New Tagline at SEO Book...

Jan 29th

The old tagline a new chapter every day... was around for about 4 years and I figured a change was in order. The best I could come up with was Learn. Rank. Dominate.

Do you like or dislike the new tagline?

BTW, have been doing a bit of spring cleaning fixing what I can. The archives page was not updating, but I got that fixed. Still lots of small things I need to fix in the coming months.

And Matt Cutts confirmed that the #6 ranking was real for anyone who thought it was just speculation.

Published: January 29, 2008

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Comments

January 29, 2008 - 11:01am

It's nice. I might have used achieve instead of dominate. Then again, achieve sounds kinda academic while dominate is more business-like.

January 29, 2008 - 11:10am

Learn. Rank. Earn.

January 29, 2008 - 11:15am

Hey Aaron... as they say on the Mike and the MadDog radio show in NY, 'first time long time.'

I've been reading for quite sometime but making my first comment. I think the new slogan comes across as a bit too harsh, like it's all about the money, when in fact your site isn't about that at all. For another (mercenary like SEO)site maybe, but I'm not sure it matches your site, your personality and the way you deliver your message.

Maybe if you changed the word 'Dominate' that word in particular, rubs me the wrong way, my two cents.

January 29, 2008 - 11:22am

I agree with sharpseo. The use of dominate comes across to strong for me. And with search while you may be "dominating" one day things can quickly shift on you. I would play off the fact that your a white hat seo and your amount of experience. I with I had better suggestions but I definitely agree with the census that "dominate" isn't the best choice of words.

January 29, 2008 - 11:36am

Thanks for the comments everyone.

The good news is that if I change it again then changing it should be easier since I consolidated images and CSS issues. :)

Another friend suggested
Learn. Rank. Profit.

January 29, 2008 - 11:37am

I'm rubbish at this kind of thing, but one thought springs to mind - why not do some split testing with a few taglines? This will help find not only one you like but also the one which converts best! Just a thought ;-)

January 29, 2008 - 11:42am

I think taglines are like brands. They do not need to resonate with everyone or even most people, just the core people who really care about you and your product. They add a bit of differentiation and give people something to associate you with. They develop and influence over time, so I am not sure that a split test would be able to prove conclusive results.

I chose the word dominate because it is strong, but apparently it is too strong. Perhaps I should change that word to profit or earn. I actually left the reference of money out because I did not want to sound like I was all about the money, but maybe in this instance suggesting money is better than the word dominate.

Thanks for the comments everyone. Especially the first time commenters. :)

January 29, 2008 - 11:47am

I thought it was excellent. I really liked the use of the word dominate. *Shrug*

January 29, 2008 - 11:51am

It is simple, to the point and sounds authoritative.

January 29, 2008 - 12:08pm

I also agree that "dominate" may be a bit strong. Just tossing in my .02.

January 29, 2008 - 12:17pm

Learn.Rank.Profit.

I like that a lot better. To me, more subtle and in line with your site's message. Also, profit doesn't necessarily mean monetarily, which again, I think speaks more to the different ways you can profit by reading SEOBook:)

January 29, 2008 - 12:20pm

The fact that people are reacting to it emotionally is a good sign that you are on the right path.

My question to everyone (taking off your branding hat and putting on your consumer hat) - does dominate turn you off? Would it make you less likely to buy?

The goal of search marketing should be to dominate your marketplace - it's a circular self-fulfilling process.

It's a strong word and an even stronger concept.

January 29, 2008 - 12:27pm

...Of course you're going to split test this to see if it has an impact on sales, no? :)

I liked a new chapter every day because it almost markets the blog itself as a product that you give away, but that's just my take. Then again, I would like to DOMINATE my market, so..

I guess what I'm saying is split test :)

January 29, 2008 - 1:29pm

Strong words are good but look at Aarons post yesterday for example - The Spamification of Trusted Words, Ideas, & Organizations

So many spammers and bad SEO's out there attempt to market themselves by the whole get rich quick thing and using really strong phrases and for the most part it doesn't work at least not for very long.

If I were coming to this site for the first time and this guy is talking about dominating I might be quick to brush it off as just another lame attempt to score a few bucks from me.

