I'm not the most mechanically inclined person. Whenever I try to fix things, they (or I) often tend to come out more broken than before. When something needs to be fixed, everyone benefits greatly when I hire a handyman. Even easy tasks are not so easy for me. (You don't want me anywhere near a paint brush!)

We've all heard the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That's me. I'm not going to try to soup up my truck, build a storage shed or install a door. In my world, if something isn't broke, I leave well enough alone. If something is working, I don't touch it!

While that may be good conventional wisdom for a lot of things, it's terrible wisdom for most aspects of online marketing. In fact, good marketing requires the opposite principle. Instead of resting on what appears to work well, we should be looking for ways to improve what is already working and make it work better than before.

Know what changes to make and when to make them

The thing about websites is that while the overall campaign may be a success, there are always areas that are not performing as strongly as possible. "Fixing" good Web marketing isn't about changing what's working well, so much as finding what isn't working well and changing that.

The last thing you want to do is to start making random changes to your website. Every change must have a purpose and a point. Adding content is good, if it's done strategically. If not, you're just adding useless or ineffective content. Adding keywords to existing content can be a great way to expand your reach, but if you don't do it strategically, you can create larger losses than gains in your search results.

In SEO, there are almost always things you can do to improve the performance of your website. Fix broken links, address poor architectural issues, write valuable content, research keywords and tweak keywords on a page. A good marketing strategist will tell you what's working well and not so well, and then give you an idea what to do.

The key to making any change to your site is to measure the results. You have to know that your changes are making your overall performance better, not worse. One thing we often miss is that a small improvement in one area can sometimes create a bigger loss in another. That's not good strategy!

Follow the ROI. Implement changes that improve results, even incrementally. We often see people not willing to make any kind of change because they don't like it, yet they are not willing to test to see if it will, in fact, make things better for them. Don't be afraid to do what you don't like if it gets you better results. Not everyone thinks like you do!

In Web marketing, you don't have to wait until something is broke to fix it. Being willing to make changes designed to continually make your site better. Amazon makes changes to its site on average of about every 2 weeks. Each one is designed to improve conversions from what was already an improvement from the time before.

We can learn something from that. Don't break it, but do keep making your site better at drawing visitors, engaging with them for their needs, and driving them through the conversion process. Each successful change you make will push you further and further toward unbeatable. Just ask Amazon!

Follow at @StoneyD and @PolePositionMkg.

June 19, 2012

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.


'Every change must have a purpose and a point."

Couldn't agree more! Making changes because you feel like it is almost always going to come back to haunt you in the end. There has to a be a real reason (preferably with some data backing it up) to justify any changes you make to your campaigns.

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Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > If Your Site Isn't Broken, Should It Still Be Fixed?