Question: What is the most valuable intangible in business?
No matter what area of business you apply the microscope, time management is the most valuable intangible. It can either make you the most efficient person you could ever be, or lead you down a path of confusion and misunderstanding as you put tons of work into your business but keep on seeing diminishing returns.
Working on your business is all about making the most of your time in every single task you take on. So what’s a good example of poor time management in business? Operating on old principles that have become irrelevant in the fast-paced world of innovation and adaptation.
A great example of operating on outdated principles can be found in search engine optimization. Search engine optimization (or SEO) is an area of digital marketing that changes rapidly in relation to consumer behavior and Google measurement metrics.
In the interest of saving time, many small business owners might think they can do their own basic SEO and get away with it. They can, but only if they stay up-to-date with best practices. Much like any area of business, managing your own SEO strategy it’s very easy to fall by the wayside and use methods that you think are effective, but in Google’s eyes are meaningless (or even harmful).
Here are 3 things I’ve noticed about SEO measurement that you should avoid if you want to make the most out of your time and effort:
The thing about conversion rates is that they are very alluring. Of course it would be great to take a quick look at your Analytics, notice that conversion rates are going up across the board, and then pat yourself on the back for a job well done. That would be a mistake. Why? Because unless you are purely an e-commerce site, conversion rates tell only part of the story. The common conversion metrics people look at are things like landing on your homepage, signing up for a newsletter, or the percentage of returning visitors. That might look like a good percentage on your Analytics report, but if it does not have a meaningful impact on your bottom line then you need to change things up.
Overall traffic is another appealing stat that can misinform you. Let’s say you incorporate some generic keywords into your site and see a 15% increase in site traffic over 6 months. Generating increased traffic really only matters if it leads to increased sales - otherwise the value of the effort is worthless. Focus purely on generating traffic that actually leads to sales, and to do that means cutting down your impressive overall traffic numbers and getting more specific.
3) Poor Keyword Descriptions
The best way to target meaningful searchers is to isolate long tail keywords in your niche. The big hitting keywords draw far too many site managers in because of the high volume of traffic they draw - until six months later they realize that all their work has led to no increase in sales.
Stick To Value-Added Issues Only
Remember that comment about time the beginning of this blog post? It applies to even the most acute levels of search engine optimization. To avoid aimless hours trying to improve your overall traffic, stick to value-added issues that bring in the money. At the end of the day, nothing else matters as much closing the sale.