“Maybe next year‚” These three simple words have done more to stop businesses from growing than almost any other. While vision casting and planning for the future are great, if you don’t start taking steps in the direction you want to go now, you’ll never get there. One of the most common questions I get from new clients is, “How soon will I see results?” While the standard answer is three to six months, what I really try to convey is that SEO and Inbound are about building sustainable growth over time. But you’ll never see this growth if you don’t take action.
Everyone wants to grow, but few are willing to put in the work and time it takes to get there. While there are ways to get “quick wins,” consistent growth takes time and a little bit of grind. The hardest thing for most people is to just get started. I get it. I’ve been there. There is something comfortable in talking about what you want, but when you start working toward it, you begin to feel extremely vulnerable and unsure. Let me share 3 lessons I’ve learned on my journey regarding how to push back against excuses and begin to work toward growth.
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The Viral Myth
There is this common misconception that all you need is one piece to go “viral,” and then you’re set. Here’s the issue. Most viral pieces have a very short lifecycle. While some viral pieces have stood the test of time and continue to generate traffic and conversions, most of the time, they have more in common with “one-hit wonders” than anything else.
Like any other “overnight” success story, it takes consistent work to get lasting results. This isn’t to say you can’t get quick wins because you can. I’m also not suggesting that having something go viral is a bad thing. If you know how to capitalize and build off what worked, you can benefit greatly. What I want to caution against is the lie that “going viral” is the end all be all.
Do the Work
Another question I get asked all the time is, “Where do you find the time to run your agency and write.” My answer, I make time. If you want to see results, you have to do the work. Do I always want to get up and write? Nope. But I know that if I want to continue to provide value, grow my business, and extend my circle of influence, writing is part of what I have to do.
One of the ways I have been able to find time to do the work necessary for growth is by batching my time. Each night before I go to bed, I set my schedule for the next day. I batch time for writing, email, agency work, meeting prep, or whatever else I have to accomplish the next day. Batching time lets me focus my attention on the tasks at hand and has resulted in increased productivity and more work getting shipped. To help me plan, here is the planning method I use.
Trust the Data
We live in a pretty amazing time. We have more access to data than ever before. The problem is many either ignore the data or aren’t sure how to use the data to help them create better content and marketing strategies. Free tools like Google Analytics can give you a ton of information about what is working and what is not working on your site. This information can be used to help you create more focused content and improve your site engagement.
Under “Audience” in Google Analytics, you can learn about the people visiting your site. By enabling demographics and interests, you can begin to learn about the gender and age of your users as well as their interests and affinities.
To open the Demographics and Interests reports:
- Sign in to your Analytics account.
- Navigate to your view.
- Select the Reporting tab.
- Select Audience > Demographics or Audience > Interests.
Another great section in Google Analytics that’s full of powerful data can be found under “Behavior.” Here you can get a clearer understanding of how your users are using your website, what type of content they like, and what type of content is causing people to leave your site. To see your best-performing landing pages, just click Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages.
So, now that you have this data, how can you use it? If you want to engage your audience, you have to speak their language. While I recommend doing deep buyer persona research and development, this information alone can help get you started in the right direction. Both demographics and interest data can be used to contextualize your marketing efforts.
These are just a few recommendations to help you get the most out of your marketing this year. If you want to see results, you must put in the work, trust the data and focus more on shipping your work instead of hoping for everything to go “viral.” Setting goals and planning is great. But it’s an action that leads to results!