Since it is the holidays I thought I would give an example of getting found online with a holiday theme. This year for Christmas my family has decided to take up the tradition of holding a yankee swap, where basically everyone brings a gift to the party and people choose gifts and swap them according to a set of rules. It can actually be even more fun than just opening gifts, and we still get to spend time together. Plus, you only need to buy one gift, not a gift for each person, which really reduces the stress and pressure of the holiday season, making it a lot more enjoyable. (Thanks for suggesting it, Kiddo!)
However, over email, there were a number of concerns about the exact rules we should use for our previous yankee swaps we had done with other people. It seems we had all played by slightly different rules. What did I do? Of course I went to Google. I searched for "yankee swap rules". After clicking on a few of the results, I found a website that seems to get the whole inbound marketing and Internet thing.
My Google search for "yankee swap rules":
- The first result for "yankee swap rules" was a PDF from www.yankee-swap.net that lists out the rules. I clicked on it. I put a link to it into an email to send to my family. Pretty useful.
- I went back to Google to learn more. The second result - an indented result to the first one, was the Yankee-Swap.net homepage. I also clicked on it.
- Back to Google to learn more. I skipped down to the 5th result, a page on Wikipedia (a known brand) and clicked on that. I read the article. What did I see on the bottom of the article? Two links back to the rules on Yankee-Swap.net. Interesting! I put a link to the Wikipedia article into the email to the family.
- Back to Google for more research. Now I see in the 6th result, a blog article about "What are the Rules to a Yankee Swap and How to Win". We have a competitive family, so I wasn't going to send out a link to these strategic tips, but I certainly read it for myself. What did I find? Well, in the article, there was another link to Yankee-Swap.net. Very interesting!
- I also checked out the 9th result, an entry from Yahoo! Answers. If the folks at Yankee-Swap.net had been really on top of things, they could have submitted an answer to that question and linked back to their rules page on their website as the resource they used to answer the question. They did not do this, but they could have.
What does this mean for your company?
What does all this mean? Think about it. A tiny company can have a presence on 50% of the first page of Google results for a core search term for their business. You might ask "but who cares about getting listed for yankee swap rules?" Don't you think Amazon would want to be listed in these results? Maybe with multiple pages with rules for different variations of the game, and then show gifts at different price points alongside the rules?
How is your company "getting found" online? If you search for some terms in your product category, can prospects find you? How much of the Google results do you dominate? Are there blog articles written by other people that mention and link to your company in the results? Are there other third party websites that mention and link to your company in the results? Does your company website even show up? What about your blog? How are you spreading your content around the web so that your prospects can't help but find you?
Don't stress about this topic too much today. Enjoy the holiday season. But put it on your calendar for January 7 to think about this and plot a strategy for 2008.