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What Does Optimize Really Mean?

By Derek Gates, Online Marketing Manager for Modern Postcard

It is the word that haunts every marketer.

Have you optimized your landing page? Have you optimized your campaign? Have you optimized your website SEO? Have you optimized your day?

So, what does that actually mean?

Personally, a pet peeve of mine in everyday business is the use of fluff language without any actual meaning. There is something fundamentally wrong when someone uses words like leverage, maximize, streamline and of course, optimize, without acknowledging the actual way that word would be accomplished.

Now, I am no Shakespeare by any stretch of the imagination, but I think that actually works to my favor in this regard. I do not have the natural ability to use a word without putting some meaning behind it.

And that "meaning" is what I look for in a meeting when someone uses one of those words. If he or she uses streamline, I want to know what steps will be eliminated in the process to make it more efficient. If someone uses leverage, I want to know what will actually be combined or used to suggest the term was stated correctly. And finally, when someone uses optimize, I want to know what they actually mean.

So what does it mean? In short, to be optimized is to be organized.

Think of it particularly from an SEO standpoint. Everyone talks about optimizing their website for certain keywords. Well, what does that mean exactly? It suggests that you need to know your product and how potential customers may search to find it. Then you can create website copy, tags, titles, etc. that correlates. So really, it is just being organized and knowing what your product actually is.

I've got news for you, and this could actually come as a shock to some - you can’t be successful in SEO if you sell Product A, but are hoping to get great search results for Product B. Meaning, if you sell customized water bottles, you can't earn top search results for the keywords corporate collateral, even if that is one way that some users may view your product. The search engines have evolved from a day when maybe you could do that, but not today. So why try?

This goes for landing pages too. An optimized landing page more often than not just means well organized. A marketer should have a direct goal for the page, with a clear call to action, and an easy way to accomplish it. Optimized, or in other words, organized.

And what about an optimized campaign? Well, much of the same - organized. A marketer should know the exact demographic in which to target for the best ROI (don’t even get me started on ROI – it’s a calculation, not a feeling), have landing pages and a follow-up structure that is well documented and clear, and with plenty of tracking in place. This sounds a lot like being organized, doesn't it?

So, how can you optimize your business, or even self, moving forward? That is simple... get organized. Take that moment to really think about the ways in which you can better organize yourself or your business practices and I bet you will feel more optimized in the end as well.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: I realize there are other SEO and in-depth optimization tactics, such as link-building and so forth, but for this particular discussion, I am just referring to the over-arching tactic of helping businesses be clear about their products, their goals and their results.

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