Sometimes What You THINK Just Doesn’t Matter

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People have all kinds of opinions when it comes to the Internet and their business.  Sometimes those opinions drive them down a particular marketing channel or stop them from engaging online at all.  Thinking for yourself is very useful but making decisions based on “I just don’t think blah blah blah…” or “I just think we need to have …” really can be a massive waste of potential in your business. 

The Internet provides you with data.  With data, your opinions (and mine) just don’t count for much.  We no longer need to make decisions based on our prejudices because we can test them. 

Don’t think Facebook is going to be any use to your business?  That’s fine but you don’t need to hamstring your business by letting that guide your decision.  Set up a Facebook page and a viable plan to use Facebook to market your site and measure the results.

Personally, I don’t particularly like the whole Social Media craze.  That’s not a business statement or a piece of analysis. It’s my emotional response to the notion of having friends through 140 character updates.  Rubbish.  Let’s go to the pub and have a chat.  But I don’t have to let what I think restrain how I promote my business online.  I have data points, so I can test.

I don’t really use social media to stay in touch with friends but I have found some of it really useful for staying in touch with useful business information.

If you are not sure whether the Internet can make a real difference to your business, have you read our post on Internet usage statistics and consumer behaviour?  Have a look at it, but more importantly with a little bit of time and a small budget you can test.   You’ll have data and you won’t need to make a decision in the dark.


If you don’t think SEO works or think it’s somehow dodgy or needless, 

If you think Google Adwords is some kind of scam where you pay to get to the top,

If you think your customers are different and they aren’t online,

. . .

You might be right but you are probably not. 


The point is that sometimes what we think isn’t very important.  The traffic is there and someone is getting it and our opinions just don’t matter.  We need to look beyond them.  The Internet gives us data and we should use it to make informed decisions.

There are a couple of points I want to make before I finish:

  1. It can be just as wrong to decide you really need to be doing something on a whim as it is to decide that you won’t.  Just because I read an article on how Social Media is the next big thing, doesn’t make it the right next step for my business.
  2. We’ve come across a number of small clients who have tried Adwords and concluded that it doesn’t work (costs too much, doesn’t convert to sales etc.).  Setting up a proper campaign for them has created radically different and improved results.  To test something, you need to do it right.

Related posts:

  1. SOMETIMES What You Think Does Matter
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5 Responses to “Sometimes What You THINK Just Doesn’t Matter”

  1. Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading through some of your earlier posts as well and decided to drop a comment on this one!

    Anyways, I just signed up for your newsletter and will definitely come back for more. Feel free to do the same for my blog when you get a chance! ;) Also, if your looking to do some guest posting or promoting some of my products definitely check out my blog…

    All the best,
    Dino Vedo

    PS: Like my Facebook fan page and follow me on Twitter and I’ll do the same for you! ;)

  2. SiteStream SEO says:

    Thanks for stoping by Dino

  3. [...] few days ago I wrote a post about how your online business decisions should be made in the light of available data rather than your opinion.  But numbers can’t tell you everything and you just [...]

  4. Susan Oakes says:

    Hi Alastair,

    Great words of advice and I have heard the “tried it once and it doesn’t work” a number of times. Having data and tracking results takes the subjectivity out of marketing just as looking at your cash flow actually tells you if you have money in the bank.

  5. SiteStream SEO says:

    Thanks Susan.

    The “tried it once” thing would nearly be funny if it wasn’t so common and so damaging. It comes back to the point you made on Bizsugar, I think. If someone sets up the test incorrectly or makes mistakes while interpretting the results, it becomes “garbage in = garbage out” and you get the wrong decisions.

    Thanks for stopping by.