Thursday, February 28, 2013

The bait-and-switch

The bait-and-switch has many names, but the concept is always the same.  You promise one thing (most often without the intention of ever following through) and switch your promise for something less appealing.

Car salesmen use this technique to sell cars.  They promise an incredible price, then later, before the paperwork is filled out, they say their manager won't let them sell it for that price.  

Event promoters are probably the most famous for the bait-and-switch.  They hype an event with the promise of a celebrity and free drinks.  In truth, it's a local celebrity, like a news anchor, and the free drinks are ones you wouldn't pay for anyway.

The bait-and-switch can be frustrating, so frustrating in fact, it makes you feel like you should just walk away.  But you don't.  You don't walk away because the "bait" was just the first push for you to make the decision to go.  

Like the poles propping up a circus tent, the first one gets the bulk of the tent's weight off the ground and makes all the other poles easier to put up.  The neat thing is that after a tent has been put up, you can remove any given pole, including the initial one, and it will still stand.  

Decisions then, are the tent.  They almost always have more poles than they need.  When you decide to go to the event, to rub elbows with a celebrity and get free drinks, your mind puts up a bunch of other poles to keep your decision firm.  You decide the event itself will be fun, and it's a good excuse to get off the couch.  Even at the car dealership, you fall back on your other poles.  You do like the car, and the salesman is very nice. 

These other supports for your decision combined with the justification that you are already there, and have already invested the time to get to this point, make it unlikely that you will walk away.

I don't support the bait-and-switch but the insight it gives us into our decision making is important.  It only takes one pole strong enough to get the side of the tent up for us to find all sorts of other support for a decision.

There is no need to throw all the benefits of your product at a potential customer.  They just need one really good reason to support the decision themselves.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Social Business Syndrome

Medical Student Syndrome is when students studying medicine perceive themselves or those around them to be experiencing symptoms of the disease(s) they are studying.  It sounds humorous, but can become quite serious.

Businesses seem to have a similar issue with the social web.  Every time a business hears about a new digital hangout, they want to be there.  The benefits of marketing where you audience is are obvious, but if you have business goals in mind, you aren't being a good member of the society.  

Some experts suggest that you use a ratio (7:1, 3:1, 9:1) for the number of "social" posts to the number of "marketing" posts.  Personally, I think the ratio method is just as annoying.  Being a part of a group creates a mandate to participate, but the flip side is that the group needs you.  
Posting 9 links to funny cats doesn't make up for your 1 hard-sell.

If you want to get social with your business, figure out where you fit in.  Be yourself and find a group that needs you.  Every business has something to offer.

The success stories of a photographer on Facebook and an author on Quora aren't powered by any ratios.  Success on the social web is powered by using your business product and expertise to help groups of people solve their problems.

How does your business participate socially?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Umwelt Testing

Umwelt is the German word for environment, often translated at "self-centered world."  The idea of Umwelt, with a capital U, is that even though your co-workers share much of the same world with you, their own experiences and biases make them perceive this world differently.  Effectively, we are all living in our own worlds, or Umwelten.

The concept of Umwelt is important to websites because it illustrates how hard it is to create a website that lets everyone else see your company the way you do.  

The following sequence of numbers seems random.
( 8 5 4 9 1 7 6 3 2 0 )
But, if you view them as words, instead of numbers, it's easy to see that they are merely alphabetical.
( eight, five, four, nine, one, seven, six, three, two, zero )

The primary goal of split testing is to avoid the error of rational change.  Rational change is a change that is perfectly logical in your world.  Making such a change to your website is only an error, if your visitors don't consider the change to be rational.  

The numbers above seem to be in a logical order, now.  But the things we don't understand are often labeled mistakes.  Split testing helps avoid this mistake by blindly comparing the "success" of the change to the original, pre-change, version.

The really interesting thing happens when you overlay other metrics onto your testing results; you can identify new segments, not based on demographics, but on how your visitors perceive and process your website.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Advice from the CRO experts

Why do most CRO experts suggest you test "big" changes on your site?

Some small changes can be extremely relevant depending on the site, but in general "big" changes offer the biggest chance of "big" success (and failure).

Move the needle.

Time is a valuable resource.  Big changes tend to move the needle faster.  A 5% increase in conversion can take months to collect the necessary visitor data.  A 50% increase only takes a few days.

The odds are against you.

