Archive for November, 2008

The First Step to Good SEO: Have Good Content

November 14, 2008

A lot of our clients here at GrafiQa regularly ask us how to get ranked as high as possible by Google, Yahoo! and other search engines.

Their motivations are pretty obvious: get seen by more customers, get more qualified leads, get more business.

Many people think that Search Engine Optimization is about manipulating or tricking search engines into ranking your website higher. That’s dead wrong. Why would you want to trick Google or Yahoo? That means you’re tricking your potential customer (who isn’t really your potential customer anyway since he’s probably not really interested in what you’re selling if you tricked them).

Trickery isn't nice. And it's not real Search Engine Optimization either.

Charlie Brown knows that trickery isn't very nice. But it's not good Search Engine Optimization either.

The first step to effective SEO is actually having relevant and useful content about your product, issue or whatever it is you’re marketing.

Sounds simple, right? It is.

Think about it: if you want to buy small-scaled steel kettle drums, you want Google or Yahoo to direct you to the best, most relevant dealer for that type of specialized equipment. You don’t want them to direct you to some random music equipment dealer in Tacoma who’s really selling indian tablas but “tricked” the seach engines into thinking his selection was broader.

Successful search engine companies are smart. And they know that finding the best, most relevent sites for their customers is what is going to keep those customers coming back.

So, if you’re thinking about SEO, start by understanding that the first step is being honest about what you’re doing.

(Of course, there are a million more advanced things to do after that. But that’s a whole other post….)

Seth’s Blog talks POSITIVE

November 12, 2008

Here’s a great post yesterday from marketing guru Seth Godin’s blog about qualities that good marketers possess. While he’s framing this particular discussion in terms of hiring, what he’s really talking about isĀ  (cliche alert) the Power of Positive Thinking.

Seth Godin: The Marketer’s Attitude

Cliches aside, it surprises me almost every day how many times I can consciously choose to change a negative feeling or attitude into a positive one – and that conscious decision usually helps produce a more positive result.

Sound hokey? Yes.

Still good advice for your business and life in general? Absolutely.

How am I unique?

November 7, 2008

That’s question #1 to ask yourself before you take a step down the marketing-your-organization path.

We’re currently working with an organization to try to help bring more tourists into a small, rural community. It’s a great place – they have interesting little shops, cool restaurants, historic buildings, arts and cultural stuff, rivers, mountains, and more.

Unique? Sure was in 1985.

Unique? Sure was in 1985.

But the tough part of the project is that dozens of other destinations within 200 miles of this one have nearly the same kind of attractions. It’s just the nature of the region and geography.

So the question we posed is: how are you unique? The group came away with some really cool and interesting answers that helped us hone in on how to market this community to the rest of the world. And I’ll bet it’ll drive up tourism dollars for them over the next twelve months.

The lesson is this: before you dive into the messaging, targeting, designing and other fun stuff that comes with marketing and advertising, take some time to think about who you are and why someone would want to visit/spend money/etc. with your organization as opposed to a competitor. That’s how you are unique in the marketplace.