SEOs have access to massive amounts of data, and columnist Ryan Shelley asserts that we must learn how to overcome information overload and focus on what drives results.
We have nearly unlimited access to information and data. For search marketers, this can be a blessing or a curse. It’s very easy to get sucked into the never-ending pool of data — but this rarely, if ever, benefits our work. So how do we protect ourselves from information overload?
Futurologist Alvin Toffler predicted in 1970 that the rapidly increasing amounts of information produced would eventually cause people problems. More than a few times, I’ve found myself overwhelmed and overloaded with information, and my guess is that you have also experienced this phenomenon.
If you take your SEO seriously, then you understand the necessity of tracking your efforts — after all, data is at the core of good SEO.
Management thinker Peter Drucker is often credited as saying, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” While I agree completely with the statement, it seems as though some SEOs have resorted to just measuring everything, which is simply not practical. If we are going to be effective, we must have focus and be clear on what we want to track and why we want to track it.
Knowledge vs. information
One of the main causes for information overload, in my opinion, is that SEOs and marketers have confused information and knowledge. It’s as if we believe that if we get more information, we will eventually uncover some knowledge. According to a March 2017 report from the CMO Council, “Empowering the Data-Driven Customer Strategy”: