Does Your Golf Club Sweep the Ground?

Sometimes I can drive a golf ball about 350 yards. Sometimes I can throw my back out on a swing and a miss. Sometimes I hit the ball straight up and it comes crashing down hard. I have never had a birdie. But at least I have never hit a bird yet, like Giovanna did once.

One day my wife and I took golfing lessons. The instructor could hit the ball consistently swinging with one arm. Much better accuracy than I had with two. My biggest problem was form. But on practice swings I would have no way of knowing if my form was good or bad because I would swing, think it felt good, then swing and a miss.

If your golf club hits the ground then you know where the ground is. If you consistently sweep the ground then you will consistently hit the ball well. But if you do not touch the ground you do not know how far you are off.

How does that story relate to SEO?

A friend of mine has a bunch of decent domains he wants to build out, but he is afraid to spend too much on links on any of them. Given the field that he is in and that he has some exact match domain names he could probably rank a number of them just by using simple link building solutions like submitting to directories.

He said he did not want to invest too much into any one of them because he had a lot of them to do. I said I recommend over-investing in one of them so you guarantee the thing ranks, such that you get the traffic and market feedback needed to track conversions, test out the effect of making changes, and optimize the conversion process before applying it to dozens of sites.

Setting up one site, ranking it, and tweaking it in for conversion is just like finding Earth with a golf club. If gives you a baseline to work from to ensure you are getting maximal return out of your investments.

It does not matter how bad some of your business ideas are. As long as you are receptive to market feedback and you know where Earth is you can keep growing. For some inspiration, read about how Patrick Gavin went from "marketing the past" to becoming the leading link broker in the world.

Published: February 22, 2008 by Aaron Wall in


Patrick Altoft
February 22, 2008 - 4:23am

Golf is like SEO. The better you get the more you love it.

February 22, 2008 - 6:34am

I always put a big chunk of money into a domain to get it developed and ranked. One domain at a time. It's pointless splitting your resources across 5 domains and getting them all ranked to position #11 in Google, where no-one goes, when you could get one of them ranked #1 instead.

Then use your profits to do the next domain...

R Shelby
February 22, 2008 - 11:46am

It's pointless splitting your resources across 5 domains and getting them all ranked to position #11 in Google, where no-one goes

Number 11 ain't all that bad. In fact, just yesterday we made $100 bucks from that exact search result placement. I created a website to advertise my wife's hair salon services, and a customer came through the door because of a number 11 ranking.

If I had waited until I had the time and resources to focus 100% on my wife's website, we never would have earned the money we received already.

I'm thinking it's a case by case basis.

By the way, after reading Aaron's book last month, I realized I was making some huge beginner SEO mistakes on my wife's website. Because of Aaron's book, my wife's sales have increased significantly due to the people who are now discovering her 4 month old website. Thanks Aaron!

February 22, 2008 - 1:59pm

Congrats on your success. :)

February 22, 2008 - 11:57pm

Hi Aaron, you need to practice with good habits. You need to start with the 7 or 8 iron instead of a driver :)

February 23, 2008 - 3:15am

I agree on focusing all/most of your attention and resources on your primary project. Do you think it is too early to do conversion testing and tweaking when your only getting 1,000 hits a month? Is it possible to read behavior trends with such a small dataset?

February 23, 2008 - 11:19am

It really depends on how clean that traffic is and how easily you can do split testing on it. I would typically suggest using AdWords to do split tests because the traffic stream will be more consistent.

February 25, 2008 - 12:58pm

I suppose that the other side of the coin to concentrating on just one domain at a time is that if you develop multiple domains to a minimal level at least you are creating a site history by having content. Returning to develop further at a later date may then produce quicker results.

February 25, 2008 - 8:43pm

True...and sometimes I like getting sites seeded and aged, but then I still need to pick a site or two to focus on so I can learn on it and carry that feedback back to the strategy for the other sites.

February 26, 2008 - 5:17pm

Great sports analogy. Many I know get the (wrong) idea about Internet marketers that we are a pasty lot rarely emerging into the sunlight.

350 yds? Dude, you're a beast :)

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