The average tester, one who runs a split test, only picks a winner 1 in 7 times.  That means 85% of the time, you are hurting your business; costing it time, money, and valuable conversions.  (Even the experts only average 1 in 3.)  This negative record means you need a bigger win to cover your losses. is a better way to test.  It minimizes the risks of testing and increases your ability to test small changes.  The project is just getting started, but if you're interested in learning more, give us your email and we'll keep you posted.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Micro Conversions vs Macro Conversions

Micro Conversions are often viewed as getting someone to move to the next step, while Macro conversions are viewed as someone completing a goal.

A macro conversion doesn't have to be a purchase, it is the completion of any business relevant goal.  Thus, if it is relevant for your business to increase Facebook likes, a "like" is a conversion.  Newsletter signups and survey completions are other forms of macro conversion.

Most analytics advocates disagree with me on this point.    The definition of "micro" is small and "macro" is large or overall.  So, they believe there is only one macro conversion / purpose for a website.  Ie. if you have an e-commerce website, the only macro conversion is a purchase.

While I can't argue with their logic, I believe that most companies have many different factors that drive business.  Thus, any full conversion that is relevant to a company's bottom line, is in fact a macro conversion.  Macro meaning purposeful and useful conversion.

To illustrate how a small non monetary conversion can drive business, we'll go back to the Facebook like.  I may "like" a Photography studio on Facebook because I think they take great photos, but that doesn't mean I have or will ever use their service.  My like isn't as relevant for me as it is for their other visitors.  By having the social proof that they do good work, they are able to drive more monetary conversions too.

Ultimately, your website shouldn't have any possible macro conversions that don't drive business in one way or another.

Micro conversions are checkpoints along the path to a macro conversion.  A micro conversion by itself is not a complete conversion and thus does not drive any business.  Micro conversions can simply be moving to the next page, watching a video, or filling out a single field on a form.  

Completing and submitting a form is not a micro conversion, unless you consider the form to only be a single part of a larger process.

In this way, signing up for the newsletter is not a micro conversion, because while you hope they come back and purchase later, the purchase process is not directly tied to the signup process.  It is, hopefully, tied to the awesome newsletter you send out.

If you set up your micro conversions correctly, they can help you identify the roadblocks in your conversion flow.  If a lot of people make it to the second checkpoint, but not the third, you can easily examine this segment of the process.  This laser focus will keep you from becoming overwhelmed and trying to test everything.

Are you measuring micro and macro conversions correctly?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Smarter split testing

The goal of split testing is to maximize conversions on your website.  A conversion can be any desired action or change from your users.  The general reason for using a split test is to be able to accurately measure the affect of your change on your conversion rate.  Assuming the change is in your favor, you can safely implement the change for all of your visitors without having to worry about the error of assuming your visitors will like your change.

The biggest problem with split testing is that it doesn't always increase your conversion rate.  In fact, there are three possible outcomes of a test.
  • Increase conversions (by up to 50% of the possible increase)
  • No change to conversions
  • Decrease conversions (by up to 50% of the possible decrease)
The followup issue is that if you do come up with a positive change, you won't be able to fully realize the affects of your change until you stop the test.  

For high traffic websites, this may not be an issue, but for a 5-10% increase in conversion (depending on your current conversion rate), you need 100,000 - 1,000,000 visitors to reach statistical significance.  Meaning the results of your test are not random.  If your website gets 1000 visitors per day (nothing to sneeze at), it would take at least 100 days before you can comfortably stop the test.  

If your change would win you a 10% increase in conversion, 100 days of only a 5% increase (the amount you can realize during the test), isn't too bad.  But, if your change is a 10% decrease, that means for the next 3 months, you will have 5% fewer conversions than if you didn't test at all.

This issue is pervasive in the A/B testing world, and I have decided to do something about it.  I am starting a project at to create a split testing tool based on a modified Epsilon-Greedy algorithm that will maximize conversions during the testing period.  

The GreedyTest algorithm dramatically changes the possible outcomes of a split test.
  • Increase conversions (by 98% of the possible increase)
  • No change to conversions
  • Decrease conversions (by only 2% of the possible decrease)
Note: the worse case scenario for a test is a decrease of only 2% of the potential decrease.  If you have a 2.0% conversion rate and the "bad" option has a 1.8% conversion rate, an A/B test will have a conversion rate of 1.90% during the test.  The GreedyTest will have a 1.996% conversion rate during the test.

