How To ‘Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing’


Google’s latest change, removing Authorship from the search results, was a enough to set the online marketing community aflutter, as folks wondered what’s next from the search engine juggernaut. It doesn’t help that a rumored Panda refresh sent tremors through the industry recently and, word is, a Penguin update is expected any day now.

What’s a marketer to do?

Take a deep breath. We don’t have a crystal ball —at least not one that we’re ready to make public— but the latest changes and rumors of change are nothing to lose sleep over. Google makes changes daily, and most of those changes arouse little fanfare, primarily because they go unnoticed. What we’ve learned is the news itself can often serve to be more harmful than the actual substance of the news.

For example, most brands that don’t play the low-quality links or thin-content game have little to fear from Penguin and Panda. What’s more, the HTTPS migration warrants caution, not hysteria.

Don’t Become Distracted From Your Long-Term Goals

Recently, while while watching ESPN’s recent coverage of 2014 NCAA Football National Champion Florida State Seminoles, we heard a quote that resonated: “Keep the main thing the main thing.”Those words were uttered by FSU coach Jimbo Fisher when asked how he keeps his team focused on the year ahead.

We liked the short, sweet, all-inclusive summation that coalesces individual and team goals. Most important, however, we like how, when applied to business, it serves to keep our eyes on the prize so we always know what’s important -the goal(s).

Let’s say your company has a 90-day goal of growing blog traffic, which means you’ll need team members producing engaging content for the site on a daily basis. To do this, each person is given the assignment of spending two hours per week to better understand the needs of their prospects and clients, through phone calls, emails and online research.

With the “Keep the main thing the main thing” mantra top-of-mind, you can deliver several actionable tips to the team:

1. Take a timeout: Saying “Don’t let daily distractions get in the way of progress” is easy in theory. In reality? Not so much. Whenever you read or hear something that gives you pause, take a chill pill before deciding to do anything with the information. Get away from the report or the news, then come back with a fresh perspective. If it requires attention, get a second opinion. If could be that the information deserves nothing in the way of meaningful attention.

2. Make the time for what’s important: It’s not enough that team members are responsible for finding two hours a week for research and interviews. They must build this routine into their schedule. Have each person block off time during the day or the week to make this a reality.

3. Reconvene, regroup, refine. Remember, the goal is to see sustainable progress at or before 90 days. With that in mind, your team must be continually meeting, assessing, refining and deploying new techniques to get at what performs best in the way of onsite content. The best results come about through making the process iterative, whereby you’re subtly tweaking the content even as the results are improving in your favor.

Care to share your company’s tips for keeping your eye on the prize and attacking your goals?

About Ronell Smith

I'm digital strategist and content geek who's passionate about helping businesses wade through the B.S. and get the results they desire. I rant often about user experience, PR, SEO, branding, product innovation or content marketing. Otherwise, I'm just a boring nerd who dreams about disruptive innovation, long-form feature writing, nuclear physics, entomology and sniper rifles.

Filed under: Tips