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Monday, May. 11, 2009 at 8:48 am

What Are Your Obsessions?

By Jeffrey Eisenberg
May 11th, 2009

Obsessions can be useful or harmful.

Thanks to GigaOm I learned about Jeff Bezos’ obsession in a footnote he wrote to Amazon’s 2008 letter to shareholders:

At a fulfillment center recently, one of our Kaizen (continual improvement) experts asked me, “I’m in favor of a clean fulfillment center, but why are you cleaning? Why don’t you eliminate the source of dirt?” I felt like the Karate Kid.

Amazon’s obsession with continual improvement has permeated their culture and made them a great company.

Here are just a few dangerous obsessions holding back many of our readers from more success:

  • Data collection obsession – 79% of businesses obsessively capture Internet traffic data, yet only 30% of them changed their sites as a result of analysis.
  • Keyword obsession – Keywords don’t fail to convert. We fail to convert visitors for that keyword.
  • Short copy obsession – Of course people won’t read your copy if it isn’t relevant.
  • Search Engine obsession – SERP rankings are crucially important but I never met a search engine spider with a creadit card. What happens after the searcher clicks through matters just as much.
  • Shiny new object obsession – It’s the corporate version of ADD. Companies get distracted with the newest new new thing, invest lots of energy into it then they have unrealistic expectations of success.

What are your company’s obsessions? Are they useful or harmful?

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Comments (19)

  1. My new obsession is conversion rate, conversion rate, conversion rate…….. oh and did I mention conversion rate?

  2. So, I think, I have to find some obsessions in my life right?? Hmmm…I better find some…

  3. @ penguinkribo – I just hope you find healthy ones ;-)

  4. [...] funnel and may help more than they hurt. GrokDotCom’s Jeffrey Eisenberg says that no matter how much we obsess over the data, it’s not the keywords that fail to convert, but what we do with those [...]

  5. Shiny new object obsession… Now that’s one worth writing down.

  6. My obsession is taking action on whatever your analysis reveals – and not just trying to get even more information.

  7. Aside from traveling, I admit my other obsession is in data collection.

  8. Eisenberg says that no matter how much we obsess over the data, it’s not the keywords that fail to convert, but what we do with those [...]

  9. Well – Great to see I am not the only one combining the Keyword obsession and SEO obsession.

  10. Well suggestion for SEO. Thank you.

  11. Short copy obsession — oh yes I forget it.

  12. It’s good article. Thank you

  13. I appreciate this very article.

  14. it is obvious that my obsession is conversion rate.

  15. I’ve met many people that only care about rankings. They don’t seem to understand that being no. 1 for a key phrase which won’t bring them any traffic whatsoever, is completely useless!

  16. Shiny new object obsession – It’s the corporate version of ADD. Companies get distracted with the newest new new thing, invest lots of energy into it then they have unrealistic expectations of success.

  17. Great resource -thanks for making it available.

  18. Aside from traveling, I admit my other obsession is in data collection.

  19. Nice Post, I very like this article

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Jeffrey Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark. You can friend him on Facebook.

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