Everyone likes to think of themselves as spontaneous. But building predictability and planning into your business operations is critical to success. Without planning and scheduling, you are subject to whim (as my fortune cookie says) – you work on what you stumble across or what you think of. But so much more can be accomplished by building a schedule of optimizations. How?
Building a Schedule Requires Planning & Critical Thinking
When you take the time (and it can take a considerable amount of time) to build out a schedule of optimizations or tasks to accomplish on your program, you are forcing yourself to think critically about what is required for success. I’m amazed at how many programs are being run without that thought and effort. If you are doing it right, you are looking at your goals and putting together a plan for regular changes and work to help you achieve those goals. You have to decide:
- What optimizations are you currently making, or wish to make?
- How often does the account/campaign warrant each change?
- What are your success metrics & best practices for each optimization?
- How can the process be streamlined?
- What are the outputs from each action?
Defining the answers to these questions up front can help you save a ton of time and make real progress towards your goals.
After you have determined what optimizations you need to make, you should determine how often to make them. Don’t forget to plan for changes in seasonality! If you are a retailer, you probably have to optimize more frequently in Q4.
Create Checklists and Processes
Once your optimizations and tasks are defined, creating a checklist and process for those tasks helps make sure they get efficiently accomplished. As I mentioned in my post on building reporting, everything you build should be scalable and repeatable, with focus on speed. Automation is key!
Another key to success – don’t try to have every process built perfectly. Take a page from product designers, and start with a minimum viable product. Get it out the door, and then every time you fulfill that task or process, iterate and improve. That way with minimum amount of time up front, you can be up and running, learning what you need to change and how to improve.
It’s been 3 months since I presented at SMX West in San Jose, and about 2 months since I presented at Pubcon New Orleans. At both shows, I spoke about building an efficient reporting product, as well as another few specific ways to do some common and necessary Paid Search tasks. I thought I would post a recap of that content here, and am finally getting around to doing it. :)
Quick side note – both shows were great. If you are interested in attending a conference about search marketing and social media, both the Pubcon and the SMX series are FANtastic.
Now, without further ado…
Efficiency is key to Search Marketing. There is no end to the amount of time you can spend optimizing and analyzing, tweaking and testing your accounts and programs. You have enough to do just figuring out enhanced campaigns or whatever the new algorithm update is all about – you don’t have time to spend hours every week pulling and massaging numbers. Don’t get me wrong – effective reporting and tracking is vitally important to success in search, and should be in every marketer’s utility belt. But the best reporting is both comprehensive and FAST. Continue reading
I just created the following logic on my phone to preserve battery life. Yes, I am a nerd, but having the flexibility to be this nerdy is awesome. :)
This was created using a cool app called Automate It, which allows you to create all sorts of custom rules and logic. I use it to automatically enable GPS with specific apps, trigger events like a FourSquare check-in using NFC, all sorts of fun.
Oh.. I also created the flow chart (using MindJet Maps) and created this post all on my phone.
For the win!
It turns out that I’m speaking at a few search marketing conferences coming up in the next few months, so I thought I would post which shows I’m attending in case you will be there and want to meet, catch up, etc. I wasn’t really planning on attending all 3 of these, but the stars aligned and my boss is pretty great, and gave me the green light.
First up – SMX West in San Jose
If you have never been to one of the SMX shows, you are missing out. Search Marketing Expo is run by the ThirdDoorMedia team – the same folks that bring us SearchEngineLand.com, MarketingLand.com & more. They run a fantastic show, and always draw a ton of really great speakers, as well as hacks like me. :)
Next one I’ll be at is HeroConf in Austin
HeroConf is a new show put on by Hanapin Marketing out of Bloomington Indiana. It is apparently the only Paid Search-specific conference, and was quite popular last year among search marketers whom I respect. I’m excited to be speaking and attending!
Lastly, I’ll be speaking at Pubcon NOLA (New Orleans)
I’m really excited for this one – I’ve never been to New Orleans. :) Pubcon puts on a great show every year in Las Vegas in the fall, but I’ve never spoken there or even been to any of their other shows. The sessions are usually very good, but the networking is what really makes these shows top-notch.
So there you have it. Conferences – all in March and April. Let me know if you are going to be at any of these shows either in the comments, on twitter, email me (rickgalan at the gmail), or however you want to.
So I wrote a guest post! What’s that you say? You barely post on your own blog, but you’ll post on other sites? Yes. But they asked!
