Monday Mornings with Madison

Monthly Archives:
June 2012

Why SEO Should Matter To Every Business

Are you one of the many who don’t know what SEO stands for… and truth-be-told you don’t really care? Do you think that SEO is the marketing department’s concern? If you are the owner, Chairman, President, VP, CEO, COO, CFO, Controller, or the Director or Manager of a department in any company anywhere today, you should care about SEO. And if you are a salesperson, you should definitely care about SEO.

Let’s start with the basics. S-E-O stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or web page in “natural” or un-paid (also called “organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. In a nutshell, SEO is the strategy of optimizing a myriad of components that search engines (such as Google, Yahoo or Bing) look at to determine a website’s (or page’s) ranking for a particular search term in order to improve the ranking. If you’re one of the many who think only the Marketing Department should be concerned with SEO, think again. SEO is something that should matter to every business leader, manager and salesperson. Continue reading

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Protecting Accounts and Private Information

In the news lately, there have been reports about the hacking of contact information, user names, passwords and account numbers for a myriad of companies. From LinkedIn to Sony to VeriSign, companies are falling prey to cyber thieves who slyly steal millions of pieces of data from vulnerable companies. Unlike bank heists or muggings, these thefts occur gracefully in cyberspace, without guns or masks. Yet, the consequences can be just as damaging and costly to the companies and their customers as an old-fashioned burglary. And there may be even greater consequences to society at large. Security experts believe hackers are frequently targeting valuable digital information.

The first step is to understand that no company is either too ‘big’ or too ‘smart’ to be attacked by hackers. Cyber-security is becoming increasingly important to every company – and perhaps even to national security. The second step for companies and individuals to protect from such predators is to be vigilant and implement ever more sophisticated security systems. Let’s start by reviewing the most recent cyber attacks to determine what can be learned. Continue reading

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To the Point: The Power of Being Concise

In a world where knowledge is power and information rules, there is a growing push to share ever more messages with others. Sales and marketing teams are focused on more ways to ‘get the word out’. Newsletters. Eblasts. Websites. Magazines. Advertisements. Journals. Handbooks. Pocket Guides. Articles. Press Releases. Tips. Search engines compound the problem by rewarding the generation of ever more content. But it doesn’t stop with sales and marketing efforts. Leaders are also intent on communicating their mission and focus to their staff, customers and investors. Fireside chats. Letters from the President. State of the Company Addresses. Strategy Sessions. Annual Reports. There is just so much to say. Talk… talk… talk. Words abound.

With so much focus on generating real and valuable information, showcasing expertise and sharing vision, businesses have adopted a ‘more is more’ approach to communication. More touch points. More words. Why use two words when you can write twenty? Why express in two minutes what can be said in said in a video in ten? Why send one communication when you can send five? Why publish a short blog post when the same information can be explained in a more detailed article? Indeed, what is noticeably absent in all that chatter is brevity. Lost is the art of being succinct. Yet, there is power in being concise. When it comes to business communication, sometimes less is more. So when is it best to be brief and why? And is it possible to be economical with words without being terse? Continue reading

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Excellence versus ‘Good Enough’

In the world of software development, there is a concept called the Principle of Good Enough. It favors quick-and-simple software designs over elaborate systems designed by committees. Once a quick-and-simple design is deployed, it then evolves as needed, driven by user requirements. Some good examples of this kind of design include the development of the Ethernet and the World Wide Web. That is why most software have newer iterations such as Internet Explorer 8 and Microsoft Office Word 2007.

But this philosophy of ‘good enough’ is not new… it goes back hundreds of years. Voltaire once said that “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” This idea of creating something from the start that is not ‘the best’ but simply ‘good enough’ has increasingly bled into other areas of development and manufacturing. In fact, ‘good enough’ has been adopted as a business model where the focus was to create a new product based on an existing product but with far fewer features… literally something that is ‘less good’ but just ‘good enough.’ And, this approach to business has been successful in some cases. There is, however, one problem with the Principle of Good Enough. This approach is not always effective. Sometimes ‘good enough’ is simply not good enough. When it comes to companies and their work product, how do managers know when to strive for excellence and when it’s okay to deliver goods or services that are just ‘good enough’? Continue reading

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