December 5, 2006
December 4, 2006
When I was a child, growing up in Denver, I had the most successful lemonade stands in the city. I was pulling in like 40 buck a Sunday, at age 8. Some of the bigger kids, especially those 4th grade crybabies, would whine to their parents because they were losing money while I was raking it in. I started charging a 20% marketing fee to help them hold successful lemonade stands too. Those lessons and secrets, which made my stand the most profitable around, are all you really need to know about SEO
1. # of Signs on Light Poles = # of Incoming Links
Of course, the single most important feature of a successful lemonade stand is the signs that point the way to your corner. Many of my competitors would throw up one or two signs, right there on their block, and then start selling. Big Mistake! I would always have at least 10 signs up that directed traffic to my stand. Drip marketing is very important, especially to target walk-up traffic. If they start to see the signs from 5 blocks away, they will start thinking and imagining what the stand is like. Once they have invested some thinking time, they are much more likely to stop by.
Inbound links work the same way for seo. Of course, the quality of the link has to be addressed, and it will be later, but it is important to have lots of links from varied sources. If you have 10 links, from strong sites, and your competition has two links, from equal sites, you will be in a better position.
2. Text of the Sign = Anchor Text
Ugly Jack Rollins was my competitor from down the block. He used to howl in anger, when foot traffic would pass him by, to come to my stand. He used the same sign every week. It said” Cool Drinks- 15 cents a cup. I always made sure to have my major keywords on my signs, so that the visitors who came would be more specifically targeted. Some examples of my sign are “Worlds Coldest Lemonade 20 cents for a trip to the Artic” and “Do You Hate Lemonade? Try Ours on the Cheap” If you were thirsty for some lemonade, and really, who wasn’t, which stand would you stop by? I would also use words that got them emotionally invested. “Sweet Lemonade Made by Cute Children” worked wonders, because they started to think about their own kids, and if they liked their kids, they would always buy.
The anchor text of the link is also very important for seo. When the search engines spider the links, they place heavy weight on the anchoring text. If you have a link that says “exit” and it brings you to your site, it will have less effect than the same link that is displayed as “Cheap Blue Widgets”
3. Placement of the Sign = Value of the Site That Links to You
Everyone knows the old saying “All light poles are created equal, but some light poles are more equal than others” I learned this to be the truth, very early on. In our suburban area of West Denver, there are a few main thoroughfares and lots of side streets. Of course, my parents would never let me hold my stand on Colfax, the busiest street around, because it was “way too dangerous…but Mommmm…” However, my hobo friend hobo John, would place some signs on the busy streets for me. Of course, this was an excellent move, because the traffic that saw those signs was 100 times greater than those walking and driving along our streets. Ugly Jack sure did pay the price for never bringing hobo John any leftovers.
100 signs on Vrain Street could never compare to one sign on Colfax Ave. In other words, Vrain was a hub, and Colfax was an authority. The number of links is important, but where they come from is much more important. Aside from the actual traffic that comes your way from a much busier site, the search engines will view the trust rank of the sites that link to you. Having links from industry authorities can establish you as someone who has quality, link-worthy content.
4. Title, Headers, Meta Tags and Meta Keywords = Sign Graphics
My first consulting job was to design the signs for the 4th grade class of Lake elementary School’s annual lemonade stand. I had my older sister help me with the colors of paint and the backdrops, to maximize the visual effect. 10 signs that don’t catch your eye won’t bring as much business as one sign that does. It is vital, to succeed in selling lemonade, that you be able to get some motorist business. In order to even get them to read your sign, you need to have the graphics to catch their eye.
H1 and 2, title, meta keywords and meta descriptions are like that graphic. It is great to have quality content but if the search engines miss it, because of a silly mistake in one of these categories, you will pay the price. Most reputable seo companies will minimize this part of seo, and for good reason. It is so elementary, that doing a good job won’t really help you all that much. However, they would all agree, that doing a poor job on these will hurt you.
5. Landing Page = Lemonade Stand
Sarah “four eyes” Green had a leg up on all of the competition. Her dad let her operate her lemonade stand in front of his car wash. Now, Uncle Dave’s Car Wash and Tax Return Service had a lot of customers come by every Sunday, for the weekly dart game. However, she had some competition, since her dad sold moonshine from his Chevy station wagon. Before we started “dating”, she never did sell much lemonade. She always used to sit in the same place, and expect people to know what she was selling.
Once I came around, we changed things up a bit. We made 2 signs. One was facing the car wash and it said “Wash away your thirst with some ice cold lemonade” The other one faced the tax return service and it said “We Don’t Pay Any Taxes. Buy Our Lemonade to Spite the IRS”
Lots of traffic from the serps is completely worthless if you can’t convert any of it. The landing page that is optimized to bring traffic, better get across the information you are trying to convey within a few seconds, or your visitors will hit that back button faster than you can say “milk milk, lemonade…”
Stay tuned for the next 5 reasons why SEO is like selling lemonade
I have a list of my top 10 favorite seo’ers. My next few posts will primarily be aimed at getting them to notice me.