There’s nothing more uncomfortable for me than talking about my body. Vanity is big in this area. When we tell folks we’re a marketing agency in Orange County, one of the first associations our clients make is with the “Real Housewives of Orange County.” This is compounded by the fact that the glitz and glam of Los Angeles is just 40 minutes up the 5. And, yes, in California it’s “the 5”, not “highway 5” or “I-5.” How you look matters in this area. While I’m not shaped like Megan Fox’s thumb, I’m definitely no Adonis. Like most people, I just want to look better and live healthier.
Last year I received a piece of advice that changed the way I approach my health and workout regimen. It’s something overly simple, yet it turned my exercise habits upside down… or perhaps I should say, right side up. I was told to avoid using scales to weigh myself as a metric for results. Instead, I was instructed to take weekly selfies in the same place and with the same lighting. Being the analytical geek that I am, I couldn’t resist doing both. I would take selfies and hop on a scale every week. A/B testing, if you will. What I found was that a scale can definitely be misleading. While my body was changing and my cardio was improving, the scale would often show I gained weight or plateau’d in any given week. My trainer often says it is more effective to achieve a look rather than a weight. The selfie method is the most effective way to do that.
Here’s the thing. That first selfie is the worst. It shows your flaws. It makes you insecure. But it also lets you know what you need to work out. It allows you the opportunity to create a roadmap for success. The best part? Comparing the before and after. All those flaws and imperfections you noticed serve as a moment of pride when you see how far you have come.
Enough about my health journey. What does this have to do with you? Well, I wanted to bring this “selfie” idea to businesses. I noticed a lot of business owners look at certain basic numbers or metrics (the scale) such as CPC, CPM, CTR and bounce rates to try and improve their online business instead of taking a holistic look at their website (the selfie). Metrics are important. However, a lot of business owners try to make improvements and optimizations without going through a true benchmarking process… they don’t take that first selfie. You need that first selfie to provide a starting point and, most importantly, a clear visual of what you can celebrate when you look at how far you have come.
We’ve estimated that combing through analytics, PPC campaigns and social metrics is a 10+ hour project for the average DIYer. Our RQS Performance Grader+ is a free tool we provide for SMBs to take that first selfie. You can choose between an organic or paid report depending on your goals, and it will save you nearly 10 hours of manual analysis if you were to do it yourself. These reports will allow you to easily do the following:
- Compare your keyword ranking to your competitors’.
- Learn where you are gaining & losing position.
- Evaluate Rankings on a page-by-page or URL basis.
- Identify your hot button keywords.
It’s kind of funny… When you get a haircut, install new cabinets in the house, do some landscaping, or prepare a big meal, you love to take a before and after pic to show where you started and where you finished. It’s time to do the same for your business. Give it a try. It’s free, and it’ll give you that first selfie you need to benchmark future success.