Very quickly now: this article is not about sex.
It's about the 3 words that catch attention most quickly, and for that reason they are most used in marketing.
(Did you know there are people searching for 'free sex'? I didn't, but looking at analytics of this blog I do now).
Is this title ethical, relevant, dignified and useful?
These are the questions you will have to ask yourself, before you would ever use one of these 3 words in your marketing.
To me, this title is not useful. What am I as web designer to attract visitors who will never turn into customers?
Moreover, 'free' so often comes with the connotation of cheap or poor quality, and that's the opposite of what I do or advise to others.
My own most decisive argument was: I never write about something I've found online, only thoughts and tips that are the result of personal tests and experiences: issues I've personally seen to be proven.
So I just had to test the above and could quite quickly after pressing the publish button confirm that the above statement is true: these 3 words do catch quite a lot of attention.
(Oh, hello Pakistan, I had no idea that thoughts on marketing would be so popular there). (I'm kidding, Pakistan. That key word is searched for the world over. Surprising though, and contrary to the belief, least in Europe, at least for this blog) (the current visits from Pakistan only jump out).
Do they help you in your marketing?
Only if they are relevant, only if they are true and reliable, and only if the quality/promise ratio is very good.
So, no, it doesn't help to offer a free bottle of champagne with your hotel reservation. For nobody uses the search term 'hotel with something free', nor find it to be a convincing argument when visiting your hotel website.
If anything, the thought might be: a cheap bottle.
You, as me, will have to go through quite a thought process:
DO I offer something free? (I do, insights)
DO I offer something new? (I do, personally proven insights).
DOES it have quality? (I like to think my insights do, for nothing is ever the result of some tip found online, I stretch both the reliability and the honesty to the highest possible level).
IS it relevant for my topic / product / service?
DOES it advance my connection with the right market?
Ergo: I had to take care not to cause general disappointment when someone searches for a combination of 'free' or 'new' + a marketing term. It's no marketing trick. Which is the worst and most counterproductive strategy there is.
OK, I've got no excuse for that 3rd keyword.
I won't even repeat it, for imagine getting high rankings for 's-x Brussels'.
You're smiling? I had such rankings. Not exactly the brand image I like to transmit.
This article is an article-in-progress... so it will be continued, for sure.
Thanks for reading,