An analogy that I use when I talk about emarketing is the idea of making mats, specifically Welcome Mats, which you then spread around the internet. The more individual mats that you make and strategically place, the more chance you have of being found in an increasingly competitive online market.

What am I on about? Well, these Welcome Mats are places where you essentially introduce yourself and then invite people to learn more about you, your business and what you offer. Generally this means “inviting” them back to your website or to your blog.

What form can these take? Well, for example:

  • Pages which appear as Search Engines results

  • AdWords (PPC) Adverts

  • Links on other sites or blogs

  • Directory entries

  • Articles with a link in your signature

  • Forum / Bulletin Board signatures

These are all what I would call Welcome Mats each will ideally be individually crafted, give a short introduction to you and your business and then invite people to find out more through a hyperlink through to your site.

So, as people use the internet for research or information gathering, they cross the internet in many different ways – how they go about it is totally out of our control. In fact, each time will be different and so the route that they take will be different too.

They might use a search engine and then follow links in some directories, or head straight for the blogosphere and check Technorati or maybe start with some Press Releases via Yahoo News. Whichever they choose, our goal as online marketers is to make sure that we appear in as many relevant places as possible and so cover all options – creating multiple and specific Welcome Mats allows us to do this.

And why do I consider blogs to be Mat Making machines? Well as I write a post which I hope will first and foremost be of interest to people who read my blog, I know that it will also automatically:

  • create 5 or 6 new pages (individual post, home page, archive page, 2 category pages) 5 potential Welcome Mats on the main Search Engines;

  • ping a number of blog search engines, directories and RSS directories – let’s say 10 Welcome Mats;

  • if it is well written, it may be fortunate in having 2 people reference it in addition from their blogs giving another 2 Welcome Mats;

  • add to Feedburners Headline Animator which I use when I post on Business Networking sites like ecademy which displays links to my RSS feed on average another 5 Welcome Mats.

So, by posting on my blog and focusing purely on my key aim of writing something which will prove useful and interesting, it is also likely that I will automatically create over 20 new Welcome Mats. That for me is a bonus rather than the reason that I write … but is also the reason that I encourage businesses I work with to get their own Mat Making Machine.

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