Monday, November 10, 2008

Gen-Y SEO Series

There is more than a fair share of marketers using Social Media to entice Gen-Y buyers and dollars. Whether you are developing Facebook and iPhone applications, advertising on social sites like YouTube, iMeem or Pandora or creating contests, blogs and content to attract our eyeballs, there is no shortage of your efforts.

But what about search and SEO marketing for Gen-Y?

I saw an interesting article from Andrew Wheeler on Search Engine Land last Wednesday dealing with B2B and Gen-Y. Andrew, a search marketer at iProspect, goes on to list the growing number of Millennials in the workforce and those that have decisions to make regarding work related purchases. He also goes on to say:

...choose your keywords appropriately as they can make a big difference; they should definitely be words that your audience will relate to. For example, if you are a PC hardware reseller, you might traditionally target keywords that include cost specific adjectives like “cheap,” “discount,” or “affordable.” And you might even include feature/benefit descriptors like “low maintenance,” “guaranteed,” and “light-weight.” However, are you forgetting product comparison keywords to account for the fact that many Gen Y’ers rely on what other consumers have to say about these products and their experiences?

I know it was a random example, the PC hardware reseller, but Andy didn't explore any hard facts or numbers or real time examples of Gen-Y searches and the language barriers and differences that we have.

Over the next week or so I will be exploring Gen-Y an SEO in a mildly in depth review of the following areas.

Gen-Y Lingo and Keywords
I agree with Andrew that language is a key factor. However like any search campaign, doing the initial keyword research is key. Looking at competing sites and the language they use, the article titles that attract the most comments, the commonalities in the slang and the long tails in the content are key factors when targeting Gen-Y.

Gen-Y Market and Competition Research
Look to Gen-Y marketing leaders and see what teens are into. See the tv shows, the products, the sports teams, the music and celebrities that are "hot" today. There are some good tools to use as well.

Gen-Y Linking Campaigns
Getting links to your sites with Gen-Y in mind is just as tough as any other SEO link building campaign. The same rules apply and they should be dictated by your keyword assessment. Making sure to have organic links with great anchor text without being cheezy is a tough task.

This one is tricky as is any PPC campaign as you are playing with real dollars and cents and can blow a wad of money when targeting the wrong terms, misleading clickers or not generating clicks at all. I started to look at some cases to see what advertisers were using to attract teen and Gen-Y eyeballs. I got some interesting results.

This will be a fun series of exploring, testing and playing with a hot topic of the moment. When the posts are done, this report will be put into a white paper and will be available for free download to anyone that wants one.

Please be sure to add in your thoughts, arguments, ideas and tactics as I will be adding them to the guide as well. I want this to be a great resource for anyone looking to target Gen-Y with an SEO + SEM campaign.

Let's start the week off with a question: What are some ways SEO's can look at targeting Gen-Y in search campaigns?

-Greg Rollett


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