I like the learn, rank, profit much more as well.

January 29, 2008 - 1:39pm

"If I were coming to this site for the first time and this guy is talking about dominating I might be quick to brush it off as just another lame attempt to score a few bucks from me."

Good point.

But is the brand for someone new who just pops on the site? I don't think so.

Branding is long term emotional bond. Once there is trust and you lower your cynical guard, the brand can impact you on an emotional level.

January 29, 2008 - 1:44pm

I like it, straight and to the point. If it is to harsh for your tastes later, How about Learn. Rank. Prosper. ?

January 29, 2008 - 2:00pm

The "Dominate" ending is my favorite part!! Its an emotional word that hits on exactly what people want to achieve after reading a book about SEO. Great sales line imo.

jbspartners
January 29, 2008 - 2:45pm

Aaron, I would keep thinking on this one.

Look for synonyms for the word "learn". Most pp associate learning with hard word - no lie and fitting. I see at is "read more". I don't want to read more, I want to finish what I was doing before I had to click. "Understand" is more appropriate but maybe a bit too long. "Discover" might lead to a good choice, especially if your target audience is folks that are newer to SEM.

Rank. I think that refers to PageRank, which we are all trying to move our clients away from thinking about due to personalized search, geographic differences in results and all in one results. "Results" is closer to the point, but is pretty non-specific.

Dominate - wishful thinking for most readers, but ok. Some large corporations might find it cocky. Kids might find it cool.

My biggest suggestion is to remove the periods. Too many periods. They each stop my eye from reading the next word. Use no punctuation or comma's if you must use punctuation.

Ultimately a phrase will be more memorable than three words.

My sense is that you are/intend on building more of a community. The new tag line reflects that vision less than it could. The old tag line at least suggested that I should return for fresh info daily.

Here is some food for thought;

"Connecting search (or marketing) strategy to results"

The words search and strategy are replaceable with more fitting words.

Have fun with it. It's definitely an iterative process.

January 29, 2008 - 8:26pm

Hey JB: wouldn't "rank" be referring to the simple act of "ranking" for a term, in SERPs? That's how I read it, anyway.

I like the strategy/results angle...Im abismal with tag lines though so I won't bumble around with it.

Tom

January 29, 2008 - 2:49pm

I think the word Dominate is the most appropriate ending word for your tag line.

@ All:

Unless our entire online presence is dedicated to sharing pictures and feelings with friends and family, we are online to make money.

To make money we will either sell our voice (to garner authority on a particular subject), or sell a product or service. Heck, we might do all of the aforementioned.

Since the opportunity to earn n amount of authority or n amount of money from our online presence is heavily relegated by our current search engine rankings, it is crucial to rank well.

If given the opportunity (information and tools) to rank OK or Dominate, which would you chose? Personally, I'd choose to dominate so that I could help my company earn more, which in-turn helps me to earn more. (: Does your company pay you to aim for anything less than search engine dominance? Better yet for you sole proprietors out there, could you afford to aim for anything less?

We might accept a Top 10 ranking now, but I highly doubt any of us would settle for anything less than #1. This is why I believe Dominate is a far better word that Earn or Profit.

Eric

January 29, 2008 - 3:53pm

If you were doing blackhat, "Earn, Learn & Burn" would really rock!

I really like pairing "Earn & Learn" together...I'm grasping for a third relevant word that rhymes.

January 29, 2008 - 4:34pm

Most people already said my angle. Dominate sounds cool but it's too aggressive for many. Especially newcomers or corporate workers. It's kind of restrictive to those of us that may like it in the business. But for say, the couple of people I sent over that were looking to learn (aka ask me questions that I don't have time for) about search would probably be turned off or intimidated.

I would also look at achieve, earn, profit and the like of more positive words.

January 29, 2008 - 4:51pm

A tagline should express what you do clearly along with your Unique Value Proposition.

Unless you're a brand (household name) you can't afford to be vague.

Walmart's tagline is "Save Money. Live Better"
Mc Donalds's is "I'm Loving It"

Small companies cannot use these types of taglines because they are simply too vague for new customers to remember.

