An important element to being productive in search engine promotion is to continually stay focused on the goals of your web site campaigns. When I say “stay focused” though, what comes to mind? Most likely you are thinking, “concentrate on what increases relevant traffic.” While that is one way to stay focused and is also an important element to being productive, it will not make or break your successful promotion efforts alone.
I have found time and time again, that your ability to stay focused in this industry is the key to high levels of achievement. When it comes to the search engines, results and ranking algorithms change daily. You need to be mindful and proactive in order to be most successful.
In most promotion campaigns, the tasks of organic optimization, PPC management, submissions and link popularity all mix together in front of your eyes. After having worked in the industry long enough to meet many professionals, I would caution you to be careful of one thing I have seen in myself and othersâ€¦ the tendency to jump from one task to another.
Most promotion campaigns have those four major tasks involved. By starting one of these tasks, putting it down to work on another, then picking up the first one again, you will substantially increase the time needed to complete just one of those items. Again, I have experienced this myself many times, so trust me on this one. When you juggle the tasks of optimization, it simply is not possible to give anything your undivided attention.
So why is this important? Isn’t a half-completed link popularity campaign better than none at all? Aren’t three search engine submissions better than none at all?
Sure, having any one of these tasks even partially completed will help your site immediately in terms of search engine promotion. But please bear in mind that the days of mediocre efforts paying off are long gone. In order to have any web site successfully promoted in the search engines, you need to devote yourself to full time efforts. Those efforts are much more productive when you can concentrate on one element at a time.
Many times, managing one of these tasks will have to rely on someone else’s input. For example, conducting submissions may require you to clear submission fees for directories like Yahoo or engines like Inktomi. With link popularity, it is not uncommon to have to clear potential link partners through legal review for brand compliance and corporate approval. Any time you need to obtain outside input is another potential loss of optimal time management, so try to coordinate your efforts accordingly.
Another key to maintaining successful task completion in search engine promotion and marketing is to remain extremely observant. While you check through traffic and statistical reports, be sure to document as much information as possible in a quick format. I personally use Microsoft Excel to track the projects I manage because it is quick and will interface well with publishing reports for clients and upper management to review.
With our marketplace being so dynamic, and with the engines being so unpredictable, I would like to share with you some additional ideas to help keep you organized, efficient, and productive as you work on your search engine promotion campaigns.
* Confirm meetings with management or clients before you begin a task. By knowing when you will need to present information for review, you can allocate your time more effectively. Once you can see on a calendar what is due when, you can much more easily focus on single tasks at a time.
* Create a productive environment. In today’s world of casual work environments, you have a lot of freedom to dress and decorate your work area as you would like. But when doing this, keep productivity in mind. Do not allow distractions or clutter effect your work space and keep as many helpful documents on hand and within reach. Some great that I like to have around include Bruce Clay’s Search Engine Relationship Chart as well as the Bare Bones Guide to HTML.
* Set aside times each day to check in with industry resources and message boards. Staying on top of current events and news allows you to think more about the industry and can often give you great ideas to keep promotion efforts moving forward.
* Set priorities for your tasks and set priorities for fun. Spending hours staring deep into code and server log files can kill your ability to think clearly. If you have access to an exercise area or just great weather — be sure to get up and get away from your desk a bit to clear your head. Some of the best ideas I have come up with have been thought up while taking a walk around our office park or while playing basketball at lunch time. For some colleagues of mine, just taking a leisurely drive through some quiet roads helps to clear their minds. Whatever works best for you, it is important to have some sort of outlet.
* Without distracting yourself, ask yourself if what you are doing is necessary and important to accomplish your goals. You should have a good mental road map to your objectives and site’s success. If you find that what your doing is irrelevant, rethink why you are doing it. I recently read a quote by Hyrum Smith of Franklin Quest that I feel applies too well to those working hard in this market… “You can be very busy without being effective. What is important is to learn how to do what matters most.”
* Be careful not to be distracted by others imposing their priorities on you – wanting you to do what is important to them! With more and more news sources discussing search engine marketing and promotion, more senior level managers.
* Always remember that you are in control of something enormous. Search engine promotion and search engine marketing is only a tiny facet of online marketing… for now. While less than one percent of marketing funds go towards online marketing, major corporations and small businesses alike can generate significant and immediate growth. With that in mind, remember that it takes discipline to stay focused on those things that are important to you, job wise and personally.
If you find my focusing and organizing ideas useful, please share them with your friends and colleagues but not your competitors! As always, please share with me your ideas for further concentrating on — and making the most of — your search engine promotion efforts.
Guest Columnist Eric is Chief Operating Officer at The First Listings Marketing Group, LLC. First Listings is a leading search engine optimization and online promotion company geared towards assisting small to medium sized clients and their needs.