Dear, Sweet Internet Marketer – Connect the Stinkin’ Dots Already

I’ve been boiling all morning long – and what does someone who blogs do, but kick out a rant? All morning, I’ve been researching marketing agencies, digging into sites, news articles and various sources to find out about them. –And that’s the whole damn point. Why, if you’re advertising yourself as any type of internet marketing agency, should I have to go digging?

Maybe it’s Gabriella’s influence. “Connect the dots, Jahnelle,” she keeps saying. “You always have to connect the dots.” However, I also think my expectations of someone claiming to be an internet marketer come from the years’ of experience in connecting those dots, and understanding why that connection is important.

Case in point:

I visited a site for an agency. They market themselves as a “digital agency” on the “cutting edge” of technology. You know what I found? A blog – with this cute little calendar that shows the number of posts per month. Two here, three there, a couple there… Whatever – so maybe they aren’t as strict about regularly posting as we are.

Then, I read their latest post. Even though it’s a month outdated, I think, “I like the way this company thinks.”

Now, if you follow the SEO Article Archive, you probably already know Gabriella is the more social of us. Me, I use it because that’s where you connect with people on line. –And darn it if that isn’t another point. It’s where you connect!

So, I’m interested in this company, and I look for their social links. Contact us? Nothing social, just an address and a phone number.

They have a Facebook and a LinkedIn profile button on the sidebar. I’m not too fond of Facebook for anything other than the dubious pleasure of saying the occasional “hello” to friends that no longer live in my area, so I click on LinkedIn. It takes me to their company page, which shows me a list of employees (most without pictures).

Those employee links, in turn, take me to the individuals’ pages, where I can then, and only then, see that at least two have Twitter accounts. To connect with these people through LinkedIn, I have to send an email stating that I’ve worked with them or known them in some way. I’m faced with a decision of how to class these people I don’t know and just want to see what they’re saying – rather than the one-click “follow” of Twitter. Talk about a waste of “being social”.

To be blunt, it ticked me off to the point that I tossed my headset down and stalked outside for a breath of fresh air.

Social isn’t everything, just like SEO isn’t everything; it isn’t the end all, be all of marketing mediums. I know this. Twitter isn’t everything; there are plenty of platforms out there. –But you call yourself an internet marketer!

Maybe it wouldn’t have upset me if I hadn’t just poured through over 10 sites of so-called digital, internet, social, etc. marketing firms with dead blogs, dead social accounts and dead ends.

Connect the Friggin Dots, Already!

I’m trying very hard to keep my language fit for public consumption. I really am, but how are we supposed to teach our clients to connect the dots if we aren’t at least making more than a half-hearted attempt to lead by example?

Lead by Example image
Connect the dots

That stupid “What We’re Saying” section in the sidebar? I don’t care what you’re saying, if you were saying it five months ago! We live and work in a fast-paced, constantly changing world. What you said five months ago may be completely wrong today!

“Thanks for the fantastic holiday event!” by marketing twitter user was posted December 19th of last year…. What, was it so fantastic that you had to take two months off to recover?

It just absolutely blows my mind. If you’re an Internet marketer of any type (i.e. you market your client’s brand, business, and online presence to the public) there should be some proof that you know what you’re doing on your own site. There should be some sign that you are actually trying, instead of doing what a lot of business owners do and throwing noodles at the wall to see if they’ll stick.

 Business owners have an excuse. It’s not their job. Their job is to use their past experiences and know-how to grow their business. You don’t have an excuse. It’s your job. This is what you do to make a living, and as far as I’m concerned, you are the weakest link. Good bye.

Deep Breath and a Note to Business Owners

Please, don’t visit these types of Internet marketing sites and think, “Well, if they aren’t doing it…” Connecting the dots online is important; much like connecting the dots in the physical world. For example, if you have a logo, that logo will be visible on your business cards. It will also be visible on your business letterheads and your store front.

Online dot connecting works the same way. It’s called consistency:

  • Your logo should be on your website, connecting your physical storefront with your online presence
  • Your logo should be able to be converted in a favicon, to be used on the site
  • If you have a coder or developer on hand, you can have a widget created for other sites to use
  • Your company name should be consistent across all platforms, websites, articles and so on – anything you put it on, it needs to be the same
  • Your business phone number should be easy to find throughout the site
  • If your company is participating in social media:
    • All social accounts with the business name should have the business logo
    • All social accounts for individual team members should have their pictures
    • Your Twitter accounts, depending on how big your business is, should be a mix of company and team member names:
      • Your main company account (example: @level343), which resembles your actual company name
      • Your team members’ accounts (examples: @SEOCopy and @jrpittman), which is how followers get to know your company personally
      • Your department accounts (examples: @companysales @companyservice, @company Q&A, etc.), which (in a large corporation) give customers direct access to the necessary department
  • Your Facebook page should include links to your website, your company email, and other social accounts
  • Every social account should have some kind of congruity with your business site
  • Provide ways on your site in the contact area for people to connect with the various social accounts
  • If you decide to start a blog:
    • Set a minimum amount of blogs posts per month and stick to it
    • Set a regular schedule of days you’ll post (example: we post every Monday and Thursday) and stick to it
    • Allow people to share across social networks – and don’t just limit it to the networks you’re on; that’s selective thinking, and it won’t serve you well
    • Provide ways on the blog for visitors to connect with your company’s social accounts
    • Link your site to your blog and your blog to your site – provide two-way traffic flow
    • If you decide to do content curation or guest blogging, like we do on, Tumblr, and
      • Schedule your posts on these content curation sites or guest posting sites to be on days that you aren’t posting on your blog
      • Put your name out there every day in some way or another – give the search engines a reason to crawl your site

At some point in time once the Internet started, we got this idea that everything had to be in a box. Don’t link out – that’s bad. Don’t let people share outside of your social circles – that’s bad. Don’t let the blog and the business mix, because, wouldn’t you know it, that’s bad, too.