The project is just getting started, but if you want to stay up to date with our progress and be the first to know when we are ready to launch, go to and give us your email.  A smarter testing platform is on the way.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Accurate or Usable?

Many great minds including William of Ockham (Occam) and Albert Einstein have come to the conclusion that solutions should be as simple as possible.  While "as simple as possible" implies that over simplification isn't any better than over complication, there seems to be a void between accurate and usable solutions.  

In statistics, higher levels of accuracy are achieved by adding complexity to the system.  If you could take into account enough variables, you could rather accurately predict the future.  But complex systems are highly vulnerable to errors, generally have a steep learning curve, and are hard to use and maintain.

Our mind solves the issue of over complication by looking for indicators that something familiar is about to happen and then turns on "auto pilot" to navigate us through pre-charted waters.  In business, we often try to do the same by looking for easy indicators vs worrying about the actual, complex results (which may come too late to be relevant or be too difficult to measure).

Google Analytics, along with almost all other third party analytics software, is notoriously in-accurate.  They gloss over the fact that all the numbers are wrong by highlighting their use for analyzing trends.  

A/B testing software is based solely on conversion rates, and disregards all other business indicators that would suggest a meaningful increase in business.  They brush off this criticism because conversion rates are generally a strong indicator for business.

To have a truly accurate analytics report, you would have to collect and maintain the data yourself.  To run A/B tests that take into account your other important business indicators, you would have to have a custom solution that hooks into your analytics and business data.  Creating and maintaining this level of accuracy would be difficult and require vast resources, not to mention how easy a tiny mistake could bring the entire system to its knees (or worse, incite the wrong business decision).  Systems like this don't scale to the outside world.

It seems the question in the modern digital world, isn't "how simple can we make it?" but rather, "How accurate can it be and still be useful?"

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Designed just for you

The thought of a website designed just for you is instantly pleasing.  It would have your "style," answer all your questions, and help you make a good decision without being pushy.  The problem for most companies is that they don't have the resources, design teams, developers, and copywriters to create mass customization.

If you can easily identify a few particular characters that your business does great work with, you can center your landing pages and website around those personas.  But if you have a large client base that is seemingly neither specific nor distinct, how do you appeal to everyone without sounding overly broad or rambling?

Use a circus trick.

The Barnum Effect, named for P.T. Barnum of circus fame, is the observation that people will perceive rather general information to be very specifically crafted for them if...
  • They believe it was customized for them.
  • They believe the source is trustworthy.
  • The information is mainly positive.
Fortune tellers, astrologists and circus acts use this very trick.  Read a friend's horoscope for them, but give them the horoscope for the wrong sign without telling them what you have done.  You may be surprised how insightful they find the horoscope.  

This is because horoscopes are rather general.  They can be almost universally applied.  The magic is that we believe horoscopes are customized for us.  Assuming you believe in horoscopes, the source of information is trustworthy, and the information is almost always positive or has a silver lining.

Whether your business is B2B or B2C, you can use "customized" messaging to capture the attention of your audience.  They'll feel delighted that someone finally understands their situation and it will be hard for them to view any other company as being so insightful.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

LinkedIn reaches 200MM and shares it's success

LinkedIn has reached the 200 million users milestone.  A proud day for any social networking site, but it's how they shared this news that has intrigued me.  LinkedIn ran the stats for all of its top users and doled out "awards" for those in the top tiers of use.  (I ranked in the top 10% of most viewed profiles.)

While the numbers are virtually meaningless, other than to say that I am an active user on LinkedIn, they impart a feeling of shared success.  Not only does this kind of statement allow users to feel like they had something to do with helping LinkedIn reach this milestone, it creates a sort of hidden obligation to help LinkedIn reach their next milestone.

When we see that we have done something and it is in writing, it is hard for us to rebut the fact that we have done it.  Regardless of my feelings toward LinkedIn, the fact that I was ranked in the top 10% for profile views implies that I am a fan and use it frequently.  By reminding me of this fact, LinkedIn is quietly urging me to stay consistent with this statement, and to continue helping them.

It also serves to change my mindset.  Before this "award" I didn't feel like I was a power user of LinkedIn, and truly I'm not, but it does have a way of making me feel like I'm doing better than I thought I was.

Opportunities, like this, to slightly alter the attitude of your fans, followers, users, and customers are gold.  You increase ownership and gain commitment to help you achieve your next goal.

