What Starbucks Taught Me About Search Engine Marketing

When it​ comes to​ having a​ lot of​ options for coffee you​ can't really beat Starbucks. it​ seems that there’s virtually a​ store on​ every corner. Bad planning or​ an​ intentional marketing ploy? It's been statistically proven that the​ more Starbucks stores there are in​ a​ - mile radius the​ better each individual store will do. So what does this mean for your Internet marketing campaign? it​ means that the​ more 'stores' you​ own,​ the​ better your main store will do.

Here's a​ real-time illustration: if​ you​ have a​ main website and five incoming links,​ you'll get traffic to​ the​ main site from five places. Now this doesn't mean you​ need five additional sites along with your main one,​ these five incoming links are from other websites that often won't belong to​ you. Now if​ we're talking numbers let me say this: five is​ paltry compared to​ where you​ need to​ be. When we work with clients we like to​ double,​ triple,​ or​ quadruple their incoming links. What does this mean to​ sales? Well,​ let's go back to​ our Starbucks example. Let's say you’re scouring the​ 'Net for a​ perfect cup of​ Joe. When someone Googles "perfect cup of​ Joe" the​ mentions of​ your site come up in​ excess of​ 5,​000 times. Your competitors come in​ somewhere at​ 1,​000 or​ less. So it​ stands to​ reason that someone searching on​ this topic will go to​ your site before they hit your competitor,​ right?

Ok,​ so now that we have the​ incoming links thing down,​ how in​ the​ world do you​ go about getting all of​ these links? Well,​ sometimes the​ build is​ slow but that's ok. What we're looking for are high-quality,​ high-traffic incoming links to​ your site. Let's break this down even further.

Going after incoming links can happen a​ variety of​ ways. Not the​ least of​ which is​ a​ link you​ get from a​ site after your book is​ reviewed. That's probably the​ most basic link you​ can get. Ideally you​ want links from sites that can drive readers (buyers) to​ your book. Links from other author sites might be a​ nice way to​ network but they don't often leverage anything in​ the​ way of​ ranking or​ sales potential.

Why? Well,​ readers shopping for similar titles often won't migrate from one author site to​ another via a​ link,​ they'll generally head over to​ Amazon and find a​ list of​ "similar titles" or​ the​ category: Readers who bought this also enjoyed this title. Which then refers you​ onto a​ list of​ their best-selling books in​ the​ same genre. Second,​ unless you're getting a​ link from a​ celebrity author site,​ you'll probably find that most author sites don't have great ranking. Google looks at​ the​ ranking of​ the​ site that's linked to​ you​ to​ determine how valuable this link is​ and in​ turn,​ how much it​ will matter to​ your overall site ranking.

The ideal incoming link is​ from a​ niche site,​ meaning that if​ you're pushing a​ WWII novel or​ a​ book on​ dieting,​ the​ link is​ coming from an​ authority site,​ i.e. a​ site that specializes in​ that topic.

The next option for getting more real estate is​ to​ start your own social networking page. There are a​ variety of​ sites that can benefit you​ including: Linkedin,​ MySpace,​ Squidoo,​ and my personal favorite: Facebook. These sites can all offer you​ a​ way to​ connect not just with other people in​ these social networking circles but also gain a​ valuable incoming link to​ your site.

Article syndication is​ another fantastic way to​ get more links. Most of​ us know and understand the​ article syndication process. you​ write an​ article of​ 500-2,​000 words and send it​ (called syndicating) to​ sites like: EzineArticles,​ ArticleCity and many others. Remember to​ include your byline in​ the​ article with a​ link back to​ your site.

Commenting on​ blog postings is​ another way to​ drive links back to​ your site. Head on​ over to​ Technorati and dig up at​ least twenty of​ the​ top blogs in​ your market. Then get in​ the​ habit of​ commenting on​ the​ various posts with a​ link back to​ your site. the​ more you​ comment,​ the​ more links you’ll get. the​ secondary benefit to​ this is​ virtual networking: getting to​ know bloggers in​ your market is​ never a​ bad thing.

Gaining valuable real estate and building your "stores" isn't as​ difficult as​ you​ might think. it​ takes time,​ persistence,​ and some keen research skills to​ find the​ appropriate sites. in​ the​ end,​ the​ benefits far outweigh the​ amount of​ work you'll do. Gaining exposure online will increase traffic,​ build platform,​ enhance exposure and grow your bottom line. So take a​ lesson from Starbucks and start building a​ store on​ every corner. You'll be glad you​ did.

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