Preface

At a large search marketing conference several years ago, I had a conversation with Maile Ohye from Google about public speaking, noting how impressive she was. As an active public speaker myself, I shared with her how I was able to get by with good information and enthusiasm, but without much polish. What she said next hit me like a ton of bricks: “You’re an SEO and you optimize websites for better performance in search engines, right?” To which I replied yes. Her follow-up was, “Then why don’t you optimize your speaking skills?”

Have you ever watched a movie where the camera is tight on a scene and, for dramatic effect, it pulls back in a blur? That’s what I was feeling when Maile made her simple, yet powerful recommendation. What hit me wasn’t just that I should work on my speaking skills, but the broader notion of optimization and how it applies to a persistent effort at improving just about anything for better performance.

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Reading this book is a great first step toward a new way of thinking about how you can apply optimization principles to your business. The sheer volume of content created each day, coupled with the explosive growth of social media accessed on the Internet and on mobile and tablet devices, can be overwhelming. I’ve spent an incredible amount of time testing and making sense of the search and social web. My hope is that you’ll find this book a quick study on the big-picture topics and deep on the practical resources for planning, implementing, ...

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