Are you missing an opportunity to align your customers with your goals?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Maker's Mark waters down its whiskey and its brand

Maker's Mark announced a couple of days ago that they would be thinning out their whiskey to keep up with global demand.  They go on to say that it tastes the same and their customers can't tell the difference!

Maker's Mark has always been a premium and expensive whiskey.  Parent company Beam Inc. boasts the fact that they only produce a small amount at a time and that each bottle is cared for by hand.

Beam Inc.


Made in batches of less than 1,000 gallons (around 19 barrels at a time)
Every bottle is hand dipped in the signature red wax; no two bottles are alike

So how does a brand that has always celebrated quality and the artisan, make the decision to thin out their stock?  They have separated from their values and principles and decided to chase margins and market share.  

A 3% drop in alcohol by volume doesn't seem like much, but it isn't the size of the change that matters, it is the fact that they have made this decision and chosen this path.  They could have just as easily increased their marketing around their premium quality and superior craftsmanship in a way that increased demand even more and gone from a premium brand to a super premium brand.  

Simon Sinek calls it the celery test.  When you are on a diet and go grocery shopping, does the food you buy help you with your goal of losing weight (celery) or is it just a sweet treat.

When your business is faced with higher demand, you have to ask yourself, does this decision serve our goals and support our values (celery), or is it the business equivalent of a Boston Creme Pie?  The pie tastes great in the short term, but it only makes it harder to achieve your long term goals.

Do your decisions pass the celery test?

For your reference, here is the email sent to Maker's Mark Ambassadors.
Dear Maker’s Mark® Ambassador, 
Lately we’ve been hearing from many of you that you’ve been having difficulty finding Maker’s Mark in your local stores.  Fact is, demand for our bourbon is exceeding our ability to make it, which means we’re running very low on supply. We never imagined that the entire bourbon category would explode as it has over the past few years, nor that demand for Maker’s Mark would grow even faster. 
We wanted you to be the first to know that, after looking at all possible solutions, we’ve worked carefully to reduce the alcohol by volume (ABV) by just 3%. This will enable us to maintain the same taste profile and increase our limited supply so there is enough Maker’s Mark to go around, while we continue to expand the distillery and increase our production capacity. 
We have both tasted it extensively, and it’s completely consistent with the taste profile our founder/dad/grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr., created nearly 60 years ago.  We’ve also done extensive testing with Maker’s Mark drinkers, and they couldn’t tell a difference.
Nothing about how we handcraft Maker’s Mark has changed, from the use of locally sourced soft red winter wheat as the flavor grain, to aging the whisky to taste in air-dried American white oak barrels, to rotating our barrels during maturation, to hand-dipping every bottle in our signature red wax. 
In other words, we’ve made sure we didn’t screw up your whisky. 
By the way, if you have any comments or questions, as always, we invite you to drop us a line at [email address] or [email address]. Thanks for your support.  And if you’ve got a little time on your hands, come down and see us at the distillery. 
Rob Samuels
Chief Operating Officer
Bill Samuels, Jr.
Chairman EmeritusAmbassador-at-Large 
[information for unsubscribing from the email list] 
Maker’s Mark Distillery
3350 Burks Spring Road
Loretto, KY, 40037 
Maker’s Mark® Bourbon Whisky and Maker’s 46® Bourbon Whisky. 42% and 47% ABV.
©2013 Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc. Loretto, KY.

Friday, February 8, 2013

What social network should I use?

There are so many social networks that it can be hard to decide what your business should invest time into.  While all social networks are social, they are not all created equal.  Depending on your business goals, personality, and product, you may find one social platform is more appropriate than another.

Let's break down the core purpose of the most popular social platforms.

  • Facebook - Facebook is designed to keep you connected with friends.  
  • LinkedIn - LinkedIn is designed to let you build your professional network.
  • Twitter - Twitter is designed as a micro-blog that lets you publish and share up to 140 characters of content.
  • Pintrest - Pintrest is designed to help you discover and collect interesting things from around the web.
  • YouTube - YouTube is designed to let you share video content.
  • MySpace - MySpace is designed to let you share and discover new music.
  • Google+ - Google+ is designed to let you recommend content to your friends.
Now, let's break down the most common business goals.
  • Increase Sales - Sales in this case can be products, services, or even blog readership.
  • Increase Traffic - Increasing traffic is the goal of being in front of more eyeballs... with the hope of increasing sales of course.
  • Increase Brand Awareness - It's important that people know you exist.  How else will they be able to form an opinion of you?
  • Provide Quality Customer Service and Support - Customer service isn't a commodity, so it can easily be leveraged as an advertising tool.
  • Reduce Ad Spend - Advertising is an expensive business.  A 10% cut in spending without dropping sales would be nice.
The challenge is to fit business goals into social platforms.  The reason everyone is so interested in social platforms, from a business perspective, is because of the sheer number of people hanging out in this "one" place.

