Chapter 1. What's Your Game Plan for Success?

In high school I was in a program called the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC). Our senior Army instructor was a retired U.S. Army colonel (a "full-bird" colonel, as he would emphasize). He was a tough, no-nonsense leader who preached the values of teamwork against the backdrop of our own motto: "Leadership. Citizenship. Challenge. Responsibility.

One of the colonel's pet peeves in life was a poorly designed lesson plan. The only thing worse than a poorly designed lesson plan was no lesson plan at all. He would vent to us about how frustrated he was made by the horribly inadequate lesson plans of some of the school's faculty. We even had lesson-plan workshops, where we outlined our own plans and executed them to judge their effectiveness. When you're exposed to something like this at age 14, it kind of sticks with you for the rest of your life.

It always amazes, confuses, and intrigues me when businesspeople don't have some kind of plan of action — some kind of direction. You can hear it in the way they speak to you, you can see it in the way their website or marketing material is designed, and you can just feel it in your bones. You would think that having a game plan would be the most obvious and first thing a business owner would want to do — I mean, how can you start doing business without one? Unfortunately, lots and lots of website owners don't have any plan or any direction whatsoever, and some who do are going on a ...

Get Your Google® Game Plan for Success: Increasing Your Web Presence with Google AdWords, Analytics, and Website Optimizer now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.