What do Hush Puppies have to do with SEO?
In Malcolm Gladwell’s #1 international bestseller “The Tipping Point”, we learn that:
• Hush Puppies (a classic American shoe), sold as low as 30,000 pairs of shoes a year, then in 1995 (several decades past its prime) it sold 430,000 pairs, and the year after it sold 4 times that amount – 1,720,000 pairs.
This dramatic and viral turn in its fortunes was started by kids in the East Village and Soho who wore the Hush Puppies precisely because they were NOT in fashion. They weren’t intent on creating a fad but in the space of 2 years, the shoes went viral from it’s Manhattan hipster start to appearing in every mall in America.
The ‘Phenomenon’ of ‘Viral’ Spikes in Search Engine Traffic
The SEO world often works the same way. When you begin the process of search engine optimizing your website you’ll often see slow, gradual increases in search engine traffic (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc…). Then one day, perhaps many months later, you’ll see a dramatic and almost ‘viral’ spike in your search engine traffic, including a corresponding spike in your sales.
What happened? And, what is this tipping point?
First, Know Thyself
First, what we have to do is to re-configure our mindset. We’re used to thinking in terms of x effort producing a concomitant x amount of results; that life, business and SEO processes are gradual and incremental. Oftentimes they are but many times they’re not … so get used to that fact. (Read Malcolm Gladwell’s book if you need more explanation, background and examples.)
Second, we can’t even ask ourselves what the tipping point is or how to get there until we’ve developed a much better understanding of our own motivations, business and clients.
We have to ask ourselves and understand the most ‘basic’ questions first:
Why are we in business?
What is it that we’re trying to accomplish?
Is there a market for our service or product?
Who is our Client? Where is our Client? How do we reach our Client?
What motivates our Client?
Aside from our service or product, what is there that we can offer to our Client that would be valuable to them? Is it some type of information, content, access or functionality that they can’t get anywhere else or at least can get most easily from us?
What is our unique selling proposition? (Or, maybe more appropriately, what is our unique serving proposition?) (Remember, selling is not about selling. Selling is about serving – serving the needs of our Clients. We are not aiming to be the best seller – though we will accomplish that as a result of aiming to be the most trusted, credible and valuable server.)
How do we build trust and credibility? (Because if we don’t have trust and credibility we have nothing.)
How do we build presence? Word of mouth?
What new, better and super version of ourselves do we have to achieve and become in order for us to truly serve our Clients and to tip the scales virally in our favor?
The Role of SEO – It’s Only a Tool but a Tool that can ‘Tip’
When you know the answers to these questions, then you’ll begin to see where you need to be and what SEO, SEM and SMM tools you’ll need to give it that extra push to get your business past the ‘Tipping Point’.