Analogies I Use In Digital Marketing

This is just an ongoing list, for my personal reference.  I’ll add to it as I think of them; please feel free to read through, if you find any interesting or useful.

Last updated 7/29/2015

Sports Car Analogy – I almost always recommend building a substantial (1,400+ words) article to accompany an Infographic, with an introduction to the IG and a call to action at the top, then the IG displayed, and then a closely related article/analysis below. When negotiations open to shorten it to, say, 250 words, I point out how much work and cost we’ve put into research, design, and creative for this piece, and how much work we’re going to put into promoting it, and I say that going that far and then skimping at the end is like buying a sports car, but not painting it to save on costs.

Tree Analogy – When managing expectations about what a client should expect after a website redesign or migration, I compare the process to transplanting a tree.  Immediately after a tree is transplanted, it looks a little weak and wilted for a while. Then, there can be a period where it seems to not move at all, as it spreads out its roots. But look at it a year later, and it’s well on its way in a powerful growth period.  Like trees, websites can see lulls in traffic – even short-term drops – right after a redesign or migration. But if done properly, you can rest easily that you have long-term interests in mind.

Herding Cats – When explaining to people why outdated black/gray hat SEO strategies don’t work anymore, I like to say that Google learned how to herd cats.

Sculpture Analogy – Sometimes when you’re fixing SEO issues on a site, it’s like carving something out of a marble block. You’ll be working hard and chipping away at it, and for a while you won’t see the results you’re looking for. Then, the sculpture takes shape, becomes more refined, and the end result is something that’s going to last a very long time.

Weeding – When explaining why we clean up 404’s on an ongoing basis, I like to explain it like weeding. If you have a field of weeds, you wipe them all out in one run, but you know they’re not gone for good. It may never be as bad as that first time, but there’ll always be a few new weeds cropping up.

Hansel & Gretel – Building a website that’s perfect but is not aligned with SEO is like building a house of candy. It may have a 100% conversion rate, but if you only get 2 visitors, what good is it to you? SEO takes your house of candy and puts it somewhere that people can find it.

Healthy Living – Saying that great content is all you need, and SEO is irrelevant is the digital marketing equivalent of saying that all you need to live healthy is a good diet, and as long as you have that, exercise is irrelevant. Of course, what you really need for a healthy life is a good diet and exercise, and what you need for a great website is great content and SEO.


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