Thursday, August 16, 2012

7 Habits of Highly " Effective People"

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Instead of reacting to or worrying
about conditions over which they
have little or no control, proactive
people focus their time and energy
on things they can control. The
problems, challenges, and
opportunities we face fall into two
areas--Circle of Concern and Circle of
Proactive people focus their efforts
on their Circle of Influence. They
work on the things they can do
something about: health, children,
problems at work. Reactive people
focus their efforts in the Circle of
Concern--things over which they
have little or no control: the national
debt, terrorism, the weather. Gaining
an awareness of the areas in which
we expend our energies in is a giant
step in becoming proactive.
In our world, being proactive means
you can't chase an algorithm.
What we can focus on are those
things that we can control, which is
develop a sound web presence that
the search engines “should want to”
rank – one that:
Presents a quality user experience.
Has quality/resourceful/unique
Has earned links through methods
that most would call “good
There are many things that are
within our circle of influence, such
Selecting the right keywords to
Building quality websites.
Making sure that content is
Developing sitemaps.
Maintaining clean code.
Promoting content.
Distributing press releases.
While we must be aware, and
understand, things like Google
Panda/Penguin and other major
changes in the algorithms, if we
focus on doing “good marketing”, all
other things should fall in line, and
major algorithm changes shouldn’t
be a concern.
You want to try to build a company’s
web presence that the search
engines should want to rank.
Perhaps, that way, you aren't
reacting to algorithms but actually
working “ahead” of any algorithm
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
So, what do you want to be when you
grow up? That question may appear
a little trite, but think about it for a
moment. Are you--right now--who
you want to be, what you dreamed
you'd be, doing what you always
wanted to do? Be honest. Sometimes
people find themselves achieving
victories that are empty--successes
that have come at the expense of
things that were far more valuable to
them. If your ladder is not leaning
against the right wall, every step you
take gets you to the wrong place
Habit 2 is based on imagination--the
ability to envision in your mind what
you cannot at present see with your
eyes. It is based on the principle that
all things are created twice. There is
a mental (first) creation, and a
physical (second) creation. The
physical creation follows the mental,
just as a building follows a blueprint.
If you don't make a conscious effort
to visualize who you are and what
you want in life, then you empower
other people and circumstances to
shape you and your life by default.
It's about connecting again with your
own uniqueness and then defining
the personal, moral, and ethical
guidelines within which you can most
happily express and fulfill yourself.
Begin with the End in Mind means to
begin each day, task, or project with a
clear vision of your desired direction
and destination, and then continue
by flexing your proactive muscles to
make things happen.
I have often asked prospects this
very question (“What do you want to
be when you grow up?”). Without
knowing where you’d like to be, how
do you get there? What are the
When I hear “I want to rank for this
one specific keyword”, I am very
inclined to elect not to work with
that company. I’m not about “empty”
When I hear “we’d like to grow sales
by X” or “we’d like to grow traffic by
Y," then I know that there is
potential in an ongoing relationship.
Once we’ve determined that there
may be a fit, it is the responsibility of
any good SEO to lay out a plan based
upon the end goals, and begin the
process of developing the necessary
steps to achieve the end goal.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
To live a more balanced existence,
you have to recognize that not doing
everything that comes along is okay.
There's no need to overextend
yourself. All it takes is realizing that
it's all right to say no when
necessary and then focus on your
highest priorities.
Habit 1 says, "You're in charge.
You're the creator." Being proactive
is about choice. Habit 2 is the first, or
mental, creation. Beginning with the
End in Mind is about vision. Habit 3 is
the second creation, the physical
creation. This habit is where Habits 1
and 2 come together. It happens day
in and day out, moment-by-moment.
It deals with many of the questions
addressed in the field of time
management. But that's not all it's
about. Habit 3 is about life
management as well--your purpose,
values, roles, and priorities. What are
"first things?" First things are those
things you, personally, find of most
worth. If you put first things first, you
are organizing and managing time
and events according to the personal
priorities you established in Habit 2.
Often, when performing a
competitive analysis, we find
websites that are quite successful
(getting a lot of quality organic
search traffic for keywords that we’d
like to target). When we can identify
those top competitors and uncover
the reasons why they are successful,
we can reverse engineer their
success and build a program based
upon “best practices”.
When you compare the reasons why
a competitor may have more success
than you, you can begin to develop a
program based upon address those
“holes” (deficiencies) and scope out a
project plan, accordingly.
If you’re like most, you may not have
an unlimited budget and you’ll need
to prioritize your efforts. For some,
link building may be the most glaring
need. For others, a lack of content to
support ranking for keywords in the
However you go about getting to the
end goal, you must understand the
end goal – first – in order to
understand the prioritization of steps
necessary to be successful.
For SEO programs, most agree upon a
common “
hierarchy of needs”. As a
general rule, this is a good
illustration of those (SEO) needs:
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Win-win sees life as a cooperative
