Write for Humans and Robots for Best Search Results

Write for robots, too.

Robots write for us. We can write for them, too!

I’m not an SEO expert. I don’t even play one on TV.

But I am a communications expert and, as part of my job, I’ve been writing my entire career.

In 2008, when social media began to take a hold, many of us had to quickly figure out how to use content to build our brands.

And, as part of that brand-building exercise, came learning how to write for both readers and robots.

In fact, I didn’t realize there was an entire technical side of writing until well into my blogging journey. I was just writing what I thought people would like to read and using our social networks to expand our readership. And it worked.

As it turns out, though, if you are smart and strategic about also writing for robots, you can extend your readership much more quickly than writing just for humans.

Before you get out the tar and feathers, I’m not advocating keyword-stuffed content. The first priority is always to your readers. But there are a few things you can do to help grow your audience.

Plan

Andy Crestodina at Orbit Media Studios has a template he likes to use when he sets out to write a blog post.

It includes the headline, the target SEO keyword or phrase, the meta description, the permalink, and the images you plan to use.

This is where you plan your work.

Think about the competition already on the web for the topic.

Think about the amount of searches around the keyword or phrase you want to use.

Consider the images – are they original? Did you buy them? Or are they Creative Commons?

Will your meta description motivate people to click on the link when they come across your blog post in a search?

Does your permalink have your keyword or phrase in it?

It’s important to consider all of these things as you plan your content.

Do Your Research

Now it’s time to do your keyword research.

Take a look at the word or phrase you chose. Does it have a lot of competition? How many monthly searches does it have?

Let’s say it has 100 monthly searches and there isn’t a lot of competition. That’s a word or phrase worth using.

But if it has 20,000 monthly searches and you’re going to compete with big brands, you’ll want to tweak the word or phrase.

Once you determine the right fit, you’ll use that in your meta description, permalink and title.

Adjust those things, as necessary, from your planning phase.

Write

You can finally get to writing!

A few things to consider:

  • Blog posts should be 400-700 words to get the most Google juice.
  • Use headers, subheads and bullets to break up your content to make it easier to read.
  • Make sure you use your target keyword or phrase in at least one header … and I’d recommend three to five times in the copy.
  • Include approximately one link for every 100 words.
  • Provide a call-to-action, which can very easily be an invitation for comments.

The best kind of content written for humans includes active voice, short sentences and a reason to keep readers engaged. You can write in first or third person. Don’t make it too hard on yourself. Do what’s most comfortable for you.

Publish

Now it’s time to publish.

Most marketing and social media gurus aren’t very keen on Google+, but I love it because it helps with your search results. Google owns it and they want you to use it, so they’ll reward you if you do.

When you post the link to your newest content in Google+, use the keyword or phrase you’ve chosen for the piece.

Do this on Twitter and LinkedIn, as well. It’s less important on Facebook and Pinterest, but do try to customize your updates with the word or phrase in it.

Make it easy for your readers to share your content on the social networks by providing social share buttons on every page of your website or blog.

There is almost nothing more frustrating than wanting to share content and having to manually share it. Make it easy for your readers and they will reward you in turn.

So there you have it. It sounds like a lot, but the more you write, the easier it becomes.

About the Author

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is due out on March 10.

Photo thanks to Brett Jordan (Roboscribe)

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Take your content marketing to the Super Bowl

footballIf you follow the NFL, you know that the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos are in the Super Bowl. And, you most likely know who is not in the Super Bowl: the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots.

For this post, I want to focus on the Broncos and the Patriots; the two teams who played each other for the AFC Championship and the chance to go to the Super Bowl.

New England was playing without one of their key offensive players: Rob Gronkowski. How key was Gronkowski? Let’s look at how the Patriots ranked in the league this past season:

  • Scoring in the Red Zone (within the 20-yard line): with him: 4th; without him: 30th
  • Passing yards: with him: 3rd; without him: 19th
  • Gaining first downs: with him: 2nd; without him: 16th

Not having him on the field definitely affects the team’s effectiveness … and may have cost the team their shot at the Super Bowl. Although there was an entire team, one player made such an impact.

Speaking of one player making an impact, you don’t have to watch football to know who Peyton Manning is. The quarterback for the Broncos is definitely an impact player. In fact, when he was the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts when he was injured for a season, the entire team seemed to fall apart.

