– Do, or do not. There is no try. – Yoda
I love Star Wars. I think it’s the second greatest sci-fi movie ever after The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (sorry, George Lucas, no offence). And, one of my favorite Star Wars characters is Master Yoda, a walking oxymoron (a powerful shorty) and a talking inversion.
I think some of his teachings are actually encoded Internet marketing messages, since here is what I discovered while listening to his words of wisdom:
1. Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? – Yoda
OK, I guess this one pertains to content. Some people believe that the longer a blog post or the bigger a website, the better. Like, it’s more presentable this way. Well, guess what, sheer volume does not mean better rankings, nor does it mean more visitors. Think of Seth Godin and his brevity.
So, here is what I learned from this one – make your posts/articles as long as is required to convey your message, but not longer than that.
2. Luke: “I don’t believe it…” -Yoda: “That is why you fail.”
Here is what I learned: you gotta believe in what you do and you gotta be sincere with your audiences. We hear it a lot and yet NOT many of us, Internet marketers, take this simple rule seriously.
Thing is (and you’ve probably heard about it) that SOMEHOW, in an almost magical way, people are always able to sense whether you believe in what you say or not. And, if you don’t, they do not either.
3. If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are … a different game you should play. – Yoda
Sometimes you may be going by the books and doing everything correctly, and implementing all these proven SEO/IM/social media methods on your site, and YET not getting the results. Why? Cause in online marketing there are lots and lots of variables, and you will barely find a one-size-fits-all recipe for success.
So, what to do if certain methods are not working out? Change your ways! There’s no point continuing doing it just because everybody else does it. You gotta tweak your ways to accommodate them to your particular campaign.
4. When all choices seem wrong, choose restraint. – Yoda
I think this is true of certain reputation management situations when taking no action works best. For example, consider this great post by Dominique Ellis called “How NOT to Tweet With Your Customers”, in which she describes how responding to some meaningless (and sometimes rude) comments about your business in the same manner can be harmful.
So, sometimes, not taking any action is the best way to act, if all other choices seem wrong!
5. Luke: “Vader… Is the dark side stronger?” -Yoda: “No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.”
Now, this is soooo true about the black hats, really! If you choose the Dark Side, yes, you will succeed, and it will happen quicker and easier, but your success will not last long, because you are not STRONG enough to pull it off in the long run. And all weak things are to be destroyed sooner or later.
Hence, better safe than sorry: stick to ethical, white-hat ways, while this is where the strength lies.
6. Ready are you? What know you of ready? – Yoda
Dear Internet marketer, what do you know of ready? Do you believe your site should be ranking #1 for this keyword, but it’s not ranking? Means you are not ready. See, Google knows better. Sometimes a final touch is required, some extra intuitive THING to influence Google’s subconscious.
So, if you are not ready, keep up the good work, keep searching, don’t give up, cause, sometimes, only Google knows when you are ready. And, when you are, you’ll know it.
7. Decide you must how to serve them best. If you leave now, help them you could. But you would destroy all for which they have fought and suffered. –Yoda
Sometime Internet marketers believe their audiences need an extra push or another reminder to visit their (Internet marketers’) site or blog. However, when overdone, this may even put the audiences that were already half way to your site OFF your site, which would be counter-productive.
So, be careful not to overdo. Know when to stop. Pushing your agenda too much can destroy all that you have fought for.
8. If so powerful you are, why leave? – Yoda
It makes me sad when people discard some good content or decent webpages just because they cannot use them right away. Never let a potentially powerful page/content go wasted. If you cannot use it immediately, save it for later (or for some other project).
For example, sometimes, instead of casting away a webpage that is not ranking highly enough and creating a brand-new one, give the underperforming page a boost. Might save you time.
9. When you look at the dark side, careful you must be … for the dark side looks back. – Yoda
This is how I deciphered this one: when looking Google’s way, be careful, for Google looks back. This is true of bringing your site to Google’s attention at Google’s Help Forum, filing all sorts of requests, and maybe even using Google Analytics (after Panda, Google now looks at your analytical data to determine the quality of your site). So, beware of that!
Ok, these were the 9 IM lessons I learned from master Yoda. And, in case I missed something, do let me know!