January 29, 2008

Name Dropping Rules: A Blogging Tip

I love checking my blog stats, not just the raw numbers of views, but also such info as where my traffic is coming from. That’s how I discovered that my article on Wal-Mart had been cited by the Wall Street Journal. Woohoo — I’ve got Street cred!

I’m most intrigued by the search-engine terms that lead to Cool Rules Pronto. Who Googled “Freddy Nager blog”? And why is somebody researching “Spicoli origin”?

Here’s the key factoid I learned from looking at these search-engine terms: name dropping works….

I’m talking about corporate brand names. Particularly up-and-coming brand names.

For example, although I’ve received traffic from people Googling “Budweiser” and “Wal-Mart,” those results have been far outstripped by people Googling the smaller brands “Skullcandy” and “Blue Moon.” You might think it would be the other way around, but I hypothesize three reasons for this…

1. Interest Level. Budweiser and Wal-Mart are old news; Skullcandy and Blue Moon are new and still largely unknown. Consumers want more scoop!

2. Information Availability. It’s easy enough to find Bud’s website, and Bud is also covered by hundreds of other publications. As I mentioned in my article on Blue Moon, this smaller beer brand’s website isn’t even listed in its ad, so people need to Google to find any info about it.

3. Media Saturation. Wal-Mart issues a statement, and a million bloggers rant about it. But very few bloggers anywhere talk about a small company at any given time.

In other words, if you’re a new blogger who wants search-engine attention, think small — no, not the mom-and-pop taco stand down the street (save that for Yelp!); think small to mid-sized brands. Or bands. Or actors. Or politicians. They’re too small for mainstream media to devote space to, so it’s up to us bloggers to give ’em the spotlight they deserve. No wonder blogs are booming while mainstream media is declining!

So look for me to blog about more up-and-coming brands. I had thought about analyzing the ineptitude over at Sears, and how marketing might turn that dinosaur around. But does anyone care about Sears anymore? Obviously, consumers don’t – nor apparently does the chairman. It would all be a bunch of wasted pixels.

I’ll still write about marketing tips, like this article, even though they get relatively little search-engine traction. ‘Consider that the teacher in me just itching to share.

Update 9/18/8: Here’s proof that this works: Penelope Cruz. I mentioned her in my article on American Apparel and Woody Allen, and I’ve had over 500 search hits based on her name alone. I’m not exactly sure that’s a good thing: although I welcome the traffic, it’s not exactly relevant for my business.

Related Article: You Can Lead a Horse to Water But… The Limitations of SEO

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

One Response

  1. Atomic Tango, wow ,do you have a video of that, sounds cosmic. Thank you ,Freddy J. for the helpful blog news, I was researching blog rules and commented to let you know people are reading. what about that cat srcatch fever for the top book, let me know when it’s ready!
    Tootles, and Thanks again,Annette

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