When I work with some SEO professionals, they're push the highest search volumes or most competitive words. When I work with traditional media, they're always pushing eye balls and reach. When I work with social media guys, they're always measuring fans and followers. When I work with designers, they want to design for the smallest resolutions.
I don't listen to them.
Marketing isn't about identifying the lowest common denominator to maximize the potential for reach or distribution. As a marketer, sometimes the campaign may be to identify a single resource or influencer to make the right mention. It's based on their authority, the timeliness of the campaign, and the target audience we wish to reach. Sometimes that's not the denominator at all – it's a wacky, well-placed and focused target for a specific purpose.
I break rules.
My sites break a lot of rules. Someone pointed out that, although I push my clients to design sites with high contrasting fonts on a light background, our new media agency site is designed with a dark background and light fonts… much more difficult to read. Other friends have pointed out that it also doesn't fit on a small resolution laptop.
The truth is, I don't want to attract visitors with netbooks or older laptops. I want to get attention from people with huge resolutions. I don't want to attract companies who won't upgrade from Internet Explorer 6. I don't even want people to read my site. I want them to browse it and wonder whether or not I can help them… and have them click through on a web form.
If you disagree, you're not my prospect.
I have high bounce rates. That's good. I don't want low bounce rates. I want to attract a lot of search engine users, but I want those people to get an immediate impression and leave or connect. I don't go into great detail about what we do for companies… that's because we're interested in virtually every large company. The purpose of my site is to disqualify most leads and motivate the rest to get a hold of us.
This blog, of course, is different. We're going through another redesign this month to improve the reach and distribution of the site, as well as attract more visitors. Our goal and the revenues associated with it benefit when we reach more visitors. We're still going to incorporate some design features that are optimized for more sophisticated users, but we don't want to limit our audience.
Does your site say “Keep Out”? That's okay!
Online marketing isn't always about reaching as many people as you can, sometimes it's about discouraging the wrong audience. It's why I've been an opponent of utilizing systems like Digg for corporate sites. Many times they simply bury the site and cause technical issues without adding a single relevant visitor.
There are specific things you can do to attract and detract audiences from your corporate site or blog. Don't be afraid to break the rules.