Guy Kawasaki is a pretty big deal.
He’s written a dozen books, launched several successful companies, and has almost 400,000 followers on Twitter.
Which makes him the coolest Guy at most parties, the one that everyone wants to be associated with.
Not only that, but Guy really knows how to launch a book.
That’s why his latest book, Enchantment, has 200+ customer reviews on Amazon, and about 400 reviews posted on blogs all over the internet.
And I’ve beaten all of them to the top of Google.
That’s right – I’m ahead of the YouTube videos, ahead of the Amazon.com product page, and ahead of major reviewers like CNET and even Copyblogger.
This screenshot, which I took on March 15, shows me even beating Guy Kawasaki’s own blog!
(I’ve since dropped in the rankings to #1 after Guy Kawasaki’s site – oh well…)
So… do you want to know how I did it?
My Super-Secret SEO Recipe 😉
Okay, I’m going to put all my cards on the table, and reveal my super-secret recipe. Here are the ingredients that went into the mix:
- I picked a good search term. I knew that people would be looking for Guy Kawasaki and his new book, so that was a good phrase to go after.
- I was first on the scene. I made sure that my interview with Guy launched within days of his book launch. Quality deserves freshness, right?
- Lots of text for Google to spider. The interview was about half an hour long, and the whole transcript is available on the website, so that’s a lot of text for Google to spider.
- Lots of great backlinks. I’ve shared the story in guest posts on major blogs, and included links back to the Guy Kawasaki Enchantment interview. (See what I did there?)
- Lots of social media activity. I pulled out all the stops promoting the interview (I wanted to tell the world I had spoken on the phone with Guy!), so there was a lot of social media activity pointing back to the interview.
- Good title selection. I setup the title tag to match the search term, which is “guy kawasaki enchantment” (not “enchantment with guy kawasaki”, not “guy’s rules of enchantment”, etc.). Actually, I goofed here a bit, and only came close, with “Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment” – I wonder if that apostrophe S cost me the #1 spot!
- Well-optimized content for the keyword. But honestly, it’s an interview with Guy Kawasaki about his book Enchantment – this would have been pretty hard to screw up. 😛
Pretty cool, right? Am I an SEO ninja superstar or what?
Except that it didn’t happen like that at all!
I’m no SEO rock star, and this wasn’t about SEO.
Telling the story retroactively makes it sound as though I did all this as part of a genius plan to get to the top of Google.
Everything that I described above is true, but none of it was done with the intention of improving search rankings.
The rest wasn’t about SEO at all, and the search ranking (that continues to deliver traffic to Firepole Marketing) is just a happy by-product.
So if it wasn’t about SEO, what was it about?
Here’s what it was really all about…
It was about marketing.
Not backlinks, not SEO, not professional landing page, not traffic, and not Alexa rankings.
And what is marketing?
A lot of so-called gurus – whether because they’re trying to dazzle you with their latest product, or because they don’t really know what they’re talking about at all – try to make marketing a lot more complicated than it really is.
But the truth is that marketing, at its core, is very simple.
Marketing is about moving people through a very straight-forward process:
- Converting STRANGERS into LEADS (traffic),
- Converting LEADS into PROSPECTS (subscribers),
- Converting PROSPECTS into CUSTOMERS, and
- Converting CUSTOMERS into REPEAT CUSTOMERS.
This process is called the Chain of Conversion, and it’s what marketing is really about; getting strangers to pay attention to what you’re doing, making sure that it’s something that will hold their interest, and that will be valuable enough for them to pay for, on an ongoing basis.
Sounds easy enough, right?
So why do so many people get it wrong?
Marketing is Hard because Marketing is Real
I’ll tell you why marketing is so hard for so many people, even though it’s really not that complicated.
It’s because of two fundamental truths that I want to share with you:
The first fundamental truth is that everything is easy after you know how to do it.
The flip side is that everything is hard before you know how to do it. Whether it’s tying your shoelaces or understanding quantum mechanics, this statement holds true.
The second fundamental truth is that everything real takes time to learn.
Whether it’s medicine, or cooking, or law, or martial arts, or anything else, developing real expertise takes time.
That doesn’t mean you can’t develop competence quickly, but there’s a difference between competence and expertise.
Taking a cooking class doesn’t make you a chef, six months of karate doesn’t make you champion fighter, and getting sued once or twice doesn’t make you a lawyer. 😉
The same applies to marketing.
Reading a few blog posts or books, or having taken a class once… it takes more than that to turn you into a marketer.
But most people don’t have that expertise or training, and so they resort to tactics like trying to game the search engines in search of traffic… and you shouldn’t even care about traffic – you should be after profitable customers!
But I digress – I promised to share how to get to the top of Google, so let’s get back to that.
Forget Google and Focus on Marketing
The way to get to the top of Google is to forget about Google, and focus on smart marketing.
That’s where all of my “super-secret SEO ingredients” were really for:
- It wasn’t about a search term, it was about association with Guy Kawasaki. That meant credibility and interest from everyone I could reach. It also meant that the content would be good.
- The timing wasn’t about search algorithms. We planned for the review to go up when the book was launched because we wanted to show Guy that we were doing our part to help out, and we wanted the information to be out when it would be most relevant to our audience.
- The transcript was for readers, not bots. Not everyone likes to listen to an interview, and we wanted our content to be as accessible as it possibly could be.
- The backlinks were happy by-products. My guest blogging on major blogs were about building my brand and reaching more people, not about backlinks.
- Social media activity came from good promotion and good content. I spent 15+ hours preparing for the interview to make it as good as I possibly could, and then leveraged every channel, including Facebook marketing, at my disposal to spread the word. Social media was the results of all that.
Remember that Google’s job is to deliver the most relevant content to the people who want to see it.
Marketing is about moving people through the Chain of Conversion, which you can only do by aligning your offering with what people want to be seeing.
So focus on doing the best marketing that you can do, and let the search rankings take care of themselves.
Danny Iny is the co-founder of Mirasee (formerly Firepole Marketing), the “Freddy Krueger of Blogging”, and the co-author (with Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark, Ana Hoffman, and many others) of Engagement from Scratch! (available on Amazon, or as a free download). The latest and greatest thing you can get from him (for free, of course) is his Naked Marketing Manifesto, about marketing that really works!