Monday, October 5, 2009

Goal setting and the internet

One common piece of advice for anyone seeking to achieve success in some area is to set goals. Then you have something very clear to aim for, and a way of measuring success or failure.

This is very useful in many pursuits. But it can be tricky when applied to internet promotion, particularly traffic building. This is because so much is dependent upon Google and other search engines. And while we can have a reasonable idea about what works and what doesn't, it's very difficult to know just how much work you'll need to do before you see the results you're hoping for.

For example, you might be getting 10 hits a day in October, and decide that you will get 30 hits a day by November. So you work your bum off building links and adding good content, as well as doing all the other SEO stuff that you know works. But your traffic doesn't triple, it only just doubles in that period. That can leave you feeling like you've failed.

That's why I think it's better to aim for high but comfortably achievable goals that you define, as opposed to specific outcomes that only the search engines can deliver. More realistic goals might involve reaching a hundred blog posts, or submitting a certain number of articles linking back to your site to the biggest, best article directories.

Approaching things this way will mean that your traffic will definitely increase - possibly very rapidly - but you won't be running yourself ragged in the process, or feeling frustrated because you didn't quite get what you hoped for.

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