arena, not a competitive one. Win-
win is a frame of mind and heart that
constantly seeks mutual benefit in
all human interactions. Win-win
means agreements or solutions are
mutually beneficial and satisfying.
We both get to eat the pie, and it
tastes pretty darn good!
A person or organization that
approaches conflicts with a win-win
attitude possesses three vital
character traits:
Integrity: sticking with your true
feelings, values, and commitments
Maturity: expressing your ideas and
feelings with courage and
consideration for the ideas and
feelings of others
Abundance Mentality: believing
there is plenty for everyone
From an industry standpoint,
someone who has done a
tremendous job in understanding
this “habit” very well is
Rand Fishkin.
From my recollection, Fishkin was the
first person to take his “corporate
website” and turn it (largely) into a
Fishkin then proceeded to “give
away” his IP (Intellectual Property).
Anything that he knew, or thought,
or whatever was posted for the
community at large to read,
disseminate, comment and – yes –
share (links).
I don’t know when that was, but it
seemed very early (Rand, if you read
this, I’d love for you to comment).
Fishkin understood something that
took me a while to wrap my head
around: the more you give, the more
you get. This has been the
foundation of my advice for folks
getting into social media, and it’s
something that I can now
demonstrate results from, myself.
My company’s website has earned
most of its links through our blog. We
try to write helpful, interesting posts
and we promote those
posts. Sometimes, we earn some
pretty significant/“good” links.
I’ve also been writing for Search
Engine Watch and/or Clickz for a
little over 5 years now, and have
been a speaker at industry
conferences for a little over 6 years.
“Giving away” content is a good thing
(I’ve earned speaking engagements,
new business and – yes – some links,
because of these efforts). You get
rewarded, if not immediately.
Convincing companies (clients, in my
case) that they, too, need to consider
this can be a challenge. But, if you
step forward with proving helpful/
resourceful content (even if your
competitors are reading it), you
position yourself as a thought-leader
and can win “on the back end.”
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand,
Then to be Understood
Communication is the most important
skill in life. You spend years learning
how to read and write, and years
learning how to speak. But what
about listening? What training have
you had that enables you to listen so
you really, deeply understand
another human being? Probably
none, right?
If you're like most people, you
probably seek first to be understood;
you want to get your point across.
And in doing so, you may ignore the
other person completely, pretend
that you're listening, selectively hear
only certain parts of the
conversation or attentively focus on
only the words being said, but miss
the meaning entirely.
Without understanding this principle,
you may try to target keywords that
you think everyone should be
searching for, rather than doing the
research to see how people
actually search for your products
and/or services.
How many SEOs out there have
worked with companies that are
clearly determined to push forward
on their way of describing their
products/services, even though
research shows that no one is
searching in that manner? I refer to
this as CEO-itis. That is, the CEO has
his vernacular and is very
determined to have a website full of
fluff content rather than crafting
content to be more in line with
When you listen first, and then
understand, you have a much better
chance at success. The same can be
said about success social media
marketing efforts.
Habit 6: Synergize
To put it simply, synergy means "two
heads are better than one."
Synergize is the habit of creative
cooperation. It is teamwork, open-
mindedness, and the adventure of
finding new solutions to old
problems. But it doesn't just happen
on its own. It's a process, and through
that process, people bring all their
personal experience and expertise to
the table. Together, they can
produce far better results that they
could individually. Synergy lets us
discover jointly things we are much
less likely to discover by ourselves. It
is the idea that the whole is greater
than the sum of the parts. One plus
one equals three, or six, or sixty--you
name it.
A proper SEO effort is one in which
PPC works with SEO, PR works with
SEO, social marketing works with
SEO, copywriting works with SEO,
video/image teams work with SEO,
web design/development teams work
with SEO, and IT teams work with
Getting this synergy in place can lead
to beautiful results. However, if
synergy isn't in place, you can't
expect to realize optimal results.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Sharpen the Saw means preserving
and enhancing the greatest asset
you have--you. It means having a
balanced program for self-renewal in
the four areas of your life: physical,
social/emotional, mental, and
Sharpen the Saw keeps you fresh so
you can continue to practice the
other six habits. You increase your
capacity to produce and handle the
challenges around you. Without this
renewal, the body becomes weak, the
mind mechanical, the emotions raw,
the spirit insensitive, and the person
SEO, when done well, isn't a one-
and-done affair. Optimization of
results, via analytics review/analysis,
usability reviews, on-going
tweaking/refining of on-page/off-
page SEO and conversion
optimization lead to better and better
results, over time.
You must sharpen the saw and
always consider how things can be
better. Certainly, new and interesting
opportunities present themselves all
the time.
If you had “completed” an SEO effort
several years ago, you might not
have been taking advantage of
“new” opportunities such as local,
news SEO, video SEO, shopping feed
optimization or even blogging/social
Things change, and we must always
look for ways to be better at our craft
and seek out new/interesting
opportunities for advancement of the
SEO efforts.

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