Yesterday I streamed a recorded webinar from MarketingProfs titled "Beyond Trade Show Metrics: Improving Your Event Marketing ROI," conducted by Skip Cox is CEO of Exhibit Surveys, Inc.  This interested me since we had a booth at the Personal Democracy Forum for ImpactWatch last month.

During the webinar Cox discussed the concept of selective attraction.  This is basically a smarty pants way of describing the importance of attracting the trade show attendees who are the most interested and in most need of the product that an exhibit is pitching.  These people are much more likely to purchase the product or service than other attendees, and devoting time to someone who isn't interested is a waste of time when a potential client is left alone.

This makes sense since, considering our recent experience, not everyone who is attending a politics and technology conference is interested and/or in need of a media monitoring program.  For instance, I met plenty of great folks at our ImpactWatch booth, but some didn't need what we offer.  However, I hope we attracted the people who were interested in our product.

So how am I going to tie trade show exhibit metrics and search engine optimization together?

Well, selective attraction is also an important concept in SEO.  For example, we may optimize the ImpactWatch site to rank high for searches for a general keyword like "news," but a very small portion of these searchers are interested in a media monitoring product.  Perhaps they simply want to know how the stock market is doing or what Punxsutawney Phil did on Groundhog Day, not reputation management. 

Thus, it sometimes is wasteful to invest in ranking well for a general keyword.  That's why the long tail of search is an important factor to consider.  Although focusing on appropriate long tail keywords may attract fewer site visitors, if a greater portion of site visitors is coming from a more niche term are likely to convert from a visitor to a customer, that is a better practice — especially since it is probably less competitive to rank well for a niche term.  

To learn more read our SEO Basics white paper; we discuss selective attraction in the keyword section.