August 14, 2013, 5:00 am

Tired of Boring Organization Planning Meetings? Start Optimizing For Real

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Productivity
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The business world is full of wonderful plans but lacks dramatically in simple execution

 time optimization

Are you in a position at work where you have to digest one meeting after another? Do you have the impression that you are being fed with all kind of great ideas, great planning but nothing has been done at the end of the day? Dont worry, you are not alone!


Planning Is In Our Genes But Where Is The Execution?


I’ve always been opposed to meetings at work when they weren’t necessary. Too often I simply sat down on a chair, sipping my coffee and wondering in my mind. This is all because great planning is nothing without execution. It seems that the human being loves to plan things, imagine them in his mind, but becomes darn lazy when it comes down to actually doing them.


The plan is not perfect. It requires fine tuning.

I have an urgent matter; I cant do that right now.

Ah I dont think its the right time to start this.

We are going to start slowly but surely.


Too many lame excuses to explain that You (ME!, WE!) are too lazy to simply do what we have to do. The worst part is that while I hate when ideas get stuck in the clouds while people dream about them, I have done the very same thing with my partner for several projects.


Setting Goals is Great, Following Up on Them is Better, But Doing Something About It Is the Real Deal


Here’s the problem with most of the goals in our online company: we set them, we follow them but we don’t complete all the tasks to actually achieve them.


I spent a few afternoons under the sun thinking about this problem. A problem that could look like this:


I Wish I Could Increase My Adsense Earnings


Great! We have a goal. We can even go a little deeper and make it SMART.

S: Specific (okay, we got that – increase monthly income by $300 through Adsense)

M: Measureable (awesome! Money is easily tracked!)

A: Attainable ($300 would equal to an increase of 15% of my current level, a challenge but attainable).

R: Relevant (we all want to make more money 😉 )

T: Time-Bound (ok, let’s make it happen before the end of the year 2013).


So we have a Smart goal and we think we are…. Pretty smart! Once we have our SMART goal, my partner and I usually go through a brainstorming session. This is where we get all the great ideas about how to make more money online. We make a list and then, assume we will work on it at one point in time.


So we have a goal, we have a plan but we seriously lack execution. This is why sometimes we achieve our goals (because we really got into it and make it happen) and this is when we completely drop the ball. This is all because we don’t trigger any action towards achieving our goal.


Trying Something New – The Devil Is In The Details


I’m tired of leaving so many projects on the table and without making them happen. This is how I came up with the following idea: what if I only focus on execution and not on planning?


Yeah… this does sound simple but just try to do it!


So in order to do that, I sat down and took more time planning… ahahaha! What could be better than doing more thinking instead of doing, right? Lol! But seriously, I focused on finding specifics tasks that will boost my Adsense earnings for each site (‘cause all sites are not created equal).


Examples of Specific Tasks to Reach Your Goals


Instead of simply working on writing “good content” or “doing keyword research” or “on-page SEO optimization”, I detailed tasks that will really make a difference. Instead of using common wording with barely no signification (what is good content anyways?), I’ve gone deeper in my reflection. The goal here is to break down tasks into small things to be done quickly (e.g. within a day of work) that would have immediate impact. This is what some successful internet marketers call “trial and error. It is with many trials and through many errors that you find success.


I started to identify two things I can work on to increase my Adsense earnings: Click Through Rate (CTR) and number of page views (e.g. traffic!). You can argue that you can also work on the EPC (earnings per click) but this is pretty much out of your control and directly related to your topic. Ads on a site discussing how to grow free peas & cucumbers will always make less money than ads on a site discussing life insurance. I’ll let you figure why ;-). Now that I’ve determined on what to focus, I need to find actions that can be triggered rapidly and efficiently.


#1 Use Quick Adsense & Play with Different Ad Formats

I used a relatively good performing site and tried to improve my Adsense click-through-rate. With the same traffic, if I can only get more clicks, I’ll make more money without doing much, right? But this requires time and effort. Here’s what I’ve listed as specific tasks:


#1 Create various Ad blocks with different channel names (to track their performance).

#2 Determine various placement possibilities on my site.

#3 Start with first configuration and wait for a month.

#4 Change configurations and try it for another month.

#5 Compare data after 3 months to see if there are any differences.


From a simple “optimize Adsense” or “improve Adsense placement”, I came up with a detailed list of small actions to complete that will lead me to eventually  “make more money with Adsense”.


#2 Combine Google Analylitics with Longtail Pro


The second point I need to work on is my traffic. How can I effectively improve my traffic without spending hours learning weird SEO techniques or paying for some link building?  By ranking about what Google wants me to rank for! You will probably notice that if you look into your Analytics stats; Google is pushing your site higher for specific topic it has decided you are the best fit for. Sometimes, you can find pretty odd topics that you would not believe you could rank for. This is what I intend to do with my site:


#1 Look at the top 20 most visited pages in Analytics.

#2 Cross reference it with the top 20 keywords driving traffic to my site.

#3 Enter these 20 keywords in Longtail Pro.

#4 Generate tons of derived keywords within seconds from LTP.

#5 Start writing about those topics and publish new articles (including Adsense block).


It All Comes Down to Process Design


Over the past few weeks,  worked on something a bit different. Instead of putting a lot of effort in planning and thinking about strategies, I’ve designed detailed processes. These processes includes series of actions that are easy to understand and easy to trigger.


The good thing about processes is that once you have one ready, you can copy and paste it for several other tasks. The more you put around your task and micromanagement, the better your results and effectiveness will become. You won’t wonder what to do anymore; you’ll have a highly specific list of things to accomplish.


As a matter of fact, I just finished my first month of trial with my Adsense optimization site. I compared July to May since they have the same amount of days. The thing to consider is that traffic always go down during summer time so I have less ad views in July compared to May. Nonetheless, I improved my Adsense earnings by 4.7% with 16.0% less ad views!


I can just tell you that in August, I’m doing more tests like this and follow my new processes!

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Have you thought about running A/B tests simultaneously, rather than splitting the tests apart a month at a time? AdSense can change quickly, which might skew your data and make you draw some incorrect conclusions.

For example, what if July had more advertisers competing for your ad space than May, so they bid up the CPC for you? What if the advertisers optimized their ads recently, which helped your CTR? What if you had a certain traffic source tick up in July that converted better than your other traffic sources?

Perhaps those outside variables were enough that, had you stayed with your May format, you would have seen a 6% increase in July instead of only 4.7%. By running A/B tests simultaneously, all those variables will be normalized and any gains/losses you see in your test results will actually be *your* doing.

Anyway, great post and you are definitely on the right track. Less planning, more doing, and test everything. I just though about a couple of the above scenarios when I read your tasks under “Use Quick Adsense…” and thought it might be something for you to take into consideration.