In the "technical" world of search engine marketing, we often get so tied up in optimizing our pages, getting our databases crawled, determining what's happening with Google's latest update, and building our link popularity that we think in much too linear a fashion.

It's way past time to begin looking at your Web business as if you're standing in the clouds looking down. For the time being, don't think about search engine optimization, Web design, or technical issues. Yes, those things are crucial, and we're counting on you to cover those areas. But for now, let's look at what I believe to be a crucial missing element in search engine marketing . . . creativity.

You might be thinking . . . you're not a writer, a dancer, an artist, or a painter. You're just not creative!

Perish the thought!

There are different levels of creativity, and everyone can be taught to think more creatively. To be honest, the very fact that you have an online business shows your creativity. You're selling goods and services online. You're doing something that was practically unheard of 10 years ago. Congratulations on your forward thinking!

Need more proof of your creativity?

• Do you value a well-designed Web site?
• Do you enjoy music?
• Do you take pleasure in art – any kind of art?
• Do you appreciate the glory of a sunset?
• Do you feel a sense of awe at seeing horses galloping across a pasture?
• When you see a child smile, or a brand new baby, are you inspired by the unbelievable wonders of this world?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, creativity lives inside you. It's up to you (with a little help from a friend) to begin using your creativity in your online business and on your Web site.

"Can't" Can't do Anything

When I was younger and told my mother I couldn't do something ("I can't do this math homework"), her wise response was always, "'Can't' can't do anything." In other words, "If you give up in the beginning, you've killed any opportunity of achieving success."

The biggest killers of creativity are words like, "can't," "no, because," "it costs too much," "it won't work," "there's no one to do it," and "it's impossible."

Walt Disney had different teams who worked on the same projects. When his idea creators got together, no one was allowed to voice thoughts like:

• "It can't be done."
• "It costs too much money."
• "That idea is horrible!"
• [dead silence] (Have you ever been really excited about an idea, and this was how you were greeted when you shared your idea? Kind of cuts off the flow of those creative juices, doesn't it?)

Idea creation is a brainstorming session, pure and simple. Someone has an idea, and the team of creators takes the idea and run with it. They don't worry about the "mechanics" of how to implement the idea. They're in the creative mode.

They're simply . . . creating.

Once the ideas are expanded upon and ready to be moved to the next level, that team begins to work on the implementation of the idea.

In part two, I'll ask the question "Is every idea a perfect one?" You obviously know the answer to that, but I'll share more about the need to brainstorm unique solutions.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

April 7, 2006

Robin Nobles is the Co-Director of Training of Search Engine Workshops, where they teach "hands on" search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe. They also provide a networking community for SEOs called The World Resource Center for Search Engine Marketers and have expanded their workshops to Europe with Search Engine Workshops UK.

Search Engine Guide > Robin Nobles > The Missing Element in Search Engine Marketing - Part 1