As a digital marketing consultant, I'm often asked to write website content: from the wire frame structure, calls-to-action (CTAs), emails, eBooks, landing pages, and of course blogs. And often there are long debates and discussions about what to include and what to call it and how long or short it should be. Afterwards, I'm often asked to make the copy more ____*(fun, hip, youthful, financial, techy, you fill in the blank).
My reaction is always the same. If content is king, then Google is the King's Army. Just like that tense scene in "Captain Philips," I get serious, look the client in the eye and say: "Google. Google is the Captain Now. Google decides."
Today, smart businesses start with the website content regardless of whether their products or services sale is Web-centric or not. But it doesn't end with search engine optimization (SEO). I'm saying all of your non-digital marketing decisions - from branding, to MarCom materials, brochures, trade show materials, should be decided by search engine keywords.
"Are you telling me that if I sell hamburgers or hardware, search engines should dictate what I call them, or how and where I market them?"
Yep.So I don't care if the copy sounds pedestrian, or if you think calling your coffee shop a "java joint" sounds cooler, or if in your circles "wholesale" means something different, or if all your other products start with the letter "P". While you're making a statement, your competitors who have done this are making a fortune.
And here's why: If they do want a hamburger they're looking for the highest rated one on Yelp. If they know where The Home Depot is they want to know where the closest one is. And if they know what they want and where to get it, they want to see if they can get it cheaper and delivered to their doorstep by Amazon.
But rather than Barkhad Abdi as the nefarious pirate who forces Tom Hanks out of his Captain's helm at gun point in Captain Philips, try to think of Google, Bing, and the like as your sailing instructor warning on the high seas we call the Internet. Rewarding us with merit badges when we do not play by the rules. (Yes, albeit just as eager to make a buck out of it as the pirates.) All of the search engines have the end-user's experience and satisfaction as their ruling mission. I like them, others hate them, but they unequivocally rule the business world now. Resistance is futile.
In conclusion, when writing content for the web and for your direct mail, trade show materials, TV commercials or anything in marketing, please default to what the search engine preferences dictate. First make sure your websites are properly optimized. Bad news? They probably aren't. Good news: Neither are your competitions most likely.And if you don't know what "keywords" are, find out now because they hold the secret to your success. Better yet, Google it.
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