In order to make the most of your social presence, it's important to understand that while social profiles don't directly cost anything, they do cost time and lots of it.  If you aren't a productive member of society, you get kicked out.  There's nothing worse than being kicked out of your customers' circle.

Because each profile takes a lot of effort, it is best to pick the one or two profiles that will actually help you achieve your business goals.  The interesting thing is that while most companies have similar business goals, they are not all suited for the same social platforms.

If you're in a business that creates "friends" and has something very visual to offer, like portrait photography, Facebook is a great place to link up with your customers and share photos with them.  They can then share with their friends.  Twitter on the other hand wouldn't give you this same flexibility.

If you are a writer that wants to increase your readership, you can use Twitter to drop some awesome one-liners and links to your books and blogs.  By customizing your profile summary and "following" your target readers, you can put yourself in front of a lot of people in a very short amount of time.  Facebook would actually work against you in this manner.

The really interesting things happen when you start combining multiple platforms.  You could use Twitter to connect with customers who need support and YouTube to post helpful videos.

If you're wondering how you can use social networks to help your business, let me know.  I'd be happy to share some ideas.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Finding the trigger

By the time someone has hired the competition, or purchased another product, it is too late.  You didn't win their business.  You didn't get the result you wanted.  It may not have been your advertising or that you weren't persuasive enough.  It may have just been your timing.

No event happens in a vacuum.  They are all the result of a cause and reaction.  The cause is the trigger.  The event that sparks action, changes habits, and forms new bonds.  

Target knows that most people are fiercely loyal to their shopping habits.  They always buy electronics at BestBuy, groceries at Sprouts, and household goods from Walmart.  But when a life altering event happens, ie. moving to a new home or having a baby, everything changes.  These events disturb the patterns and habits that we are so loyal to.

Target sees these events as an opportunity.  If your patterns are out of whack, you may just be open to changing them, or at least altering them slightly.  In Target's case, you may be interested in buying electronics, groceries and household goods from them.  

Target realizes that the best time to advertise to someone is when they are going through a life changing event, so, they look for the markers.  If you're about to have a baby, you start to buy things you wouldn't normally buy like diapers and morning sickness lollipops.  This tips Target off to the fact that you may be willing to change your habits in the near future.

If you want more business, you need to have your timing right.  This day and age, by the time someone is ready to buy, they have already made up their mind.  You can compete for their attention by supplying potential buyers with the content they're looking for, or you can start one step further back.  

Identify the triggers that make your potential customers start looking.  Their's nothing like a devastating house fire to get the neighborhood interested in fire insurance.  If you're the first one on the scene, you don't have to compete for attention.

What triggers your customers to buy?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Commitment is the key

Commitment is the key to consistency.  We are people of our word.  We go to great lengths not to be labeled as a liar or a person of false representation.  The Government even routinely steps in to make sure businesses do the same.

If you want someone to do something, you need their word that they will make it happen.  Giving someone your word is a form of commitment.  You are verbally committing to an action.  

A person can be committed to anything; a thought, an idea, a place, a team, a company, a person, or an action.  It is also important to note that commitment doesn't have to be verbal, although communication of commitment is rather important.

When we commit ourselves to something, we feel great personal anguish and face social pressure when we don't follow through.  It is for this reason, that if you want someone to act consistent with your goals, you have to ask for commitment.

I am committed to make this project successful, which is why I will work nights and weekends and smile in the face of adversity.  I am committed.

Are you asking for commitment?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Advice to a friend

I wrote up some advice to a friend who is trying to get his new chiropractic practice off the ground.  The advice is valid for many local service companies, so I thought I would share it.

Get your business listed locally.  You don't have to list with everybody. Localeze
, Infogroup, and Acxiom are the three data providers for 90% of the internet including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, and anyone else you've heard of.

