I’ve always wanted to offer something to my subscribers that didn’t involve asking you to purchase anything, but even with all the shortcuts I’ve come across to help me run my online business more efficiently, I can never seem to find time for anything extra (like writing this article). Still, the subject of this article is something that I’ve been wanting to share, so I’ve forced it into my busy schedule.
And you may want to read this because it’s going to reveal a big part of the reason I’ve been able to rank a lot of my product reviews on the first page of Google. What I’m about to reveal is not the ONLY factor towards my success because obviously I cannot reveal all of them publicly and quite frankly, I can’t be sure of exactly how my website is ranking without knowing Google’s exact algorithm anyway! That said, I have enough reason to believe I’ve benefited from this on-page SEO practice and it baffles me that most Internet Marketers still aren’t doing this even though Google has stressed its importance and crammed it down our throats over and over.
Anyway, a few months ago I had a membership at Mixergy which is a website known for its interviews with highly successful online entrepreneurs. One of the entrepreneurs in these interviews mentioned the Craigslist Theory and his name escaped me, but I’ll update this post if I ever remember it again.
Those of you that have gone through the Craigslist Personals section at some (low) point in your lifetime – and I’m man enough (or pathetic enough) to admit that I have – you may have noticed the ratio of men to women is something like 20 to 1. That means for every woman that decides to post an ad in the Craigslist personals there could be around 20 dudes trying to hook up with her. And we also know these guys are going to approach her with the same effortless pickup lines such as…
“Hey. UR HOT! Wanna meet up?”
“You seem cool. Wanna hang out? Here’s my number.”
And what happens when women read these generic comments? Any woman with self-respect would most definitely click… DELETE… DELETE… DELETE…
Now here’s where the theory comes into play…
Let’s say one guy in the bunch spends a little more time and effort and creates a decent email that actually has substance and seems genuine. The probability of response just went up exponentially because it’s different, it’s real, and it stands out!
And that’s the theory in a nutshell. I’m telling you this because it applies to our business. Whether we are conscious of this or not, many of us absorb what we’ve witnessed from our peers and repeat those same methods and techniques over and over regardless of whether any of these techniques have been positively validated.
As an affiliate marketer, I believe that I’ve witnessed the epitome of the Craigslist theory. At first, I was intimidated because for every single product being promoted on the Internet – good or bad – you could browse through 10 pages of search results in Google and still find different product reviews for the same product.
But when you actually read them, it’s the same content being presented over and over again. Most of it is NOT unique. Most of these people do NOT actually review the product. Most of them use a LOT of copy/paste because they are trying to get the job done as quickly as possible.
Look, there’s a big difference between being efficient and being sloppy. General rule, if it doesn’t feel legitimate to you, it probably isn’t legitimate in the eyes of anyone else. One of the best things I’ve read in any Internet Marketing course I’ve purchased was a simple tip for writing any sales copy. After writing your copy, pretend you are the customer, read your sales copy, and ask yourself if YOU feel compelled to buy that product or service? If the answer is NO, your copy probably isn’t going to cut it.
Yet many of us continue to make this mistake even though a lot of us are indeed fully aware that Google has stressed the importance of UNIQUE and QUALITY content for a very long time now.
Because most people do the same thing over and over again, when we finally see something that is genuinely different, whether we are fully conscious of this or not, it generally tends to trigger something in our brains that tells us, “Hold on. This is a lot different from everything else I’ve been reading about Video Traffic Guru. This person is actually telling me something of value! I am INTERESTED to find out what it is…” And as a result, there is a much greater chance of visitor engagement.
So the advantage here is two-fold. Firstly, it’s good SEO practice to publish genuine unique content. Second, your visitors are much more likely to be engaged if you do. Oh, and when people spend more time on your website because they are actually reading, that plays into another positive ranking factor. On a side note, that’s one reason it is encouraged to include videos in your posts.
I understand it takes more time and/or costs more money to do things this way, but in the long run, it’s costing you more money to do everything improperly over and over with nothing to show for it.
And as far as engagement, I’m not saying that breaking the cycle is going to make everyone stop and read what you’re putting out there, but it’s definitely going to increase engagement overall.
So take this for what it’s worth because it’s something that I try to do with every product review published to my website and even though I’ve been able to rank a lot of my posts on Page 1, I would never call myself an SEO expert, but the fact is that I’ve landed on a formula that works for me and since none of us are fortunate enough to have access to a complete Google report of positive and negative ranking factors on our websites, I can only assume that writing complete reviews in my own words is part of that formula based on my results and what we know of good SEO practices, in general.