My YoastCon Talk: Hope is not a Strategy

The First Annual YoastCon

Earlier this year I spoke at the first annual YoastCon. If you've ever thought about SEO and WordPress, then it's likely someone may have recommended the market leader – a product Yoast makes (WordPress SEO by Yoast).

Over the last year I've gotten to know the Yoast team and they're an incredible bunch – not just the smartest SEO folks around, but well-versed in optimization and more.

[Tweet “YoastCon was incredible. @Yoast knows how to put on an event.”]

So when they asked if I'd come out to speak to a crowd that would be partially WordPress folks, partially SEO folks, and partially other friends, I said sure. But giving a talk to three audiences is harder than to a single audience.

Thankfully I went last – which meant (as you'll hear), that I didn't really have to say anything special as the other speakers were seriously phenomenal.

I had one main point – that hope isn't an effective strategy for owners (or even developers) because there's so much we don't know.

You can't just throw stuff together and hope that it will all work out!

Our only hope (see what I did there?) is to keep staying engaged with people, to keep learning and keep talking – so that we don't make silly and avoidable mistakes.

We all make mistakes

Here's the reality. We all make mistakes. The goal isn't to eliminate mistake-making. But our goal should be to eliminate those which we can, especially if they're easy. And to that end, I thought I'd share five stories that are quick and easy mistakes to skip past, once you hear them.

[Tweet “Eliminate the mistakes that are easy.”]

If you know me, you know I start with a story. In this talk, I start with a story that (upon watching it again) clearly goes too long. I normally have intro stories that get to the point faster. I can't tell if it's just that I was lazy (in terms of not tightening it up), or jet-lagged and tired.

Either way, let me apologize for how long it takes me to get to the point that information asymmetry is a real and serious thing.

[Tweet “Information asymmetry is a real and serious thing.”]

So without further notes or interruptions, here are my five web stories with the reminder:

Hope is not a strategy.

By the way, if you don't have time for the talk, or just want to get to the good stuff, check out all of Yoast's eBooks.