Search Engine Optimization (SEO) sometimes seems like a sort of mystic science. That’s often the case for those who don’t work with it on a regular basis, particularly businesspeople, who are likely to have received the full blast of statistical analyses from experts without getting the big picture of what SEO does, and what it’s supposed to achieve.
Another thing most people don’t know is that SEO works, and works very well. They also apparently don’t know that the basic principles of SEO and advertising copy are very much the same. Ironically, the realities of SEO ideas and practices are in plain view, all the time, all over the world, in the form of ad copy.
- How do you search for something online?
- You use names, descriptions, and try to pin down your search terms to be as effective as possible, to find what you want in the shortest space of time.
SEO keywords and phrases are based on these principles, and so is advertising copy. If you’re looking for a fridge, you search for fridges, perhaps with a brand name. If you look at hard copy ads, what do you see? “Westinghouse Fridges”.
SEO dynamics in hard copy
A man called Claude Hopkins is called The Father of Advertising. He wrote a book called Scientific Advertising at the start of the 20th century, and his work is still required reading today. Hopkins was a realist, and emphasized the value of print materials in terms of their value to the consumer, not the seller. The idea is that people have their own motivations for purchase, and these are the real decision-making influences.
Decisions are based on information, and that information has to be presented so that it shows clear values to the consumer. The consumer, naturally, looks at any form of advertising in the same way as SEO – “This is what I’m looking for”.
For hard copy producers, this principle is extremely important. A post-it note can provide enough information to generate a sale, provided it has information of use to the buyer. This in turn means that hard copy information has to use these values dynamically, to match the medium used.
- Your business card- Business card printing allows some very high value content to be included on a card, like services, areas of expertise, and visual content to attract attention like colour schemes, layout, etc. A business card is in effect a mini-advertisement.
- Business writing techniques- Basic business writing may not have a reputation for glamorous use of language, but it’s extremely efficient in terms of providing information. In corporate brochure printing, information content is very much constructed on the business writing foundation, with ad copy attached to highlight the SEO content effect for subject matter.
Even technical writing can be incorporated into something as obviously advertising-oriented as large poster printing, using text like “The new XYZ processor, 5GB RAM”, which tells those interested in high end processors exactly what they want to know.
SEO content dynamics work for any business. If you’re looking for better content for your hard copy, start looking at SEO principles. You’ll appreciate the upgrade.