Back in August, I told you that I only had twelve feeds in my feed reader. Since then, I have actually reduced this number down to nine. Although I no longer spend a lot of time reading most blogs and news websites, I read quite a few non-fiction books every month.
I just finished reading a book called Made to Stick. Once I finished reading the book, I realized that the main principles of the book (which spell out the acronym SUCCESS) can provide a lot of benefits to SEOs and Internet marketers. So, let’s take a look at each principle and how it can be applied directly to the world of search engine optimization and Internet marketing:
Simplicty: I have been talking about the less is more principle for months. People are presented with an incredible amount of content and information every single day, so instead of trying to catch their attention by throwing loads of information at them and hoping they link to it, you are much better off focusing on creating content that creates a quick, strong reaction.
Unexpectedness: The best way to catch someone’s attention is to give them something that they weren’t expecting. In addition to using this principle to create specific pieces of content, I think it also shows why blogging can be so powerful. Instead of visiting a static website over and over, each time that someone visits a blog that has been updated, they are presented with a new piece of content to read that they have never seen before.
Concreteness: Since many SEOs are somewhat technical people by nature, this can be a very good principle for them to focus on. When you are talking to a general audience, you need to remember to talk in terms they can understand. While people reading Gizmodo will want to know about all the tech specs of a new device, if you are using a website to market a new device to the general population, you need to tell them what it can do for them, instead of telling them about all of its technical performance benchmarks.
Credibility: In the online world, I think the best way to create credibility for a website is to build a strong brand. When you have a brand that people recognize and are considered to be an authority within your field, people are going to link to you because your dominant credibility helps them build their own brand.
Emotions: Although we like to think otherwise, people are not always the most rational beings. If you can tap into someone’s emotions, you can create a much stronger connection with them than simply relying on logic and reason alone. This rule is quite evident in the online world. If you look at the top stories on social media websites, most of them cause some kind of strong emotional response. If you want people to read your content and link to it, you need to create content that taps into one of their many emotions.
Stories: This is a principle that I touched on in a previous post about getting people to link to you. I think that stories can be used to tie several of the other principles together. When you are able to tell an interesting story instead of presenting people with dull facts, you can create an emotional connection with your audience. Because people remember the story as a result of the emotional connection it creates, this story will help you continue to develop and expand your brand.
S: The Made to Stick acronym doesn’t actually have a principle to fill the last letter of the SUCCESS acronym, so I challenge everyone that is reading this to come up with one and share it with all of us in the comments!