Freddie Mercury’s Guide to SEO

Want to be an awesome SEO or digital marketer? Seek out Those of Epic Awesomeness and learn from them. If you think like a legend in your work life, your work will be legendary. And, after what must be my 5000th listening of A Night at the Opera, I started thinking about what lessons Freddie Mercury can teach internet marketers.

Surround Yourself With Great People

Freddie Mercury had great co-workers. Guitarist Brian May played for decade on a guitar he built with his father in the family tool shed. The guitar had an advanced tremolo system that wasn’t available at the time. Brian’s guitar fueled millions in record sales for Queen. Today, Brian owns his own guitar company that produces a commercial replica of his homemade guitar.

Queen’s bassist John Deacon began tinkering with piano in the mid-70s. Almost immediately after beginning to learn the new instrument, he crafted the now-iconic song “You’re My Best Friend.” John has said, casually, “basically that’s the song that came out you know when I was learning to play piano.” The song was a major hit, and helped push Queen’s “A Night at the Opera” album to triple-platinum sales.

Great people produce great things. You can’t do everything alone, so partner up or populate a staff with people of great talent and your work product will be great.

Appreciate Your Clients, They’ll Bring You Fame and Fortune

You are nothing without your clients (or your readers and buyers as the case may be). Freddie honored and loved his fans. “You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it; I thank you all,” he insists in “We Are the Champions.” Your clients are gold. Treat them that way and you’ll enjoy riches and be a champion for years to come.

Build on the Past, but Be Original

Queen regularly employed elements of the past in their music. They drew heavily upon the growing heavy metal movement (at the time pioneered by Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath) but also included less-expected elements like classical and opera. “It’s unheard of to combine opera with a rock theme, my dear,” Freddie once remarked. He also once said that “the whole point of Queen was to be original.” Queen knew where to ground themselves and where to branch out and be original. The resulting effect was a supernatural but radio-ready rock sound.

You can do the same. Web marketing draws on a foundation of concepts that originate with traditional advertising. Web marketers must honor well-settled advertising concepts like calls to action, customer conversion, branding, etc. After all, the psychology of the buyer hasn’t changed much since the beginning of time. But web marketing presents infinite opportunities to be original. When you blend a solid marketing foundation with creative and innovative ideas, you will excel, and you will succeed. Don’t simply imitate the successes of others, build on the successes of others with your own spin.

Be Fabulous and Think Big

“I always knew I was star, and now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me,” Freddie once mused. No one ever accused Queen or Freddie of thinking small — even before they were famous. In marketing as in rock music, it’s the big ideas that get the most attention. If you are building a website for a client or for one of your own properties, make it the best-in-class for that space. Queen wasn’t done with a song until they had lavished it with operatic 4-part harmonies. Aim high and people will love your product.

If you have an idea for a blog post article, why not go for broke and develop it into a full-scale infographic? We re-learned this lesson recently when our infographic study of social media impact on search signals went viral, earning us thousands of social media mentions and hundreds of links from the SEO and entrepreneurial community. Had we issued that material as a blog post, it might have been lost in the shuffle of thousands of other blog posts. We took the route a champion would take and it paid off.

When web content goes viral, it’s the same as when a band gets famous: when people love something, they tell their friends.

2 replies
  1. Shawn Hessinger
    Shawn Hessinger says:

    Hi Claire,
    As a long time fan of Queen (and especially of Freddie) it was a real pleasure to come across this post. I think many of your points could well apply to success in any business and maybe success at anything in life. It’s a universal message that resonates and I also want to thank Heather for sharing it with the BizSugar community.


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