There’s a SEO Party in Your Pants, Bluma Zeigarnik and Steve Blank are Invited!


So my interests have recently turned towards direct response copywriting. I wouldn’t even call it copywriting per se as it is more  psychology and influence. There is this concept call the Zeigarnik effect. Basically humans are pattern matching/finishing machines.  The beginning of something always needs a close. For example take the nursery rhyme and try not to fill in the blank:

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a ______,

Did you fill in the blank. If so that is the Zeigarnik effect at play.

I was also thinking about a story Steve Blank told back in his B2B warrior marketing days. Basically he slaved over spec sheets for microprocessors his company sold. They were a work of beauty. After he presented it to management, they had an interesting reaction. They took his spec sheet, 16 pages long(remember this was the 80s), put it on a BBQ and burnt it. Horrified Steve asked what he did wrong. The CEO’s response was ‘nothing.’ Basically Steve’s data sheet would’ve stole the thunder of the whole Sales department. If that material was put out, and a customer lead was passed onto Sales, Sales would have nothing new to talk about. EVERYTHING was already disclosed in the data sheet.

This illustrates the tension in B2B companies between Marketing( SEO specifically) and Sales.  As an SEO I want to get as much quality material as I can out there for Google to crawl and index; I’m thinking FAQ pages specifically.  But if Sales gets a lead that knows everything, or worse gets no lead because this person’s questions were already answered, that Sales person is rendered impotent.

The answer to this came to me in reading about the Zeigarnik effect. If you strategically leave out finishing pieces of information for the FAQs, you can still set up Sales to be the hero while getting your content indexed and ranking.  So what would that actually look like for your organization. Well, I’m about to do it right now. Use that contact form to ask me how.

You may also like