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Viral Marketing Vs Search Engine Optimization.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Viral Marketing and Search Engine Optimization have the same motive- and that is to bring traffic to your website/blog. Both work on the same goal but have a slight variation in their strategies.

There are three free ways to drive traffic to your site/blog- Organic(that is through Search Engines), Referral(that comes from your links that are on other websites), and Direct(where user types your URL directly into the address bar). How much traffic comes to your website organically depends on how well you have optimized your website for your keywords. For the latter two depends on how many people find your site useful, relevant and usable. Viral Marketing makes others link you extensively, hence increasing your Referral Traffic.

Search Engine Optimization is good for your website/blog’s overall ranking and placement in Search Engine Result Pages(SERP). But if you want to be in top slots of Alexa ranking, you should think virally. To be effective, you should put your viral stimulators at the main nodes, which have their own roots and ways from where your viral marketing propagates automatically. Search engine marketing is just one of the point, where every visitor you get from search engines should take you a step ahead.

This may sound offensive but sometimes you should think like a virus, and get inspired by the way it grows. Your growth should never be parasitic, but you should know how to multiply your results by putting in strategic efforts.

Search Engine Optimization on the other hand makes your site more spider likeable. Those tiny creatures crawl your site to check its relevancy so that it can pop up in the SERPs for the related search. Creepy but profitable. It increases your Web visibility, Theme based page rank, and the much obvious after all that traffic.

The title may suggest that either of the two will have a winning hand. At a certain level both are very interconnected, like link baiting is one advance or more refined way for your viral link building, which is also a part of your viral marketing for search engine.

For any business establishment, to be successful, it must carry the viral self propagating feature from the starting.

It all started from Hotmail, whose proprietors coined the term viral marketing.

It’s not just the buzz, but the hidden ingredient of benefit put deep inside your whole viral idea is what pushes it best. Viral feature is established from the point it started. It benefits the person when he forwards it. Each promotion should carry a direct benefit for the promoter as well as for the person he promotes it to.

Points to start your viral marketing:
Viral marketing best works when it starts from the time it s first contact of their prospects.
  1. Freebies- “Free” is the most powerful word in a marketer’s vocabulary. All viral practices are mostly free of cost, inexpensive is good, free is better. Free reports, free “buttons”, free information, free software which have powerful features. Though Paid Stuff has better quality but free stuff is more useful for the first impression.
  2. Be Creative- Innovative ideas in your ezine, will make your ezine more popular and wanted in your niche.
  3. Have your very own affiliate system structured, so that promoter gets benefited for promoting you.
  4. Getting to the nodes. Promote your Big Viral Idea through Pushed Press releases, doing worthy JVs.
  5. Anything that is cool, tells how easy, how beneficial and profitable it is to be part of your business or being customer of your business.
  6. Be first; be innovative by attacking the biggest problem brings in the best viral marketing features to your business.

Think different think viral.

Many case studies can be found on this. Hotmail with its first ever-free email just tagged “Get your free email” at the bottom of each email sent. Similarly when most music companies were under big losses, even Rhapsody and Napster were not making good business, Apple i-tunes made a record business by bringing viral features at their business i.e half a million songs downloaded in just two days.

Viral marketing can make your website optimizations more powerful, lot more effective, and is must.

Warning: Any Viral Strategy would fail if Search Engine Optimization is left behind. Search engines bring those first visitors to your site/blog, that will be the starting node of Viral Marketing.

So make it an ongoing process.
Happy Blogging,
Divya Uttam.

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posted by Divya Uttam, 12:42 PM


Where is the boundary between viral marketing and spam? That is.. COULD a viral strategy be considered a sort of spam? I know that viral marketing is a technique that avoids the annoyance of spam mail, encouraging users of a specific product or service to tell a friend. The mechanism is different, but the result is the same: the victim (i.e. the potential customer) will have his email or his blog or his cellphone or his MyBlogLog Profile (:P) full of strange messages. But with no legal involvements.. Yes, you persuaded me: viral marketing is great! :P

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 3:38 PM  

Viral Marketing and Spam are two very different things.

Viral Marketing (VM) is self-propagating and Spam is all about forced propagation. VM is beneficial to the propagator as well as the person at the receiving end. When Spamming is done, VM losses it’s purpose. Strategic planning as well as marketing cautions should be kept in mind before bringing Viral is brought into existence.

commented by Blogger Divya Uttam, 12:22 PM  

I once wrote an article with a wrong title. You can look at http://www.idealwebtools.com/blog/evangelistic-marketing/ , this is one of the model for VM.

Good article.

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 5:52 AM  

Thank you for the explanation ;)

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7:12 AM  

Hi - does anyone have experience in using viral campaigns for the pre-launch of sites?

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:51 AM  

I would go for viral.. usually they work because their nature is usually something innovative!! =)

commented by Blogger ilker, 10:56 AM  

From experience a combination of both marketing techniques is essential.

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6:07 AM  

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