Walk the Walk image
It’s a Fine Day To Walk The Walk

Times are changing, my friends. History is a cycle, and we’re cycling back to open borders – only this time, the open borders are the ones we allow online.

Walk the Walk

Look. I have no idea whether these marketers are any good at what they do. However, if they aren’t doing what they tell their readers to do, or what they plan for their clients, they don’t believe it. Why would you ignore something that you know works to grow a business?

There are many online marketers, SEOs, copywriters and so on that walk the walk. They do what they say you should do – because they honestly believe it works. Any time you decide to follow a marketing company through their blogs or their social accounts, keep your eyes open. If they don’t practice what they preach, at least to a reasonable degree, they’re just blowing smoke to look good. What they say may make perfect sense, but they don’t believe it.

Today's Author

All around SEO coding geek; AKA “Bulldog” I’m a long-time Internet Marketing veteran specializing in organic SEO. I love the whole process of online marketing: developing the website, writing the content, optimization, data analysis, and (of course) the actual marketing itself. I’ve done it all and love it all. At the moment, I spend most of my time happily buried in SEO, website design/coding, and lovely, little regex redirects.


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115 Responses

  1. IMO, connect the dot is an idea like building a good reputation in your chosen career or field. It is certainly important as it can be a strong foundation and image where you can be proud of. This state that no matter how tough fight and competition is in business and even if you are not the best provider for now as long as you have courage and perseverance to learned things experienced would lead you to success.

  2. You’re right of course. The only exception being if they’re actually trying to be hard to find for new business while they maintain a connection to existing people. I used to rant about that too until that rapid growth problem happened to me. A mentor suggested I become less available until I had the resources to expand. Thought he was nuts but tried it anyway. It helped. When the crisis passed we put everything back the way it was.

  3. From a purist’s POV, there is nothing to do here except join in your rant.

    Yes, this is a failure. Yes, people are not walking the talk. Yes, it looks and feels bad.

    But here’s the real question: “why is this happening?’ Is it really because internet marketers are idiots? Or that management doesn’t know what it’s doing? While I’m sure we can find some evidence to support those theories, I think the real answer is that starting activities is easier than maintaining them and funding them.

    Everyone loves making long lists of what ought to be done, and dives in with fervor. But then the real world intervenes. The person who’s supposed to be posting on Twitter has to deal with an urgent client request. Then she goes on vacation. Then she returns and realizes that nobody cared that nothing happened. So — more nothing happens. And so another digital playground is over-run with tumbleweeds. Somewhere, this week, the same company with abandoned tumbleweed playgrounds is starting a new Pinterest account with renewed (and probably very temporary) enthusiasm.

    This stuff only works if a) management believes it is a genuine priority and b) FUNDS it accordingly.

    Belief and enthusiasm and brainstorming are plentiful. Funding and commitment are rare.

    Why don’t companies get this right? To borrow a phrase, “connect the stinkin’ dots” 🙂

    1. Thanks, Tom – from a ranter’s POV, all I can do is agree, because I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

      Belief and enthusiasm and brainstorming are plentiful. Funding and commitment are rare.

      It’s true in other industries and, I suppose, this one is no different. That was a hard sentence to type! lol To be honest, we do have our fair share of “parked” accounts – nothing there, nothing happening, just snagging our company name and putting a placeholder. But… BUT… For every area we’re truly active, we have a link pointing to it. We don’t just expect visitors to read our blog and then search to “find out” if we’re on social networks.

      Funding, I get; even if you’re a sole marketer, you still have to find time (or money) to write the blogs. However, belief and enthusiasm with no commitment? It doesn’t mesh – not in my head. -But then, I’ve had Gabriella brainwashing me for almost six years. “Any strategy you come up with, you have to be willing to commit at least 3 to 6 months to, Jahnelle. Are you willing to do that? Do we have the resources to do that? What you want to do is all well and good, but you have to look at it from every angle.” With that kind of influence, it becomes a lot easier to brainstorm, feel the enthusiasm, and then set all that stuff aside to ask, “well, yeah – but can we commit to that?”

      HA! Maybe that’s it! If everybody had a Gabriella coaching them, I can guarantee there’d be a whole bunch more dot connecting. She’s wicked smart, and quick to notice the missing links.

      Thanks for the great comment, Tom – and for bringing up a point I hadn’t considered.

      1. JR wrote: “However, belief and enthusiasm with no commitment? It doesn’t mesh – not in my head.”

        This one’s easy to understand. It’s the corporate equivalent of New Year’s resolutions. We boldly pronounce what we plan to do and at that moment we fully intend to follow through — that is, until it gets difficult or inconvenient. Companies (like humans) underestimate how difficult it is to change, and also fail to ask themselves why things are the way they are.

        Most of us want change, but not badly enough to actually do anything about it. I applaud Gabriella — and you — for wanting it badly enough to make sure the right things happen.

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