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The Missing Element in Search Engine Marketing. . . Creativity (Part 4 of 4)

by Robin Nobles

In the final part of this article, we'll be discussing my brainstorming ideas for Example #2, which you can add to your ideas.

Example #2: Online Retail Store 

Here are some of my brainstorming ideas:

Tips for re-writing titles and descriptions:

* Get rid of all trite words in your titles and descriptions. Use power words instead. Visit Thesaurus.com and type in trite words and substitute them for power words. For example, our products are always the "best," aren't they? (yawn) How about "incomparable" instead?

* Ask stimulating questions in your titles or descriptions. They make your potential audience stop and think. "What would a management planner be worth to you if it increased your productivity by 87%?"

* Solve problems for your visitors in your titles or descriptions. Save them money or time, or even offer your USP in your tags, only if appropriate. "Let us dig for antique books for you. Send us titles and authors, then sit back and relax!"

* Read this article on adding "zest" to your title tags: http://www.searchengineworkshops.com/articles/title-triggers.html

Back to the drawing board with keyword research:

* If you have great rankings for some of your keyword phrases but little corresponding traffic, it could be that your keyword phrases are "low-hanging fruit."

My suggestion would be to open new keyword windows by finding additional keyword phrases for your business. Go to Wordtracker (http://www.wordtracker.com) and do some research. Don't ever assume you know how your audience is searching. Read this article
to get you started: http://www.searchengineworkshops.com/articles/wordtrackerR.html

Create new pages based on your keyword findings. These new pages should provide value to your visitors and the search engines. They could be information pages about your products, "how to" pages, tutorials, interviews, articles, or whatever type of pages you feel would be worthwhile to your visitors.

Additional brainstorming ideas for an Online Retail Store:

* Get some domain ideas from online retail stores like Overstock.com (How could we ever forget the 'O'?) or IWantOneOfThose.com. Unforgettable domain names, yet quite simple.

I just went to Network Solutions, and I found these domain names for retail stores. They're currently available (at the time of this writing):

A-Shoppers-Dream.com
FromClocksToBlocks.com
Shopping-Just-For-You.com
ShoppersRS.com
Lets-Start-Shopping.com
Retail-Extravaganza.com

Any number of names would be easier to remember and possibly brand than GJLOnlineRetail.com.

Increasing Traffic Exercise My Brainstorming Ideas

I chose the online retail store, since that's the example we've been using. The target audience is mainly women ages 25 and up, though there are some products for men. The company sells children's products as well.

* I would analyze the site and make sure the site itself is compliant and all of the SEO basics have been covered.

* If the site is "code" heavy, I would go with CSS. The design would look totally the same. Visit http://www.csszengarden.com and you'll see what I mean.

* I would look at the product line carefully. We know the site sells clocks. Are these unique clocks by a particular designer? I would set up an online chat session with the designer and promote it heavily on the site. Send out a press release through
PRWeb.com. Have the designer autograph the clocks. Notify your customers by your newsletter about the autograph "party." Offer discounts. Make it a media event. Ask the designer to promote the autograph party as well. What other products do you sell that would fall into this same category?

* Do you sell a particular product to where you could have an "Ask the Expert" area on the main page of your site? Your visitors can ask questions, and the answers can be archived elsewhere on your site. This is a great way to add new and fresh content to your site on a continual basis.

* On the main page of your site, list your best selling items. You don't have to show their pictures just link to their interior pages. Psychology is such that if someone knows that an item is a "best seller," "I" should like it too, or at least give it a try.

* Be sure to have a page of specials or discounted items, and rotate them out.

* Hire a national celebrity to promote the Web site for short TV ads to help increase the branding of the site. Send out press releases, magazine articles, and newspaper ads for this national campaign. (I told you to brainstorm and be creative this is what I mean!)

* Toning down the TV ad idea, look into how much it would cost to put on TV ads late at night. I've seen many Web sites put on TV ads on late night TV. ILoveAlpacas.com is one that I see on a regular basis on national stations.

* Put up a billboard in a prime location. Use memorable language. Drivers will have to remember your URL or a keyword phrase where you're #1 or you'll lose the business between the time they see the billboard and the time they get home to their computers.

* Set up an affiliate program offering a 20% affiliate commission to anyone who promotes your product lines.

* With the national celebrity, introduce a new line of products featuring the celebrity. 50% of the proceeds will go to a nonprofit cause that you'll determine and promote. Get the celebrity on national news shows, etc.

* Send out press releases for all of the company's newsworthy activities.

* Set up a blog to where your customers can post feedback on your various products. Link back and forth between your product pages to your blog. Offer a discount to your customers if they'll post to your blog.

* Better yet, set up a blog with a purpose. Read this article to learn more: http://www.searchengineworkshops.com/articles/blogs-purpose.html

* What other products do you sell where the original creators could link to your site? Think "link popularity building" here.

* Think "article marketing" now. What "how to," "top 10 lists," or "interview" articles could you write as a way to add content to your site? This may be a way you could get your authors or product creators to create some content for you.

We're just getting started here. We could go on and on and on. Notice that we didn't cover some of the traditional forms of online advertising such as the PPCs, advertising in e-zines and lists, etc. Of course, you'll want to consider those avenues as you see fit.

I'm sure you were able to brainstorm many more ideas, and that's the beauty of creativity and idea creation. Let your mind flow.

Now, think about your own business. Compare my list to yours. Would any of the ideas work for your own business? Did you think of any other ideas to add? Can you change up some of the ideas to make them doable?

Some of the ideas may not work at all for you, and that's fine. Some may take some pre-planning to make them conform to your particular situation. Some you just won't like. But by brainstorming, you should have come up with some ideas for pulling in traffic to your site.

In Conclusion

Remember that Web site solutions don't have to come in the form of search engine optimization or technology. They can often come in the form of creativity . . . the missing element in search engine marketing.

(This is a 4-part article - Return to Part 1)


Robin Nobles conducts live SEO workshops (http://www.searchengineworkshops.com) in locations across North America. She also teaches online SEO training (http://www.onlinewebtraining.com). Sign up for SEO tips of the day at mailto:seo-tip@aweber.com.

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