Know Your Fish

I spent my last year of college heavily entrenched in ethnography, a use of which I will now demonstrate for your reading pleasure. For those of you who know nothing about anthropology or sociology, ethnography is simply a method of studying a group of people by becoming an insider. Obviously this has uses in many fields, but I think it has a particular significance in search engine marketing. You can’t really market (at least not very well) to a group that you know nothing about. Punk rockers aren’t going to buy sweatshirts with dancing cats on them (at least I hope to God they aren’t) so if you’re selling the aforementioned horrific sweatshirts with dancing cats on them, which usually just depress everyone, don’t set up ads for keywords like “punk rock apparel” or else I will have to track you down.

Link baiting also needs a little investigative work, if it’s going to work to your advantage. When you’re trying to bait, think about the type of people you want to attract, the people who will convert and help you reach whatever goal you have for the site. In doing this blog, we obviously want traffic from people who like search engine marketing and want to read about it. We’re not overly interested in getting my mom to check the site daily, since she has no freaking idea what I do and she would only use this blog for evil. OK sorry…I’m calm now. Anyway, Siphus Flibbertigibbet (his name has been changed to protect him in case we actually use his idea at some point) suggested that, in order to generate some traffic to the site, the SEO Chicks get in bikinis and wash cars. After I immediately ran out to buy a new bikini, I decided to discuss this idea with Lisa, who suggested Siphus wear the bikini and wash the car. I then suggested evilgreenmonkey wear the bikini and wash the car. See how it works? Which would you rather see, the SEO Chicks doing this or evilgreenmonkey? Don’t worry about hurting his feelings. This kind of thing IS link bait. It might seem trashy or offensive to some, but think about the trashy and offensive guys in this industry. OK I AM KIDDING! Totally kidding.

Think about things you tend to laugh at. Speaking for myself (like I’d speak for anyone else), I enjoy seeing a food cart get overturned in a chase scene. Even though I see it coming every damn time, I laugh like a moron when it happens. I also enjoy it when a criminal runs through a crowd and knocks people down. That kind of thing would almost make me buy a sweatshirt with a dancing cat on it, especially if Johnny Rotten was rubbing it. Doing this gets you into the mindset of figuring out what is going to get someone’s attention. We have all seen amazing examples of link baiting, even some that don’t involve gladiators which just plain sucks to be honest, so think about what makes them so attractive (the link baits, not the damn gladiators) and learn from that. Don’t go into the game without taking the time to figure out who it is that you want to attract. Otherwise you are wasting your time, and wasting everyone else’s. Kind of like how I’ve just wasted yours really…

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4 Responses to “Know Your Fish”

  1. That’s so funny Julie. Great post! Love the name Siphus Flibbertigibbet…lol

  2. You are freaking weird!

  3. [...] Know your customer – you know what I mean. We all have ‘customers’ – so know how they think, why they think like that, how often they think, what they think of and so on… Julie made a very good point a while ago – in her post Know Your Fish. [...]

  4. [...] than I had intended. However, I can now easily see why it was, unfortunately. Considering my first post for this blog was about knowing your audience and relating to them in terms of their culture, this was a mistake [...]

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