Could search results ever be stripped down to a box revealing just a single answer?

Could Google offer the ultimate user experience through “I’m feeling lucky” becoming the norm? No ten blue links to plough through. Just the answer in a clearly marked box.

It’s more than just an idle question. Last week Google ran an experiment getting back single answer pages. This was later confirmed by Danny Sullivan (now Google’s public liaison of search), stating the project has concentrated on queries around local time, conversion of units and calculations.

Having been vegetarian since the age of 7–8, oddly the thought of going vegan had never crossed my mind.

Until ~28 years later…

On a flight back from Tanzania in early Jan this year, I watched a documentary called Beyond Food.

In particularly, I found the stories from Rich Roll and Darin Olien on a plant-based diet truly inspiring.

Sadly, in 2012 my dad died of cancer, at the age of 56, having been very physically active and eating a healthy vegetarian diet.

To be honest, I’ve never been able to get my head around this — and always felt like maybe there was more I could have done to help him. I realise that means finding a cure…

I wanted to share three things with you, which I’m not even sure I realised were valuable skills at the time, but I’ve certainly come to appreciate more over the years.

I’m sure this will be different for everyone, but looking back, these are some things that have worked well for me:

1) Building a strong network = potential to fix challenges quicker

In the early days (~2003–2007-ish) I learned SEO by absorbing as much information as I could get my hands on, and by applying it to learn through experiences.

I still think this is the best way for…

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Although most brands confine their analysis of social sharing to share buttons and email newsletter tracking, our latest experiment shows that 87% of all shares are made through copy-and-paste direct from the address bar.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been an easy way to track dark social data (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, social direct messages, Slack, even email) until now.

Mobile sharing

When it comes to the overwhelming amount of content that is produced online, most brands would measure part of their performance on reader engagement.

This of course can be gauged by metrics like visits, bounce rate, time on page, scroll depth, and…

“We need results yesterday”

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Have you ever heard this before? Of course…

One of the challenges every marketer faces is the balance between doing what works short-term vs what is right long-term.

If you look at the sports teams that succeed, the factors are quite common:

  • Stability
  • Shared vision
  • Culture following core values
  • Willingness to try new things
  • Focus on continually improving performance

It’s the same with any team — even the short-term safe bets are no guarantee of success...

The fear of failure can hold you back, probably a lot more than you realize.

The key is setting expectations…

The best content tells a story, has a great hook and leaves people wanting more…

In this fascinating TED talk, JJ Abrams explains how he creates mystery:

The key takeaways for me were:

  1. “Mystery represents infinite possibility and sense of potential” — try to leave them wanting more.
  2. “Mystery is more important than knowledge” — not knowing something adds to the story as it makes you connect the dots — you don’t really see the shark in Jaws, or the alien in Aliens — you have to visualise it yourself.
  3. In ET and Jaws, the real stories are about…

The biggest skill from anyone I’ve ever worked within marketing, without a doubt is being curious.

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SEO is a great example of this, what used to work in the past, is no guarantee that it will work in the future.

Standing still is going backwards.

Yet in general, people don’t like change — even though we live in a world where the only constant is change… (Some say an internet year is 7 earth years!)

The key to being the one leading vs following, starts with curiosity:

  • I wonder what would happen if I tested…
  • This new invention looks interesting…

What’s the number one mistake marketers make time and time again?

They sell the output, not the outcome.

It’s easy to do — you get lost in your own world of speccing out what a job involves, or the features of a product. But you forget the most important thing — why someone is buying.

Take this as an example:

There’s always a challenge in avoiding the shiny objects, in order to focus on getting to where you really want to be…

There’s a big difference between looking good at what you do and being good at what you do. The best results are often the ones you don’t hear about.

These are my recommendations for keeping focused in the right areas:

1) You should be focused on achieving a goal…

In marketing especially, it’s very easy to get carried away with trying to be everywhere so that people can’t ignore you.

However, the reality is you don’t need to…

Once you’re in the office on Monday morning, trying to be proactive vs reactive is easier said than done…

You can’t just let stuff happen to you, you need a plan to make it happen. My recommendation is to take some time each Sunday in order to reflect and plan for the week ahead.

See point 4 — this is a screenshot of my weekly calendar view…

I can’t overstate the importance of being productive and keeping focused, here’s the 7 calendar planning tasks I recommend doing each Sunday in order to make sure you get your week off to a flying start:

  1. Retrospectively review your previous week — this is a tip…

Kevin Gibbons

Co-founder, CEO at @Re_signal, a strategy-driven content marketing agency

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