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Using SEO with Nostalgia - Attract and Activate Your Visitor's Memories

By John Alexander


We've talked a lot about the richness and value of useful content that hold high-interest for your audience of visitors. 

By using nostalgia, you can often connect with your readers to activate good memories and experiences. After all, regardless of what your online business is about, the Web is really all about connecting with other people in some fashion. The smartest use of the Web today using Search Engine Marketing, is to create an experience that fosters a relationship with your reader. But to do that, sometimes we have to put a little more of ourselves into our work.

Behavioral Research Tip: Watch for opportunities to "relate" to people.

When working with Web content, it is good to remember the power of old memories and relationships and when researching search behaviors to keep the element of "nostalgia" in mind. 

1. Watch for opportunities to relate to other people with similar interests. 

2. Try combining your Web content with interesting historical or background information that shares a common nostalgic moment.

3. Remember to offer a non-threatening reason to respond or a solid "call to action." 

Remember: What your Web visitors care about, are your thoughts and your opinions that reveal a little bit of your life or your stance on issues. Give your readers a way to connect to you. The use of nostalgia is just one way to connect but I think the best way for me to relate this is to share a few examples of my own. 

Where does nostalgia come from?

When I was young, I can recall my favorite movies, music and experiences growing, as many of us do. With the popularity of the Internet and communications these days, you realize from time to time that perhaps your favorite memories and experiences as a child, may often not all that different from others. For example there are Web sites devoted to all types of information out there. As a person searches the Internet for information related to their interests, it becomes apparent that there are actually huge trends for certain topic interests. 

Example of Using Nostalgia:

Let's pick a subject for the sake of an example, like "music."

If you are knowledgeable about music, then perhaps you want to talk about your background or interesting experiences from the past. Were you involved in a band or in the music industry? What types of music do you relate to or can you shed some light or your views on a specific genre. 

Can you see how writing good content on music might attract others who have similar interests. Writing about some experience you had as a musician or for that matter as someone attending a certain concert event, may hold some appeal.

Would you be interested in hearing what it was like to share New Years Eve with Elvis Presley at one of his final concerts. If you were an Elvis fan, perhaps you were one of the 82,000 people in Pontiac Michigan on New Years Eve (like I was) in one of his later performances. I can describe every detail of what it was like at only 22 rows from the stage and the events of that night which as an Elvis fan, I'll always remember. 

But okay, so maybe some of you don't relate or perhaps you are not an Elvis fan.

Another Example of using Nostalgia - but with a twist: 

Let me reach back a little further yet, to years before I was born. But how could I create Web content and talk about the memories of something that happened back in the 1930s or 1940s when my childhood was really in the 1960's? 

In this instance I'll refer to a few memories of movies and film that I relate to. 

Personally, I enjoyed watching certain musical performances and rare talent that were captured in the old classic movies that I watched growing up. I have a great appreciation for a number of classic genres including science fiction, mysteries, dramas, fantasy, comedy and of course, the great musicals. 

When I mention the name "The Marx Brothers," for those of you old enough, your mind instantly probably jumps to the genre of "comedy." As a child I certainly remember watching the zany antics of the Marx Brothers on TV from their old movies and they entertained me and made me laugh as much as someone can in an 90 minute or 2 hour movie. 

But suppose, if for example I was creating a promotion for to sell some of their old films or videos online, I would want a unique angle or a completely different approach.

Checking the Members area of Wordtracker, I'm going to see if I can find a few phrases that might relate to a specific topic that I could use to create nostalgic memories and relate to any others who enjoy old classic movies." 

Adding in a new twist:

Here would be my twist, that would be different (and I hope interesting.) 

From my experience as a child, I remember two of the four Marx Brothers in particular, as having rare musical talent. You ask yourself.....what??? 

Which of these comedians were musicians? 

Harpo Marx - was a self taught musician could play the most celestial and captivating music on the harp.

To me as a youngster, he was an amazing performer who wore a funny wig and never spoke a single word onscreen. He never did speak while on the screen. Some people actually thought Harpo could not speak. But he could. Harpo became a "mime" after a theater critic apparently once noted that Harpo was brilliant in performance, until his character spoke. From that moment on, Harpo never spoke while in character again (for the rest of his career.) 

While most of the time, his performance involved in slapstick sight gags, there was always one point in which Harpo would become amazingly serious. That was always when he sat down at his instrument the harp, to play.  As a youngster I could not believe the heavenly music I would hear when Harpo Marx sat down to play. It may sound crazy, but his music would hold me in complete astonishment when I watched early films like (A Night At The Opera.) 

Then there was Chico Marx - who played the piano with a highly unusual style and talent.

Chico always amazed me in his piano playing routines and I don't think there has ever been anyone quite as original as him since. It was amazing to watch and listen to him play as he employed humor into his keyboard playing style. 

Nostalgic moment - Video clip with Chico Marx and Harpo Marx from A Night at the Opera:

Please watch them both in this short film clip below where Chico is surrounded by children watching him play. Then watch as Harpo does a little comedy routine with the children just before he plays that awesome harp. Keep in mind that it is a fact that Harpo never had a music lesson in his life. He was completely self taught, but then later he learned that he had learned "wrong." But that did not stop other musicians from coming to him in later years asking Harpo to teach them to play the harp in his style.

If you can catch the expression on the children's faces as Harpo plays, that would represent how I probably sat looking at my TV set. The clip below is only 6 minutes. Be sure to watch it all and enjoy some nostalgia from years gone by.  

Now at this point, I am breaking away from talking about SEO technique, but focusing on telling you some examples of my own nostalgic interests to see how I could possibly relate to the memories of others. 

In Conclusion: Back to Wordtracker and here are some keyword phrases I found first:

For the name "Chico Marx" as a keyword phrase, there were 171,000 competing pages in Google.
For the name "Harpo Marx" as a phrase, there are 295,000 competing pages.

Other possible phrases that I could choose with much less competition include:

  • "Biography of Marx Brothers" which for this exact phrase has only 3 competing pages (at the time I wrote this.)
  • "Names of the Marx Brothers" which only has 6 competing pages (at the moment)
  • "Marx Brothers Comedy Sketches" only has 10 competing pages.

Can you see how easy it would be to optimize content if I wanted to research and write a biography of the Marx brothers lives? I could focus on one of these themes but develop a twist to my content and maybe focus on how much I enjoyed some of their musical talents as much as I enjoyed laughing at their comedy routines.

Here from Utube, is a clip of Harpo Marx playing the Harp like only he could do. Take note of the peoples faces who were present whenever he played his harp in these old films. It must of been inspiring to sit in on one of his performances considering the man apparently never learned to play the harp "the correct way" and the fact that he was self taught. By the end of Harpos career he had musicians approaching him to learn the harp "his way."



From the film "At the Circus."

Consider using nostalgia from time to time and don't forget to put a little twist on things so you present your content with its own unique story angle. Ideally an angle that relates your thoughts, opinions and something of value from your self. Something that your visitors and others may also relate to and appreciate.

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About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with his partner SEO educator Robin Nobles, author of the very first comprehensive online search engine marketing courses. John is author of
an e-book called Wordtracker Magic and has taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world wide. John's articles can be read in publications like REALTOR Magazine, Search Engine Guide, WEBpro News and many others.  

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