“Prepare ship for ludicrous speed! Fasten all seatbelts, seal all entrances and exits, close all shops in the mall, cancel the three ring circus, and secure all animals in the zoo!” – Colonel Sandurz, Spaceballs (1987)
Is your business prepared for ludicrous speed? If not, fasten those seatbelts and secure all of the animals in the zoo, because you’ll need that velocity to win the New Game of Semantic Search.
In Part I of this series, we examined 8 Steps to Effective Volume. Today we will take a look at 8 Steps to Effective Velocity and map a course for bringing your business to ludicrous speed.
Unless you have a dedicated content production factory, the key to success is consistency. Get started by publishing something every week and then steadily increase that until you can make it a daily ritual. You will want to avoid peaks and valleys where you publish many articles one week and then fail to post for several weeks after that.
I recently wrote a seven-part series that consisted of an introductory article with links to the other six articles inside each article. Once I was finished writing, I was worried that the links would connect to unpublished articles, so I published them all at once and automatically distributed them across the web. This was inconsistent with our typical publishing calendar and prompted some negative feedback from our readers. I’m sure Google didn’t look on those seven articles flying off the presses at ludicrous speed favorably either.
One great tool for content velocity is to create an editorial calendar. List the topics you want to cover and map those topics to the calendar. Make sure you have the discipline now to publish as you’ve outlined in your plan.
Should you be a hare or a tortoise in growing your social media profile? Our answer is both. You definitely want to consistently add followers across all your social media profiles. The tortoise always wins the marathon.
You will also want to run sprints on a consistent basis. Work your network from time-to-time to leverage their followers to become your followers. It’s perfectly acceptable to be a hare and run your 40 yard dash on a regular basis, then go back to plodding along in the marathon. Remember, it is not just your gross number of followers; it is the followers who are engaging with you that really matter.
AT&T has been running a series of commercials with a gentleman sitting around a classroom table with a group of young children, asking profound questions that the children answer with their genuine naiveté. One of those questions is “What’s better? More or Less?” The children immediately answer “more” and explain why. When it comes to social interaction velocity, your business needs to answer more is better too. You need to be careful of the sharp edge here, however, as more bad content faster simply accomplishes nothing.
You need more social interaction that comes from producing re-mark-able content faster. Whether you pass or fail that test is determined by the interaction you generate from your social network. More. Better. Faster. Do all three.
On the surface, velocity for social interaction and velocity for social engagement may appear redundant. If you think of social interaction as “likes” and social engagement as “comments,” you’ll see the dramatic difference in these topics. It’s a function of the depth of your content and the impact on your social network. Do they skim and scan, chuckle and push the +1 button … or do the read and write … and go back and forth with you and others in the comments?
Engage is a verb meaning to occupy the attention or efforts of a person or persons, to attract and hold fast, to attract or please. How quickly can your content drive engagement? Fasten those seatbelts – it needs to be at ludicrous speed!
No need for a three ring circus in this area – more begets more. You need to be publishing faster, faster, faster to drive traffic to your website and send the signals to Google that your site has the answers to many people’s search queries. The need for speed doesn’t take you off the hook for quality, re-mark-able content. You just have to get better faster!
We’re going to slow down for a moment, drop out of ludicrous speed and talk about depth. In the old days of working to win keywords, we focused on the term “outsourced sales and marketing.” We’ve typically ranked well for this term and picked up related terms such as “outsource sales” and “outsource marketing” and a number of others.
Recently we realized we were missing out on the heavily searched term “sales outsourcing.” We quickly developed content around this topic that was based on key search questions we identified such as “what is sales outsourcing” and “what to ask about sales outsourcing” that not only impacted all of our activity, but immediately resulted in mentions across the web.
What are the questions your prospects are searching for? How can you create a series of posts that answer those questions? How can you engage others to share and mention your topics? Seal all the entrances and the doors, we’re going back to ludicrous speed!
Danger! Danger, Will Robinson! If the velocity of links to your website increases rapidly and dramatically, this is usually a negative signal to Google. The assumption is you have engaged in a link building campaign to game the system and they will put you in the penalty box for major misconduct. Acquiring links is the one area where you don’t want to be traveling at ludicrous speed. Like the tortoise, slow and steady growth in links wins the race.
Are you looking for a legitimate way to earn those links? Find opportunities to guestblog like we’re doing here with SCORE.
Once again, the speed at which your user-generated comments grow can be a red flag for Google. Unless you are attempting to game the system, this won’t be the issue for most businesses. People are busy and listening to their own radio station – WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) – So creating content that is engaging enough that they take the time to comment on your posts should be a priority.
We are big believers in the concept of failing faster to succeed. In fact, my business partner recently promoted himself to CFO – Chief Failure Officer.
Winning the New Game of Semantic Search won’t be easy. You must get your content on the web and be willing to fail, move to ludicrous speed and then accelerate. The faster you learn the lessons of failure, the faster you will succeed.
This is Part II of IV How to Win the New Game of Semantic Search – 8 Steps to Effective Velocity. Please also read Part I: 8 Steps to Effective Volume, Part III: 8 Steps to Effective Variety and Part IV: 8 Steps to Effective Veracity.