The Colts learned the hard way that you couldn’t put all of your hopes in one player. The Denver Broncos built a team around Manning, but they made sure they had a solid team with other diverse and strong players.

You need more than one strong player

When it comes to your content marketing, don’t put all of your efforts in one place. If you want to take your marketing “to the big game,” you need a solid team.

As you have seen, Google is constantly updating its algorithm. If you’re thinking, “But Amy, Google likes X,” stop it! There are a lot of things that Google once “loved,” but now the search engine actually penalizes you for. Remember:

Those tactics worked great for a while, but companies who relied on one of these ended up paying the price when Google updated its algorithm – plus they were probably already losing conversions thanks to bad copy.

Build a diverse team for your content marketing

Even if you have a solid player, like customer-focused quality content, you need to have a full content marketing team. I’m not talking about people; I’m talking about strategies.

You can stop worrying about Google updates if – in addition to superior content that targets your specific audience – you have a:

With a strong team and just not one star, you can take your content to Super Bowl levels.

 

Photo credit:  American Football ©  | Dreamstime.com

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Spammy guest blogging is dead? Well duh.

spam car fliers are like spammy blog postsI’m amazed at how many people have their knickers in a knot after Matt Cutts’ latest announcement. In case you missed it, Matt’s latest post contained this interesting quote:

In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.

In a word: duh.

I know, I know. People loved the magical link juice guest posting provided. That’s why blog owners receive emails saying, “I’ll write for you in exchange for a backlink.” It was never about connecting with their audience. It was all about getting the link.

Sadly, many site owners turned a blind eye and said, “OK.” They put an unknown writer – a writer they had no prior relationship with – in front of their readers. Why? To fill editorial holes. Because it was “free” content. Because they didn’t know any better.

(Note: I’m not talking about the site owners who researched their writers, carefully reviewed their submissions and insisted on quality writing. And neither is Matt – he makes that very clear in his post. There are a lot of great editors/sites out there that accept quality posts from smart writers. And there are a lot of excellent guest bloggers. They are doing it right. I’m talking about those other folks.) 🙂

This type of spammy guest blogging reminds me of the “article submissions and spinning” tactics from back in the day. Instead of focusing on quality writing (and quality submissions) people spread their articles around like a virulent word virus. And yeah. We all know how that turned out.

Spammy guest blogging is not marketing. It’s a stupid and short-sighted tactic like putting flyers on every car in a parking lot.  After all, when you use the “spray and pray” marketing method, you’re not really targeting your audience, are you?

Is it any wonder that Matt said, “Ultimately, this is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains.”

So here are some things to think about:

If you publish a blog, you are a PUBLISHER. And that means you have a responsibility to give your readers the best possible content. If you are accepting blog posts from anyone without doing some due diligence,  you are putting your reputation (and now your rankings) at risk. It is far better to run fewer posts than it is to run a bunch of crappy ones. Econsultancy has a great post on how they are looking at this from the publishers’ perspective.

If you are a (quality) guest poster, think “does my audience read this publication” rather than “ooh, this would be another tasty link back to my site.” Write a post that’s laser-focused on that publication, the audience and their needs. Think of guest posting as a marketing play – not an SEO/link building play. After all, isn’t reaching a new audience better than just a link? As Ann Smarty said, “Do marketing AS IF Google didn’t exist.”

And if you’re a (spammy) guest poster, please give up now. Publishers are now on notice that your content will do nothing but get them in trouble. Save yourself (and everyone else) some time and quit sending your, “I will write an original and quality 500-word post in exchange for your back link” emails. Thank you.

Will my blog still accept guest posts? Sure. At the same time, Tracy, my editor, handpicks many of our guest posters. We don’t accept unsolicited posts.

Will I continue to guest blog? Yes. If it makes sense.

Is guest blogging dead? Not necessarily. But doing it just for the SEO play is dead.

Finally.

I’m so glad.

Photo thanks to Quinn Dombrowski (fliers on cars, taken too far)

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SEO advice from Barry Schwartz, Bill Slawski and Ian Lurie

We’ve had some incredible guest authors over the past few months and, in case you’ve missed ’em, here are a few of the top guest posts.

 

Barry Schwartz answers SEO Copywriting questions.SEO copywriting advice from search guru Barry Schwartz

Search guru Barry Schwartz makes time in his super-structured schedule to answer our SEO copywriting, Google algorithm, business ownership and time management questions.

