Be A Leader, not a Follower

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During the expansion of the USA to the West, the Wagon Train has become a cultural icon. A long line of trailblazers setting out as a group to discover something together, to put down roots as a community, to start a town from scratch. We comp[are this to the internet, today. A gigantic train of people following each other and doing exactly the same things for a common goal – something that can change with every ‘expedition’ heading to the badlands of Cyberspace. While it’s always good to be part of group by Plus-One-ing, Re-tweeting, or Liking, why not be at the head of the train? Every wagon train had its security force of scouts and gun hands that knew the terrain and agreed to lead the train, and protect it from malevolent outside forces. Why not become the scout, and invent – not just follow. It could mean a big difference in the way your company is perceived online. How can you become a trailblazer? Utilize Social Media as an unruly wagon train that needs a scout.

A ‘Keyword Event’ can be loosely described as a spike in a keyword search: Usually due to seasons, holidays, current events, or evolving trends. Predicting a keyword event means you choose the keywords before they become popular to get ahead of your competition and get a running start in search engine rankings.

Keep all of your posts, and online interaction for one year, and keep half an eye on what suddenly trends for no apparent reason, how long it lasts for, and why it wanes. This is almost ‘predicting keywords’, and allows you to prepare your online publications next year in advance. You know what worked well last Valentine’s Day, for instance, because you have posts and conversations from that time (Talking of which, this celebration is five weeks away – are you ready for it this week?). While you know what, therefore, will work again, you can get much lower bids on keywords weeks before they happen. Using what worked past year aslo works for blog posts, too. Your keywords are out before anyone else gets theirs ready. It looks like they are following you, not just posting ideas, phrases, and words on the net that accidentally appear after you. Us the following tricks to fill your saddlebags with the tools you need to be a true ‘Scout’.

  1. When predicting keywords, avoid keyword selection tools (like Google AdWords). If these keywords are being provided to you, they’re being provided to others as well. Try to get in when there is a dip (before a keyword is in demand) by using Google Trends to gauge popularity of a keyword over time.
     
  2. Subscribe to a wide variety of news outlets, and see what is likely to ge repeated year over year, or sudden trends that appear out of nowhere. Is your business affected by the economy, finance, or sports? Should your audience be concerned about trends in other countries? Ask questions, and you will find answers.
     
  3. If your audience wants something someone is going to eventually deliver it. Get there first by drilling into what your audience is asking, and pull keywords from their questions as well as provide answers.
     
  4. Buzzwords are important, because humans like to abbreviate their life (Really? ROFLMAO!), so words or phrases become trendy or fashionable can work in a specific niche. Spot buzzwords and use them before they’re hot, by either amplifying a buzzword, or creating a term that’s buzz-worthy, you’ll capitalize on the traffic wave as they start to become more widely used by others. Think of those “#” groups on Google+ You may have never heard of “#BaconNation” yet, but I think you will shortly.
     
  5. Finally target both long and short-tail keywords for a particular trend. As the trend begins, search users may not know exactly what they’re looking for yet and benefit from short-tail keywords. As the trend heats up, your audience will branch out to more specific queries and your long-tail keywords will garner more interest.

Ensure you have done your research and your keyword predictions and inventions will trend. Of course, trial and error will play a part, and this can be an exciting part of the process, but before long you will become a trailblazer. Wagons… Roll!!

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