The post is on the Trafficado blog. Trafficado is an awesome local (Utah) agency full of some really fun, but also extremely talented marketers. Highly recommend them actually, and that was before they asked me to write. :)
So for the post, I actually collaborated with a friend and coworker, Roger Gibson. Two minds are better than one right? The post is entitled What your enterprise client expects from you. Check it out! Let me know what you think on twitter, or comment on the post on Trafficado’s site.
Lately I’ve been playing around with my phone’s homescreen – trying to bring a little more aesthetic to the screen I look at about 1000 times a day. I’ve been drawing some inspiration from the contributors over at MyColorScreen – Some really awesome designs there.
So without further ado.. I give you “Smooth Criminal”
Here are the details…
The background came from the Zedge app, uploaded by “I_SULTAAN_I”. The icons were from an icon pack called Lucid Rounds. The weather and time and whatnot are all a single widget from the Zooper Widget app.
I use Nova Launcher Prime as the very customizable (and highly recommended) launcher that allows me to replace icons and customize the layout. It’s set to a desktop grid of 9×5 icons, with the dock disabled. Most of the visible icons are actually links to folders with apps links inside.
So what do you think? Have you customized your home screen? If so, I would love to see it. I love Android. :)
In the spirit of self-congratulatory praise, I thought I would take a moment to mention two recent mentions I received out of the blue, both praising (somewhat blindly) my paid search expertise.
The first was a few months ago, but hey – if you are going to shamelessly draw attention to yourself, you might as well include everything. I was included on a list of The 25 Most Influential PPC Experts by the PPCHero blog. PPCHero is run by Hanapin Marketing, an agency that specializes in Paid Search marketing services and also runs a PPC conference called HeroConf. They apparently had some kind of methodology to get the list – and while I don’t necessarily agree with the list or my inclusion on it, I’m flattered anyway. #22!
The second mention I got was in a recent interview with Paid Search expert John Rampton, who mentioned me as an important person to watch in the search marketing space. This was on a recent interview with Performance Marketing Insider. Thanks John!
End of bragging. Carry On.
There is a lot that keeps us from getting it done. You know what I’m talking about – that thing you need to do, that’s been waiting for nothing but you to do it. The first thing that pops in your mind when someone says the words “to do list ” or “procrastination”. We all have that task or project or whatever that we know we need to do, know we should do, but we are just really not eager to do it at all.
I noticed that I had this tendency to want to procrastinate.. and the first thing to go was always it. That one thing. So I came up with a plan..
Every day, the first thing I do is it. That’s right. I move that crap I don’t want to do to the top of the list. Before email, before hopping on the twitter, before any reporting. Before.
The effect of making progress on it is that I find myself in a productive mindset. I no longer have this one thing looming over my head, and I feel freed up to prioritize and work on whatever else needs done. Seems to work pretty well for me.
What about you? How do you keep yourself from procrastinating?
So something I’ve never done is move the my feed url from the old /ConversationRate address to /RickGalan. So if you are seeing this, I encourage you to visit the site at your earliest convenience and re-subscribe to the feed. Or update your feed reader to:
I got the email from Bluehost
that I’ve been dreading. The email that says that I’m going to have to pony up for another year of hosting if I want RickGalan.com to stay up.
In a way it’s really a good thing though. It has springboarded an effort to get some value out of that money I’m spending. That effort has started with a quick retheming and redesign of the blog.
I have opted to go with a free theme called The Bootstrap
. It’s a really clean and simple theme, which I think is necessary to remove barriers to writing. Low maintenance.
The other thing that is great about the theme, and one of the key reasons that I chose it was because it has what’s called a responsive layout. Responsive design
is a relatively recent design technique driven by the fact that there are a myriad devices and screen sizes people use to access the web. Content should be dynamic and respond to fit the different sizes and formats without having to load a completely different version of the site.
Want to see it in action? Visit the blog on your smartphone, tablet, or simply resize the window in Chrome or Firefox (pretty sure IE doesn’t do it). I still have a little work to do with the logo, but I think it’s slick. :)
Besides compatibility with mobile devices, another reason that I went to a responsive theme for the blog is because Google has flat out said that this is how they prefer websites to be designed in order to be crawled most efficiently for all devices. Pierre Far
, a Webmaster Central Analyst for Google, mentioned this at SMX Advanced
in June, and posted it on the Google Webmaster Central blog
as well. I’ve found that when Google “strongly recommends” something, it’s worth looking into.
So there you have it. Renewed effort in blogging. At least this year’s hosting will have this post to show for it. :)