 

search-policyHow Google Attempts to Understand What a Query or Page is About Based Upon Word Relationships

Bill Slawski shares how Google understands the relationship among words in search queries and on web pages to deliver the right results.
*Photo thanks to Anders Sandberg (Random search)

 

tfidf-downward

TF-IDF Killed The Copywriting Spam

Ian Lurie proves quality trumps quantity in SEO copywriting through Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF)

 

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Sing to your customers

SingHave you ever listened to the lyrics of a song and thought, “I feel like that song was written about me”? I don’t mean in a Carly Simon You’re So Vain sort of way. I mean the words are so relatable to your life, you feel like the songwriter was thinking about you.

Unless you personally know the songwriter (or if you are famous), odds are that the song isn’t about you. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it resonates with you and it evokes emotions whenever you hear it.

Your marketing copy – whether online, in print, or in another medium – needs to have this same effect.

Add emotion to your writing – no matter the product/service

There are certain services or products that may seem to lend themselves to reaching people on an emotional level:

  • Childcare
  • Marriage counseling
  • Family photo packages

But what if you have to write marketing copy for “emotionless” products or services like:

  • Plumbing services
  • Garage doors
  • Office supplies

You can still reach your customers on an emotional level … which is what you need to do to be successful. After all, even B2B purchases are made (to a certain degree) based on emotions.

Take these steps to successfully reach your customers

By taking a few extra steps, you can reach your potential customers’ emotions. Here’s how.

Step 1: Embrace your USP

What makes you stand out from your competition? (Hint: it’s not “good customer service.”) Discover and embrace your unique selling proposition (USP).  Your USP should be something that provides your clients with a benefit that your competition doesn’t offer.

Step 2: Know your customer

Who is your ideal client? If you answered, “Everyone,” then you are wrong. Yes, you may have more than one target market, but you should not try to reach everyone.

Before you can write for them, you need to truly know your audience. Take the time to create a customer persona, so you know who you are writing for.

Step 3: Address your clients’ pain points

Once you know what you have to offer (your USP) and who your ideal client is, it’s time to focus on your clients’ pain points and what you can do to address them. Pain points are issues your clients have that you or your product can solve.

Make sure your marketing copy highlights these pain points and how you fix them. For example, FedEx was able to provide a delivery service that guaranteed reliable, quick delivery of packages. It focused on business people who needed their packages delivered the next day. It promoted this with: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

By taking a little bit of extra time, your website can be the song that reaches your customers’ emotions. Write that song and your website visitors will become your biggest fans.

Photo credit:  Young man in green t-shirt sing a song ©  | Dreamstime.com

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Go jump in the ocean! Better yet, take a flying leap!

Jumping in the ocean on New Year's DayIt’s my first post of 2014. I can’t believe we are a week into the year already. Let me wish you a belated happy New Year!

Now that we got that out the way, let me tell you to go take a flying leap!

Don’t take that the wrong way, I’m not telling you off; I’m offering inspiration.

Clean the slate

2013 wasn’t the best year for me (although it definitely had some good highlights). Just a few low moments included:

  • Breaking my nose
  • Ending my 10-year marriage
  • Having to dramatically cut my business to part-time and get a 9-to-5 job
  • Putting on a bunch of the weight I had previously took off (and kept off for several years)

I highlighted other not-so-great moments and some positive outlooks in my Not another thankful post, if you were curious.

Needless to say, I was ready to move on from 2013 and wanted to embrace 2014. I felt as though I was digging myself out of hole and needed to just give myself a new starting point.

I saw 2014 as that new starting point.

A little less talk and a lot more action

In my last post of 2013, I discussed setting goals instead of making resolutions. A couple of years ago, Heather outlined the same strategy, but got more in depth with how to apply this to your content marketing goals.

So once you set your goals, how do you flip the switch? Is having the goal enough to change your behaviors? Not always.

Sometimes you need to conquer your fears in order to make the next move.

Make it dramatic, if you have to

Some people can just make a decision then take action. Other people need to be guided through the process (read: dragged into change). And still other people just need something to spark the change.

I like that spark – even if it is symbolic.

SkydivingSeveral years ago, when my life needed a shakeup, I jumped out of an airplane. That year, I quit a job that I hated and started my freelance copywriting business. It was freeing and wonderful. Jumping out of the plane was the symbolic change I needed.