Now let me analyze your old tagline.
"A New Chapter Every Day"
I never buy ebooks online, ever. I bought your SEO book
over everyone else's because of your honest personality on this blog and because you promised that your SEO book was current. A new chapter every day reinforced that. I however, am a Carnegie Mellon nerd that can spot bullshit from a mile a way. I'm not sure if I'm your target market.

"Learn. Rank. Dominate."
Seems a little sleasy to me. You are now sounding like all the other SEO people out there. I would be turned off by this if I were a first time visitor, however, like I said, I'm not your target market.

After looking at your logo and throughout your site, I noticed two things that stood out.

1. You have a planet in your logo
2. You're 'the only current SEO book on the planet'

For me, that would be your tagline. That's what sold me.

But, if you know who you TARGET customer is (I certainly don't) and put yourself in their head ... then you'll know what tagline to use. The one you have up there just might be it.

Good luck! Love the site and will continue recommending it.

Joey Rahimi
Managing Director
Branding Brand

January 29, 2008 - 5:40pm

@ Joey

I didn't know that Carnegie Mellon taught a class on how to spot BS from a mile away? I wish SDSU offered that class back in 1998. LOL

On a serious note... Unless you purchased Aaron's book purely for research to write a Thesis on SEO, you purchased it to learn how to outrank your competitors on the search engines; Dominate if you will. I highly doubt that you were bored and thought that reading a 300+ page ebook on SEO would be a good way to spend your weekend. Let me put it another way. I strongly doubt that a Carnegie Mellon student would spend his/her valuable time reading about SEO if it would not help them to earn more money by dominating the search engines. (:

January 29, 2008 - 5:53pm

First thing that popped into my head was, "Isn't that what SEOmoz uses as a tagline?" It turns out they use two phrases to say more or less the same thing: "Read SEOmoz. Rank better."

January 29, 2008 - 6:18pm

Aaron,

Memorable. Simple. Powerful.

Go with it mate.

Cheers
Aidan

January 29, 2008 - 8:36pm

Personally I'm not in love with profit or earn; you rank for a lot of broad SEO terms, and if I'm completely unfamiliar with the market and the type of customer likely to invest 80 dollars in an Ebook, I'm looking for something that doesn't sound like "make money online" to me. Dominate's a little in-your-face but I prefer it to earn or profit. Learn Rank Lead maybe? The punctured alliteration make it sound clunky?

January 30, 2008 - 12:26am

A little too harsh I think although I would also say if you hadn't pointed the change out I would have never noticed. :)

January 30, 2008 - 1:55am

I think taglines as business objectives of the consumer with the company and when we say "Learn, Rank & Dominate", it says exactly what seobook is doing so I think it is nice to have and no need to modify further.

January 30, 2008 - 2:59am

Hi Aaron,

On my first visit to your site, two marketing elements struck me as being unique and trustworthy:

The name SEO Book followed by your tagline: "a new chapter everyday."

Together they make sense and convey value. Upon reading the site title, tagline, and SEO Book Ebook offer page, I understood that the information I would gather from this site and the SEO Book Ebook would always be current and up-to-date (excellent selling point). You convinced me that you are not like other marketers on the web trying to sell their ebooks for a quick sale. The old tagline reinforces that belief as it implies a commitment to provide value after the sale. If I were to come to your site today as a prospective SEO Book Ebook buyer, I might be a little more skeptical about what you have to offer given the new wording in the tagline which could be easily replicated by other SEO experts offering their services.

One other thought to consider: given the liquid nature of knowledge and a liquid medium such as the net, I believe that you should keep the old tagline or dedicate it your blog. Some companies have multiple brands with distinct taglines. Yet, I still think the old tagline fits into the scope of your current projects. Plus, you have built some brand equity with the old tagline and that might be why some fellow SEO Book readers are not so comfortable with the new one.

P.S.
I don't mean to sound quirky here but the sunburst in your logo is like the sun rising on a new frontier of knowledge-a new chapter everyday.

January 30, 2008 - 10:45am

A guy named Pete just made a flash logo for me with the logo starting out at night, and then the sun coming up and turning into the O. Take a look :)

The big advantage of the new logo over the old one is that it promises benefit. The old one was much weaker on that front.

