Retail Blogging as a Database Marketing Strategy

Nov 04, 2008 4:38 PM  By

Multichannel merchants are getting good at identifying the many relevant keywords that drive their business for pay-per-click. But what about targeting those terms for organic results where perhaps 95% of searchers actually click? A typical SEO strategy might do well in targeting a few but falls short relative to the identified targets of PPC.

Think of this as a database marketing problem: The goal of a database marketer is to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. Substitute keyword instead of person. Search is database marketing.

If you think of data-driven SEO as you would an e-mail delivery, this starts to make a lot of sense. A marketer knows the terms that a prospect is going to use, she knows the volume of people who use those terms every day. Basically, a marketer knows everything about her recipients—the searcher—except their exact identity and their timing

What makes search such a spectacular marketing tool is the idea of intent. Rather than interrupt someone because you think they “might” be interested in what you have to say, with search they are telling you what they are interested in—all you have to do is show up. The idea of blogging for search means creating separate blogs targeting each of your targeted keywords.

Our job as marketers is to deliver an engaging message directly to those search terms and wait for the prospects to tell us when they are ready to receive our message. Blogs accomplish this.

Think in terms of e-mail marketing. If I want to send one e-mail that’s perfectly crafted for an individual recipient, Outlook is a really good option, but how do I send thousands—and make them all specific to the recipient based on known data? We have to use an e-mail service provider.

If a merchant wants to target one to two keywords, it can do that quite well with a single blog. For the most part, any single blog can be optimized to rank highly on any given search term. But if the marketer wants to target hundreds of keywords, it has to use a data-driven blogging platform and empower lots of content contributors ranging from employees to happy customers.

Making any sense? The goal of retail blogging is engagement. That engagement happens through search engine optimization.

Chris Baggott ( is the cofounder of Indianapolis-based Compendium Blogware.