Its important to make sure your Company Name, Address, and Phone Number are written exactly the same for each listing.  (Type it up in word so you can just copy and paste.)  It will take 1-2 months for these companies to push your information to the entire web, but they will.

Claim the listings you want to embellish on.  Ie. On Google Local and Yelp, you may want to flush out your profile, share pictures, and offer more information.

The reason you want to be found locally is obvious, but listing with the above 3 data providers and maintaining a few key profiles can often do more for you than a website.  Yelp, and many other similar local listing companies, go to great lengths to be #1 in the SEO game.  Thus, they will make sure you are found in organic searches as well.

Update your LinkedIn profile to project the image you want and set up a Company page.

Your LinkedIn profile is definitely complete, but a little too much so. As a Dr. people get nervous and lose trust when they see irrelevant job experience. Remove anything that doesn't relate to your current (or desired) image.  As well, you can have someone take a picture of you at your office in your work clothes.  It helps add trust and portray passion for your work.

A LinkedIn company page will do a lot of the same things that local listings do.  LinkedIn is very concerned with showing up at the top of search results.  By maintaining a basic company page, you can easily be found and researched by prospective patients.

If you choose to create a website, build it for your patients, not your company.  By that, I mean, answer their questions and make it useful for them, not a site that tries to "sell" people or is a virtual brochure of your company.  A nice website that helps a potential patient make a decision and helps patients prepare for their visit will do more for you than a flashing banner that offers a "free massage" for new patients.

My last advice is toward how you write about yourself and company.  I feel I know more about medicine and the body than most, but I had no idea what NUCCA or TSFL was.  It's good to use these acronyms because anyone who specifically wants this service will use the acronym to search, but you should also give a 1-2 sentence explanation of why its important that you provide the service (for those who don't know what it is).  If written well, you will end up converting people searching for "Chiropractor" to searching for "NUCCA Chiropractor."

Free Consult Fridays
As a reminder, I do free consults on Fridays.  This is a sample of what you'd get if you need some help with your web strategy.  I also do site reviews to give you tips for increasing your conversion rate.  Just fill out the contact form on my site to request a date.

The internet is an ocean

The internet is an abstract concept like love or peace.  Although it is simply a network of connected computers, it can be and do almost anything you want.  In order to understand how the internet applies to winning customers and growing your tribe, a metaphor is in order.  Thus, the internet is an ocean and you are a fisherman.

There are different types of fishermen.  From those that captain large boats and use drag nets to those that use a pole and are content to catch just enough fish to support the family.  No matter the goal of any individual fisher, it requires the correct equipment, and careful study of the results to be able to repeat them and improve upon them.

If the internet is an ocean and you are a fisherman, then search engines, social networks, blogs, videos, e-books,  analytics and websites are the tools.  

A drag net won't help you catch catfish, and a pole can't reel in a school of shrimp.  It's important to use the correct tools to achieve your goals.

Is your web presence helping you achieve your goals?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Building a web strategy

Have you ever noticed that the visual models for web strategy look like a multi-armed bandit?  Each item in its own silo, all stealing from the company's resources?  And strategy is generally one of the items, because after all, it's one of the things you do.

mult-armed strategy bandit

I'm not sure which came first, the model or the practice, but the model is actually pretty accurate.  Most businesses are doing a lot, with their company being the only common thread.  

Companies large and small see that Acme Co. has started using Twitter and its generating traffic, so they open up a Twitter account and hire an intern to tweet.  Before you realize it, you have a strategy that looks like a multi-armed bandit, stealing company resources and projecting a disconnected view of your company.

Web strategy is better viewed as a work flow.  It isn't something you do.  It's something you build and follow.  Each of the pieces of your web presence plays a specific role, or maybe a few roles, in helping you achieve your business goals.

Web Strategy as a Workflow

Everyone's workflow will look a little different because everyone has different goals and not all goals need a comprehensive workflow.  The above is just a quick sample I created to illustrate my point.  

For this blog, my goal is to change the way people look at their web strategy and current web presence.  I will promote it on LinkedIn, Twitter, G+, through email, and I have made sure to cover the topics and keywords I expect will help it be found in search.  I will use Google Analytics to see how my promotions perform and will use comments and shares to measure the effects of the post.

While I use LinkedIn, Twitter, G+, email and analytics for more than promoting blog posts, I don't view any one of them as something I have to maintain.  I simply view them as the next step in a given workflow to achieve my goals.

What's your web strategy look like?