Chances are the catalog your customers and members are using is not your catalog. Or, at best, it is only partially your catalog.
Really, The Catalog is the first page or two of the search results in Google. If you aren’t showing up there, then there is a decent chance your prospective customers never see your catalog. At the very least, you won’t attract many customers who don’t already know about you. They have the luxury of shopping efficiently across a range of learning businesses, and if they don’t see you in what turns up in The Catalog, well, they don’t see you.
So, if you haven’t already, it’s nigh time to make sure that the product pages in your catalog are optimized to show up in The Catalog. (Here is one of our favorite beginner’s guides to search engine optimization, or SEO.) And, if you have to pay to show up there in the short term – i.e., buy ads – do it. But aim to show up organically over the longer run.
But that’s not all.
There is also a Conversation. A constant, global Conversation, and it indirectly drives what shows up in The Catalog as much or more than pretty much anything else. It’s happening on social networks, in private communities, through cell phone apps and messaging.
If people are sharing your content, if they are talking about it, if they are linking to it, this increases the perception of you in the market as an authoritative, trusted provider of learning experiences. And it helps place you higher in The Catalog.
So, where are you engaged in The Conversation, and how are you making it as easy as possible for your content to be a part of The Conversation? (Hint: it helps a great deal to put some high value, free content at the base of your Value Ramp.)
These two phenomena are deeply related, of course.
The Conversation influences the The Catalog and The Catalog influences the Conversation. There is no way to control this dynamic fully, but certainly you can exert your own influence using methods already suggested above as well as others that are covered frequently here on the Leading Learning site and in our emails. Along those lines, here are some related links you may find useful:
- 7 Essential Rules of Successful Internet Marketers
- 8 Tips for Optimizing Your Value Ramp
- The 4-Part Formula for Selling Education
- 5 Big Takeaways from Traffic and Conversion 2019
- Cultivating Community with Rachel Happe of Community Roundtable
The Catalog. The Conversation. Don’t let them happen without you.
This is an updated version of a post originally published on the Tagoras blog on May 21, 2012.