SEO and web copywriting is such a great career direction to take if you’re a copywriter. Creative directors and clients can be harshly critical. Heck, they wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they weren’t. Creatives (particularly writers) can be a sensitive sort. So when your ego is taking a beat-down after a first-draft review, there’s nothing quite as gratifying as pulling up client stats and seeing concrete evidence that you don’t suck.
It’s also yet another reason why if you’re a writer, you should be blogging. It’s a great gauge of your ability to capture and retain an audience with your words. Wordsmiths are usually not so hot with the numbers thing, but it’s well worth the time and effort to get up to speed on reading and understanding web analytics. If you need to improve, you need to know that. Once you start improving, you’ll be able to see it in improved numbers.
If you’re already doing well, the boost to your ego is really sweet. Think of it as a nice high score on Guitar Hero. Sure, you may have already known that you could play “Pride and Joy.” In fact, it’s probably more meaningful that you can play it on a real guitar, in real life (and there’s a nice analogy in there for copywriting and analytics, too. As nice as the numbers are, you also need that real human feedback). But you’re still going to type your name in the leaderboard proudly when you get a high score, aren’t you?