To kick off 2014, I jumped into the ocean (dove in head first) on New Year’s Day. It was my way to wash off all that I didn’t want from 2013, so I could start 2014 clean.

Things didn’t magically change with diving in that ocean, but I had the spark I needed. In less than a week from jumping in the ocean, I ran a 5k (I haven’t been running in months!) and I joined a gym (with a gym partner to keep me motivated).

Where’s your spark?

What’s it going to take to get you moving? What can you do that will get you motivated and excited to take that first crucial step? Whatever it is – whether it is symbolic or a concrete step (like renting an office space) – go for it.

Make 2014 your year to shine! Happy New Year!

Start the new year off right with 20% off of the SEO Copywriting Certification training. Just use coupon code HAPPY2014. Hurry though – offer ends January 20!

Be SMART and scrap the resolutions

Happy New Year

As 2013 winds down, you may find yourself reflecting on the good and bad of the past year, and looking forward to 2014.

‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions.

As you sit down to create your resolutions, my advice to you is DON’T DO IT!

Resolutions are too easily broken

There is a good chance that at some time in your life, you started the year with proclamations like:

I am going to get healthy and lose weight.

I am going to be more organized and focused.

I am going to be more successful in my business.

These are all wonderful ideas, but if you are like most people who make resolutions, you were not successful.

It’s not that you didn’t want to be successful. You just didn’t set yourself up for success.

Want to succeed? Be SMART

Instead of making resolutions this year, you should create SMART goals. This means creating goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

By creating specific and measurable goals, you can better craft a plan to attain them. Determine exactly what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there. Don’t say, “I want to be more successful.” Instead say, “I want to increase profits 20% by a combination of increasing my prices by 10% and following up with five past clients each month to produce one additional project each month.”

Take the first step

Before you can create your goals, you need to figure out what it is you want to achieve. When it comes to your business, you may want to:

Once you know what you want to do, start creating your SMART goals. To further help you stay on track with your goals – especially if you are a freelance copywriter – enlist the help of a friend or colleague. Tell them your goals and ask them to check in with you regularly, so you are accountable to someone.

Whatever you want to achieve, I wish you luck … actually, you don’t need luck if you plan properly. Here’s to proper planning!

Happy New Year!

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I can’t read this

blurryThis isn’t something that I want to admit, but I need new glasses.

Each day, I find that I’m squinting more often trying to see something. This week, I haven’t been able to read the directions on the bottle of cold medicine, which I so desperately needed to take.

The thing is, I should have visited the eye doctor a few years ago … okay, more like five years ago. I thought my eyes were fine, so I put it off.

Well, they aren’t fine and, I probably need to invest more money now (need to get several new pairs, instead just one and have more tests) than if I had gone to the optometrist when I was supposed to go. Plus, I have been dealing with the fact that I can’t see well.

Perhaps you have done this, too. Maybe you haven’t done it with your eyes, but with your car or your teeth. Routine maintenance can save you from an expensive overhaul down the line.

Chances are you’ve done this with your website, too.

Tweaking for the New Year

Don’t wait until:

It’s easier – and more cost effective – to make ongoing minor adjustments instead of undertaking a major content overhaul.

You can baby-step your way into a content development program. As things wind down at the end of the year, start to plan your strategy for next year by:

Do you have other ideas to save time and money with regular updates instead of a major overhaul? Please let me know in the comments … hopefully I will be able to see them. (Guess I need to make that eye appointment.)

 

Image credit: ©  | Dreamstime.com

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How Google Attempts to Understand What a Query or Page is About Based Upon Word Relationships

search-policyA little crunched for time, and feeling both hungry and lazy, I treated myself to a meal from the local Taco Bell tonight. It’s a new store, and I like that when you place an order at the drive-through, it shows what you ordered on a screen, and the person taking the order asks if your order is right before charging you for it and processing the order. The voice coming out of the speakers asked me if my order looked correct. I took a look, and responded, “I guess it does.” I had to guess, because the list didn’t look very legible:

1 Smthr Burr SC
1 Chalupa SPR Stk
1 Sft Taco Bf Spr
1 Lrg Root Beer

Of course, the screen shows abbreviations for the order, because it needs to abbreviate those words if they stand a chance of fitting on a single line on a ticker tape receipt. That doesn’t make my order any easier to read or understand when it’s displayed that way, and it really doesn’t need to be presented on the computer screen as abbreviated words as long as the abbreviations only appear on the receipt. Repeating what I ordered on a screen and allowing me to confirm the order is a really good idea. But, using the abbreviations for the receipt on that confirmation screen isn’t such a good idea. The people taking the order may recognize the abbreviations, especially after at least one night of having to look at them. But, even though the items look similar to what I ordered, they seem more like gibberish to me.

