I love free stuff, and so does nearly everyone I know. There’s something almost addictive about it. There’s even a marketing model based on it, the “razor and blades” model that all but gives away the razor, safe in the knowledge that users will keep coming back steadily for the blades.
This model also works when what we’re talking about is knowledge, and it works especially well for SEO purposes. A recent Search Engine Land article made that point. If you’ve ever enjoyed a particular restaurant sauce or dish so much that you wanted to create it at home, you’ve probably searched for copycat recipe online. Some restaurants actually post these recipes on their website!
Why would they do that? It’s another chance to get to the top of a search in Google. The search engine knows that searchers want the actual recipe, so they award the restaurant a high rank because they’re relevant and authoritative. But wait! Doesn’t that mean that the restaurant loses out on a customer coming in to eat their food because they’ve given away the information? Won’t that customer just make up the recipe at home?
Sometimes, yes they will, and sometimes they’ll be so busy that they’ll simply let the restaurant do it. The restaurant hasn’t lost a customer; they’ve gained rankings and traffic. What’s more, they’ve gained goodwill. I don’t know about you, but if I saw that my favorite restaurant was this open about sharing their recipes, I’d feel even better about eating there, and become an even more loyal customer.
This approach can work in any field that calls for specialized knowledge. A landscaping company can write all kinds of articles about the best times to plant, the best plants to use, how to mix existing features with new plants, and much more. It will make even hardcore gardeners more likely to use them, because they’re sharing their knowledge and clearly demonstrating their expertise. Just as importantly, because the landscaper is publishing this kind of content, those gardeners will be more likely to find the landscaper in the first place…because the gardeners will be searching for exactly the terms that the landscaper is using.
Remember, just because someone CAN do something after you’ve told them how to do it, doesn’t mean they WILL. It’s just as likely that once they learn what’s involved, they will decide they’d rather spend the money to have someone else do it and use the time they gain on something else. If you would like to be the one they turn to, “giving away the razor” by sharing your knowledge puts you in the right position.
Written By: Terri Wells – SEO