Why Online Marketing is Like Dieting

Neither are an exact science.

Both depend on other variables to be successful.

And results take time.

Being an advocate of health, fitness, and good diet, and also running several successful online businesses, I have a fair bit of experience in both online marketing and dieting.

A recent article I read really highlighted to me the similarities between the two.

You can find the original article here.

Have you ever been on a diet and become frustrated with how the scales fluctuate from day-to-day with no real reasoning?

You stick to your diet rigidly each day, but yet some days still show an increase on the scales or no movement at all.

Well, this article explains why this can happen, and the scientific reasoning behind these frustrating fluctuations.

Ultimately, there are a number of factors that can cause your weight to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis — sodium levels, glycogen stores, water retention, and much much more.

The lesson of the article is to not become obsessed over these daily fluctuations in weight when you are working towards a goal — weigh yourself maybe every couple of weeks instead of every day.

This allows the, sometimes unexplainable, daily fluctuations to iron themselves out without you even noticing or having to worry about them.

In dieting, as in business and in life as a whole, there are variables — often too many to comprehend — that will affect your short-term progress.

In business, it could be not getting anything crossed off your to-do list on a certain day because the kids need to go swimming, or you’re ill and need a day in bed to rest.

Whatever it may be, there are distractions, other priorities, and unexplainable factors that can influence our short term progress.

But in the long term, provided we are consistent and persistent with our efforts and drive, we will see progress.

It’s rather like monitoring the currency exchange — you can micro-analyse all those troughs and peaks in the graph, but ultimately it’s about how things go in the long term.

Provided that point on the graph ends up higher than when you first started out, you’ve made progress towards your goal.

Forget about the turbulence in-between — this can be ridden out with consistent effort.

I liken this approach to online marketing — particularly with PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising — in the short term, you might blow a fortune on campaigns that aren’t quite working out.

But you build on what works and what doesn’t for you and your business.

You ditch the expensive keywords that aren’t converting and you spend more money on the keywords that are converting.

You consistently tweak and improve your campaign using the data it delivers back to you over time — until, in the long term, you’re left with a very effective and profitable campaign.

If you start trying to tweak your campaign too early though, you may end up scrapping some potentially high-converting keywords because they don’t start out too well for you, and you don’t have enough ‘meat’ on your data to make an informed and accurate decision.

Dieting is similar. What works for one person may not work for the next. You have to follow a process of trial and error — ditching techniques that aren’t delivering results in the medium to long term, and focusing on what is working for you.

Until eventually, in the long term, you reach your personal weight loss goals.

The Lesson?

Consistency leads to success.

But micro-analysing data too quickly can often be contradictory to achieving consistency.

You need to give it time for accurate data to show, in order to make informed decisions and changes/tweaks going forward.

This applies to online advertising, dieting, and almost all other aspects in life.

By all means take corrective action when things aren’t heading in the right direction — but don’t analyse things too quickly, give them enough time to deliver actionable data, or you’ll lose your direction and consistency that ultimately leads to long-term success.

Do you have your own tips and techniques to share on these topics? Please share them in the comments below.

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Originally published at gavinedley.com on October 15, 2016.

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