In the 2008 paper Finding Cars, Goddesses and Enzymes: Parametrizable Acquisition of Labeled Instances for Open-Domain Information Extraction, the authors describe how text on web pages might be labeled as it is crawled, to understand the concepts found in words on those pages. The paper may be a few years old, but Google was granted a patent on a similar process that was granted this past May. If words in queries are processed in the same way, to better understand the concepts in them, then search results can be returned on the basis of matching concepts in a query to concepts found on web pages.

The patent is:

Extracting and scoring class-instance pairs
Invented by Marius Pasca
Assigned to Google
US Patent 8,452,763
Granted May 28, 2013
Filed: March 19, 2010

Abstract

Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on computer storage media, for extracting and scoring class-instance pairs. One method includes applying extraction patterns to document text to derive class-instance pairs, determining a frequency score and a diversity score for each distinct class-instance pair, and determining a pair score for each class-instance pair from the frequency score and the diversity score.

Another method includes applying extraction patterns to document text to derive candidate class-instance pairs, determining, for each distinct candidate class-instance pair, a number of distinct phrases from which the distinct candidate class-instance pair was derived, and determining a pair score for each distinct candidate class-instance pair from the number of distinct phrases from which the candidate class-instance pair was extracted.

Google’s recent Hummingbird update is aimed at examining long and complex queries and returning search results for those queries that don’t necessarily rely upon matching all the words within those queries. The focus of the paper and patent is on finding patterns in data that is mined from web pages by looking for relationships between words in “class-instance” pairs. As the patent tells us:

A class-instance pair is made up of a class name corresponding to a name of an entity class and an instance name corresponding to an instance of the entity class. The instance of the entity class has an “is-a” relationship with the entity class; in other words, the instance of the entity class is an example of the entity class. An example class-instance pair is the pair (food, pizza), because pizza is a food.

By better understanding that “Pizza is a food”, it makes it easier for Google to understand what is meant by “pizza” when it appears in a query or on a web page, and to match up queries and Web pages that both include that class instance pair. Much like knowing that “Smthr Burr SC” is a menu item that I may or may not have ordered at Taco Bell, makes it easier for me to know that what was meant by the abbreviation is “Smothered Burrito, Shredded Chicken”. Yes, that’s what I ordered.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about a patent from Google where the search engine tries to find “known for” terms of interest for entities. A restaurant might be known for a famous chef working there, or a specific menu item that might be unique to that restaurant; like Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants are known for his version of Beef Wellington. The post was How Google Finds ‘Known For’ Terms for Entities. What makes that patent similar to this one is that it focuses upon a specific type of relationship – a “known for” relationship. This new patent also looks for a relationship, an “is a” relationship.

If you want to dig into the process or mathematics behind how Google might identify is a relationships and extract terms and concepts that fit into those patterns from data extracted from the web, you can get a sense of those from the paper and the patent. What’s more important here is understanding that Google is building a knowledge base of concepts and relationships between words that can help it return relevant results for queries.

When Google acquired, or merged with (technically it was called a merger), Applied Semantics in 2003, Google also inherited Applied Semantic’s CIRCLA Technology. At the heart of the technology was the ability to learn about and understand relationships between words. I’ve mentioned “known for” relationships and “is a” relationships, but here are some other relationships mentioned in a white paper about Circla:

  • Synonymy/antonymy (e.g. “good” is an antonym of “bad”)
  • Similarity (“gluttonous” is similar to “greedy”)
  • Hypernymy (is a kind of / has kind) (“horse” has kind “Arabian”)
  • Membership (“commissioner” is a member of “commission”)
  • Metonymy (whole/part relations) (“motor vehicle” has part “clutch pedal”)
  • Substance (e.g. “lumber” has substance “wood”)
  • Product (e.g. “Microsoft Corporation” produces “Microsoft Access”)
  • Attribute (“past”, “preceding” are attributes of “timing”)
  • Causation (e.g. “travel” causes “displacement” or “motion”)
  • Entailment (e.g. “buying” entails “paying”)
  • Lateral bonds (concepts closely related to one another, but not in one of the other relationships, e.g. “dog” and “dog collar”)

