I’m honoring National Nachos Day this week with this blog post. Sadly, this week also brought with it the passing of ‘The Father of Nachos,’ Frank Liberto. I hope this blog post also honors Mr. Liberto, who has my deepest gratitude for many delightfully satisfying meals.
A lot of great things are layered. They’re complex: great novel, an excellent film or TV series, a nice bourbon or barrel aged stout, one of man’s greatest culinary achievements, nachos. Also, a digital marketing strategy. It’s these latter two passions of mine in particular that we’ll dive into today, because when you break them down to their separate parts, nachos and digital strategies may have more in common than you think.
Like nachos, digital strategies are varied. The recipe I’m about to lay out isn’t necessarily the one that may be perfect for you. But it’s one example of a tasty recipe, converting an empty digital stomach to full.
The Ground Layer
With nachos, this is obvious – it’s the chip. The tortilla chip is the vehicle taking you to Flavortown, in the parlance of Guy Fieri. You want a chip that’s strong and won’t wilt under the pressure of the ingredients you load onto your nachos.
Now, with digital marketing, I may ruffle a few feathers here. But I’m an SEO, and a purist, so I believe the strong foundation to a digital strategy begins with an optimized website. It needs to be architecturally sound, with solid bones. Because if it isn’t, once you start adding your ingredients, you’re not maximizing your impact. And that isn’t going to take you to your ultimate goal of pure satisfaction.
The Cheesy Glue
The cheese you use for your nachos is another very important piece of your recipe. You can’t just use any old cheese. I mean, you can, but what is that going to mean for your end product? I’ll tell you – it means you’re going to be dissatisfied.
Great content is the cheesy glue of your digital strategy. It holds everything together. And maybe you use different cheeses or have some different content, but internal linking between content pieces it all together. It’s all about cohesion and delivering expectations to the end user. If your cheese is bad, bland, or just doesn’t make sense with the dish, folks are going to put down the nachos.
The Protein Link
Can you enjoy nachos without a protein? I mean, sure. But they’re almost always more enjoyable with protein. Pork, chicken, beans. Heck, maybe even tofu if that’s your jam. Protein serves as that main link between the base layers of chips and cheese and the various toppings.
In my opinion, this is the one analogous ingredient digital marketing strategies often leave out, often to their detriment: inbound linking. A lot of strategies rely heavily on that content cheese to be good enough to just naturally accrue a lot of valuable links. Sometimes, that may even be the case. But most websites and brands can’t depend on this to build inbound links.
The Elevation Play
Okay, I reached a little there, but hear me out. Cilantro is one ingredient that can take a really solid nacho recipe and elevate it. I know, some people are genetic weirdos, and cilantro tastes like soap to them. But for most normal humans, it’s a delicate leaf that packs a ton of great flavor, really amplifying your nachos.
Cilantro is the social media marketing piece of your digital strategy. It takes that strong framework and bumps everything up a notch. These aren’t nachos for your toddler, these are adult nachos.
Pay Up for the Accoutrements
The final piece of the recipe is important, but more dependent on your style, palate, and maybe even your budget or what’s seasonally available. For my usual nachos, I’d like this to include chopped red onion, sour cream, diced tomato, avocado, and hot sauce. Maybe instead of the onion, tomato, and hot sauce you just use salsa. Heck, maybe you’ve got the skills or budget for a fuego mole sauce.
This is where I see PPC slotting into our digital marketing recipe. It’s important to include, but considering it means paying for specific campaigns and keywords, you need to be a bit more selective. Perhaps there’s been a massive drought, causing the price of avocados to skyrocket. You may need to leave them be. Maybe there are only a couple red onions left at the store and they’re just not working for you. Best to leave them be.
You’ve taken the time, used your recipe, and now you’ve built this wonderful plate. Don’t forget to take a brief moment to reflect on your work. Plenty of sweat and tears (mostly from chopping that onion) went into its construction.
Okay, now dig in and enjoy the fruits [really, nachos] of your labor. But consider keeping some notes. You can always tweak your recipe and make adjustments.
About the Author
Caleb Dann is the SEO Technician for Site Strategics in downtown Indianapolis. He enjoys nachos (duh), homebrewing, riding bikes, discussing the finer points of beards, video games, his deaf Boston terrier, and his wife and two- and four-legged kids. If you’re interested in reaching out to Caleb about SEO or nacho recommendations, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.