From time to time, in an effort to improve my web presence, I have discussions with people to whom I have been referred about such things as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google Analytics. Conceptually, I understand these terms, but pragmatically, I don’t know how to use them to my advantage or to improve my position, and in spite of the clarifying questions I ask, the answers confound me.
I don’t get my head around these kinds of things well at all, so I certainly don’t fault the consultants here. But it’s also possible that SEO, for example, is convoluted by nature because of complicated web relationships and goodness knows what else in the cyber world.
However, taking something fairly simple to understand and turning it into a complex mishmash can be downright off-putting. When my car suddenly died last week, I was treated to a 20 minute dissertation on the workings of the entire engine block when all I cared about was getting the thing started and moving again. I told the mechanic that I felt like I had just been taken on a trip to Boston via Seattle.
Why is this? I believe that some people can only deliver a message in the language in which they learned it. And if that language is not within my sphere of understanding, then so be it. Also, simple isn’t sexy, whereas complexity sounds smart and has an air of cache about it.
Irrespective of their areas of expertise, the most outstanding people I know deconstruct complex ideas, theories, concepts and interventions and turn them into something simple. This is easier said than done, but that’s what makes them outstanding. And they do this through the timely use of appropriate metaphor, example and storytelling – all for the purpose of getting right to where the listener is.
Complexity is overrated; the straight, simpler path to getting your message heard, your proposal accepted or your point made is usually best. Particularly for a simple guy like me.