The future of rankings of search results may rely upon Google building a concept-based knowledge base that understands the relationship between words, as well as probabilities that a certain relationship was intended when words are used on a page. For example, a page that mentions Microsoft might be about Microsoft as a member of technology companies, or it might be about Microsoft products. If you write a page that includes “Microsoft” in it, and the page also mentions Cisco, Redhat, Apple and Sun Microsystems, there’s a decent chance that the page is about technology companies. If you write a different page that includes “Microsoft” in it, and it also mentions Access and Word and Excel, then the page is more likely to be about products produced by Microsoft.

The words that you choose to use on a web page might send signals to Google about the relationships between those words, influencing Google’s interpretation of your page.

It’s possible that someone reading that last paragraph might say, “That’s obvious, and if you write naturally those relationships will appear on their own.” But writing “naturally” isn’t just something that flows from your mind to your fingers to your keyboard to your page. Knowing that Google will try to understand the relationships between words that appear in a query or on a page makes it less likely that in creating those queries or that content, you don’t send mixed signals that might be caused by a lack of focus on showing off those relationships.

About the Author

Bill Slawski is the Director of Search Marketing at Go Fish Digital and has been promoting websites since 1996. He often blogs about SEO and search-related patents and white papers on his blog SEO by the Sea. Originally, as an in-house SEO who then worked at agencies and as a solo consultant, he has worn a lot of different hats and has tested and tried out ideas from patents and papers as an ongoing SEO education. Connect with him at Twitter, @bill_slawski, if you’d like to stay in touch or have questions.

Photo thanks to Anders Sandberg (Random search)

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Read this post while you still can!

Dunkin-YuenglingIt’s officially the Christmas (or winter holiday of your choice) shopping season! (Yes, I am aware that the Christmas sales started months ago, but I am old fashioned, and I am holding onto the notion that Black Friday is the kickoff of the holiday shopping season.)

So what are you doing to get your customers to not only buy from you, but buy now?

Take a lesson from coffee and beer

What does coffee and beer have to do with holiday selling? Let me explain.

I am a Jersey girl by birth, but I currently live in San Diego. I love living in Southern California, but there are some things that I love that I cannot easily get there, including:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (I mean from an actual Dunkin’ Donuts, not from the bags sold in the grocery stores)
  • Yuengling lager (beer from America’s oldest brewery – only available on the East Coast and only as far west as Ohio)
  • Real NY pizza (although I can get my fix from Bronx Pizza)
  • Hard rolls and real Jersey bagels (if you don’t know what I mean, then you’re not from the Tri-State Area)

This year, I was home (New Jersey) for a week to celebrate Thanksgiving. In addition to spending time with my family and friends, I:

  • Drank a lot of coffee
  • Had Yuengling whenever it was on draft and at Thanksgiving dinner because my family bought it for me
  • Got my fill of carbs via pizza, hard rolls and bagels

The amount of coffee and other Jersey treats I consumed was much higher than my normal routine. Why? It wasn’t because I was on vacation; it was because I knew I can’t get these things when I go back to San Diego.

Act now before it’s too late!

DunkinHoliday

I drank a lot of coffee … a lot. The availability of the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is limited for me, so I got it while I could – pretty much whenever I drove by one.

If I lived in New Jersey or if Dunkin’ Donuts ever returned to Southern California (supposedly they will be returning in 2014 or 2015), I wonder if I would have needed to stop for coffee so often. My guess is that while I would have enjoyed a cup or two, I would not have been driven to have a cup at every opportunity.

It’s all about the principle of scarcity. If you tell your clients that there is a limited amount of product or that you only have a few spots available, they are more likely to buy from you (or hire you).

Remove the notion that your clients can get your products or services whenever they want. Be sure to increase their motivation by limiting the time of a sale or by telling them you only have so many items left. (Of course, don’t overdo it because eventually you will lose credibility if you always only have a few items remaining.)

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you can end the year with an influx of business.

Let me know in the comments what you are doing to promote your business as the year ends. But make sure you comment soon because I will only be responding to comments that are left today! (Okay, not really, but I couldn’t resist.) Happy December!

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