Zombies: they’re everywhere these days. In movies, TV, games, books, and every other form of consumable media—the zombie hordes have invaded. Much like the virus that causes humans to mutate into flesh-eating monsters, this epidemic is showing no signs of slowing down. With the threat of a zombie apocalypse seemingly looming in the not-too-distant future, it’s increasingly vital to know how to survive against the undead. Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide and the movie Zombieland, among countless others, offer up several rules and techniques to keep yourself alive and the undead at bay. But can these same lessons from the zombie apocalypse be applied to surviving and thriving in the world of digital marketing? We’re going to break down ten zombie survival tips that you can use for success in marketing your business online.
1. Aim For the Head Every Time
Zombie Apocalypse: Everyone knows that the only way to stop a zombie is with a solid shot to the noggin, so make sure to always go for the top.
Digital Marketing: The same applies to being successful in digital marketing. You always want to go for the top, AKA ranking #1 in Google Search for your relevant keywords. Statistically, the click through rate (CTR) for being the top result is around 36%, which combined with the next two positions, totals approximately 60% of all clicks . Optimizing your site’s information architecture, keywords, title tags, and H1 tags will help your ranking. Investing in content strategy and creating great content in your field will help with increasing the amount of backlinks from other sites, which increases your page authority and overall rank.
2. Double Tap
Zombie Apocalypse: Double tap, as in double check that the zombie is really dead. You can never be too sure when taking out a zombie, so it’s a good idea to go for an extra head shot to make sure that you’ve sealed the deal.
Digital Marketing: Being thorough and double checking your work is very important in digital marketing. Having broken links, 404 errors, or non-canonical landing pages on your site can decrease your ranking and make for a poor user experience.
In those moments when you’re not sure the undead are really dead dead, don’t get all stingy with your bullets.
3. Speed is Essential
Zombie Apocalypse: Often times it’s more advantageous to run from a horde of zombies than stay and fight, especially if you’re outnumbered, so being agile and quick on your feet will help in a pinch.
Digital Marketing: In a digital world, speed is extremely important. Page load time is directly correlated with page abandonment rates, and just fractions of a second can be the difference between getting the conversion or not. Services such as Pingdom and Google PageSpeed let you test your site to see how fast it loads and what can be done to optimize it for speed.
4. Zombie Survival Kit
Zombie Apocalypse: Make sure you that you always have an emergency pack of supplies prepared, i.e. water, food, medicine. You never know when you’ll be stuck in a tight spot where you have to hide out for a while to avoid a zombie attack. Once depleted, make sure to restock it as soon as possible.
Digital Marketing: Always have a plan. A list of digital marketing goals and objectives that you are trying to achieve each month is a vital tool to track your efforts. Setting up goals and event tracking in Google Analytics for metrics like CTR, Bounce Rate, and Conversion Rate is an important process in guiding your digital marketing. Be sure to revisit these frequently and check for changes when updates have been made to your site.
5. Be Resourceful
Zombie Apocalypse: It’s safe to assume that when a zombie apocalypse breaks out, resources will be few and far between. It’s important that you don’t let any items go to waste, and that you think of alternate uses for everyday objects. A flashlight, for instance, can be a great tool for illuminating dark areas, but it can also be used as a weapon in close quarters.
Digital Marketing: Be resourceful with what assets your company has, especially for content creation. If you have an expert in the field that your business serves, have them write compelling and knowledgeable content that can be circulated through social media to drive traffic back to the site. If you have someone that is artistically inclined, have them create an infographic. If someone has some programming skills, have them create a calculator tool on your site that might be a useful tool for visitors.
6. Avoid Large Groups
Zombie Apocalypse: The larger your group of survivors is, the larger the target you are for a zombie. Large groups also consume more resources, make more noise, and can create more internal conflicts. It’s best to focus on a smaller group of people that all have unique strengths and talents that serve the group as a whole.
Digital Marketing: When trying to rank in search, avoid targeting broad keywords that a large group of your competitors may be targeting and that have a high competition level. Instead, focus on winning on long-tail keywords. You’ll be more likely to rank higher for these keywords. In addition, the customers searching for these long-tail keywords will be more qualified and in a stage of the buying cycle that is more likely to lead to a conversion.
Zombie Apocalypse: The best offense is often a good defense. Making sure you have a fortified place that is difficult for zombies to enter is essential to survival. Blocking doors, boarding up windows, and creating barriers will all help to keep them out of your hair.
Digital Marketing: It’s important to have a strong site that doesn’t fall victim to unscrupulous visitors and sites. Using a tool like Moz’s Backlink analysis can help you search through your backlinks to make sure there are no inappropriate or illegal sites linking to yours. Setting up nofollows on parts of your site that have sensitive information in which you don’t want Google crawling is also important.
8. Be Mobile
Zombie Apocalypse: Be prepared to move and adapt at all times. Although a safe, consistent, and fortified place to stay is desirable, a sudden zombie attack can force you to flee your fort at any moment. It’s important to be able to grab your necessary supplies and escape at the drop of a hat.
Digital Marketing: Being mobile in the digital marketing sense means that you need to have your website and content scalable with responsive web design so that the mobile and tablet experience for your visitors is quick, clean, and functional. You can use a tool like Firefox’s Web Developer extension to test your page using different screen sizes to get a better idea of how will it appear on different platforms.
9. Don’t Attract Negative Attention
Zombie Apocalypse: Lessons learned from most zombie movies are that zombies follow loud noises, bright clothing, and strong smells. And you don’t want any attention from zombies. Solution: stay as quiet as possible, wear clothing that blends in with your surroundings, and avoid starting smoky fires and cooking strong smelling foods, especially meat.
Digital Marketing: You don’t want negative attention around your company. So you need to make sure that you know what people are saying about you and that accurate information is out there on the Internet. Make sure to claim all of your business listings on sites like Yelp, Google Places, and Yellow Pages. You can also use resources like GetListed or Knowem to check for other sites that you may want to set up listings on. If you don’t have one already, create a Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ page. This provides an easy way for users and potential customers to interact with your brand, ask questions, and even complain. Although a complaint can be thought of as negative, handling it properly to the user’s satisfaction and then encouraging them to spread the word about your excellent customer service can turn a negative situation into a positive.
10. Stay Alert
Zombie Apocalypse: It’s important to always stay alert when in a zombie apocalypse scenario. When the world is full of flesh-hungry enemies, you can’t let your guard down even for a second. Keeping your eyes peeled and your ears open can keep prevent you from getting into a dangerous situation.
Digital Marketing: Staying alert in digital marketing means being attentive to how your page is ranking, and what factors are affecting that ranking. Google’s ranking algorithm changes frequently. Keeping up to date with information in their Webmaster Tools, as well as following blogs like Search Engine Land and Moz will keep you in the know for what factors you need to target in order to rank higher.
Surviving in digital marketing can seem like you’re fighting a never-ending battle against a hungry swarm of the undead, but with these lessons, you can stand a chance. Keep a cool head out there, watch out for anyone moaning the word “brains,” and always make sure to double tap.