What Star Wars can teach us about ideal optimization

Posted on January 30, 2016 by Joe B
Tetra Images/Getty Images

Tetra Images/Getty Images

With the release of the loooooong-anticipated seventh installment in the “Star Wars” franchise, marketing pros are cranking out content faster than Han Solo making the Kessel Run, and coming up with more similes than a Rancor has toothaches.

It is a perfect combo, since by and large, the whole Lucasfilm universe is a creative place – even the introductory phrase “a long time in a galaxy far, far away” tells us that we’re entering a wonderful world of make-believe where hard-and-fast rules may not apply. This approach also works for content marketing services, where the name of the game is to be innovative and bold while at the same time referencing classic thoughts that resonate with your audience.

The magic of “Star Wars” can also be applied toward your content optimization,  such as the basic good vs. evil/white hat vs. black hat choices, where it’s soooo easy to take the easier path to influence search results with shifty tricks. But just as we learn with the Dark Side of the Force, it’s a challenge to resist all of those temptations –plus, too much/too obvious black hat activity will invoke the wrath of Google.

This movie universe has other SEO lessons to expand upon as well.

  • Don’t let too much time pass between posts. Creating fresh content is a regular challenge, and fans always want more than you want or can provide, especially if blogging is a side project. But the rule of this particular universe is the longer you go without posting anything fresh, the lower your blog or site will rank on searches. We saw this with Star Wars – a 16-year gap between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Phantom Menace,” and 10 years between “Revenge of the Sith” and “The Force Awakens.” That explains why “buzz” needed to begin more than a year prior, and Disney chipped in $17 million. Of course, the strength of the 40-year-old franchise didn’t hurt, something that most of us lack.
  •  Make visitors go deeper. In the early days of the Web, all your info was on one page, so you could scroll and scroll. But today’s content marketing services are more about time on site and encouraging visitors to visit multiple pages. Think about listicles – are all the “Top 10/Top 20” items on one page or broken up into 20-ish short pages? In the “Star Wars” world, we learn that big spaceships can’t have as much impact as a whole fleet of little “mobile” ships.
  •  Good content always wins. The last three films (Episodes 1-3) were criticized for looking great visually, but being weak in terms of storytelling and acting. The original three films (Episodes 4-6) were treasured for having strong stories in spite of almost amateurish technical flaws. Just because your DIY WordPress page may look homemade doesn’t mean there isn’t good stuff on it. It may even have more staying power in terms of referrals and links than the flashier page with dull information.

 

Joe B  is a longtime writer and a longer-time Star Wars fan.


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