January 30, 2008 - 1:03pm

I like the old tagline.

It reinforces the concept that I need to keep coming back for more. (And "chapter" plays nicely with SEO "book".)

Learn, Rank, Dominate =

Cliche, Trite, Hard-to-Remember.

So -- other than "I figured it was time for a change" (which is kinda ego-based) -- what's the real business reason for the change?

January 30, 2008 - 1:14pm

New line tends to over promise, specifically "dominate". It would be like a creating a line for a Ford Mustang that says, Sleek. Powerful. Win the Daytona 500.

I prefer the older line as it clearly communicates that your book is fresh and always evolving -- which is a huge benefit, Says that even though you're already ranked #1 and have a gazillion testimonials, you're not resting on your laurels.

BTW: Just because a tagline has some age on it doesn't mean it's bad, old, or needs to be changed. Just think how long "Just Do It." has been around. If it works, it works.

January 31, 2008 - 2:00pm

"It would be like a creating a line for a Ford Mustang that says, Sleek. Powerful. Win the Daytona 500."

I don't agree.

There is only one Daytona 500 for ALL the mustang drivers.

One of points that Aaron makes over and over again is make sure you pick a market you can dominate. If you aren't Jeff Gordon, don't pick the Daytona 500.

Pick something you can win. Pick something you can dominate.

The tagline value isn't how to rank 1,283 (which is worthless) for Mustang but how to rank #1 for High Performance Fuel Injectors (which may have value).

February 4, 2008 - 8:02am

Learn.Rank.Dominate is very, very macho. Three short sharp words like soldiers marching along. Particularly that Dominate.

A new Chapter Every Day was much gentler. I can imagine it appealing to both sexes. It implies constant learning, and a long term relationship between you and your users where they come back on a continuous basis.

Personally I go for Outwit, Outsmart, that sort of thing rather than Dominate, but I haven't got the passion for your brand that you have to come up with anything good. My best effort is Get Smarter every Day

February 4, 2008 - 12:09pm

Aaron

I like the Learn and Rank parts, but what you are leaving out is Monetize.

Granted, "Learn. Optimize. Monitize." doesn't exactly roll of the tongue, but your best advice is about understanding users and messaging, avoiding short term strategies that burn out your brand, etc.

This is a much more nuanced, nimble philosophy than the military paradigm of domination.

February 5, 2008 - 3:35am

Looks like we're going to disagree on this one timmcg.

I'm not saying that the new line isn't visceral or doesn't appeal to the reader on an emotional level, because it does. And those types of lines do help sell product. It's just that in context, "dominate" becomes a promise. And the context is shaped by the the way the line is constructed.

The line is constructed in a style that makes use of removing words. In this instance, the line in full form would have read, "You will learn. You will rank. You will dominate". The word "will" is a promise and is the intended communication because you can't sell product with a line that includes qualifier's like, "can", "might", "could", "should", etc. For example, would you buy a car that *might* run. Not likely.

So the format, "Learn. Rank. Dominate" creates a stair-stepped promise -- each step delivering the reader to the next level. First they learn, then they increase rank. But that doesn't mean that they will dominate.

That's why Aaron includes a disclaimer (with the qualifier "should" in his book) -- "While following this guide should help you improve rankings... And as long as Aaron includes a qualifier, it would be risky to have a line that readers will misinterpret.

February 5, 2008 - 4:24am

I view it more as people have the opportunity to learn, rank, and dominate.

Will everyone in the world be successful, and at the top of a highly profitable social structure? Not likely. But I don't aim to sell to people who do not want to push hard to be the best.

And, of course, everyone defines success on their own terms. A few years ago I thought I was successful, but if I was at the level I was at a few years ago today I don't think I would consider that successful. As we learn more our perception of the world and our perception of success change.

Becoming successful is a process...and I think the ultimate goal (especially in business) is to dominate a market, or at least dominate the portion of the market that resonates with you. To rise above the noise and to be heard with a message that emotionally resonates with your targets.

Numerous people who read my book were struggling along in the corporate world, then read my book, and became millionaires. Is that everyone? No, but those who push hard and are good at business do well. Others get to a level of success they are comfortable with and then focus on life quality.

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