Thursday, May 21, 2009
Lessons for bloggers from a book about search engine marketing...
The Findability Forumula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing by Heather Lutze is a book that tells business owners how to set up a successful marketing campaign. And a successful campaign, these days, means having a website that can be found by Google and the other major search engines.
This would not seem, at first, to have much to do with blogging. However, one important lesson pointed out by Lutze is that businesses often make the mistake of focusing on the macro rather than the micro. A seller of TV sets may think it is better to use internet ads with broad keywords (words that will be found by search engines) such as "TV seller" instead of "large screen plasma TVs." But the broader terms often get lost in the back pages of search engine results; and 87% of those using search engines never look past page 3 or 4 of the results!
If I'm looking to buy a large screen plasma TV today, I'm more interested in the second set of keywords and I'd be even more interested in a business with an internet ad using these keywords: "large screen plasma TVs Sacramento Elk Grove." The local Sacramento-Elk Grove business might get less "hits" than a national electronics chain, but it is also going to be found by a local client base. These satisfied clients may well become repeat customers.
Those of us relatively new to blogging often make a similar mistake. Let's see - we think - if I write about music, I'll write about The Beatles because so many people are interested in this topic. Wrong - if I do my blog post on Those Guys may not be found by anyone for 6 or 7 months. It will not only quickly get lost with all the other Fab Four posts, it is likely to show up on no better than page 64 of the Google Blog search results.
So instead of thinking large/macro, let's think smaller and targeted/micro. If I write about Paul McCartney and Badfinger, or George Harrison and Badfinger, I'll have a lot to unique things to say about the relationship between two specific bands (even though one was not nearly as commercially successful). I can write about how Paul wrote their first major hit, about how George produced them and played lead guitar on one of their biggest singles, about how Paul look-alike Joey Molland of Badfinger wrote the "more McCartney than McCartney" screamer Rock of All Ages.
Bang! A lot of very loyal and longtime Badfinger fans are going to find my hypothetical post on their favorite search engine. Each one may tell another fan to go and read my post, and they may often return to my blog site in the future. They might even post a link on their Badfinger fan blogs to my blog.
Best of all, the more they read my posts on their favorite, if smaller-time, band, the more my blog pieces move up in the search results... making them easier to find for future readers.
Again, micro rather than macro, small rather than big. Small Faces rather than Rod Stewart. Badfinger rather than the Beatles. Dave Mason rather than Traffic or Steve Winwood.
One last point, if you write about a BIG subject, what is it that you're going to say that's new that has never been said (or written) before? The answer is probably nothing. But become an expert on a small subject and more than a bit of what you write will seem new and interesting to a lot of curious readers.
Think about this, because I am certainly going to. I, myself - for example - need to get over posting about the mega-band Green Day 'cause everyone else already is doing so. An exaggeration, perhaps, but a needed one!