In a purely online world, there is importance in variety with your communication, and print is still one of the most important. Especially combined with SEO and online marketing.
But how, you ask, does an analogue medium like print help your website succeed with its online presence?
Let me explain…
If you have read Google’s own ‘Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide’ you will know that near the end it says:
“Putting effort into the offline promotion of your company or site can also be rewarding. For example, if you have a business site, make sure to list your URL on your business cards, letterhead, posters, etc. You could also send out recurring newsletters to clients through the mail letting them know about new content on the company’s website.”
It makes sense right? For many more reasons than are initially apparent. Yes, you should defiantly have your website address on your business card, and I believe in this day and age it is unanimously accepted. If you don’t have your website address on your business card, then it’s definitely time to get some new ones! If you’ve moved to an online only business card, great, you’re a trendsetter… But your customers might not be. Get yourself some printed ones as a backup for those people that look at your confused when you show them a QR code or NFC gizmo. It is better to have backup than lose a potential customer, right? Companies like fasprinting.co.uk offer good quality and price, we’ve partnered with them to offer you some great deals.
Here’s the thing, without your business card, that customer may never look you up because they don’t know they should! To them, your website doesn’t exist and neither does your service. Maybe you’re better than their current service provider/supplier/whatever. But they aren’t even LOOKING for a new one because they are perfectly content with their current one. As soon as they get your business card, you’re on their radar, your visibility to them has increased from 0 to 100% that is marketing, that is SEO!
Print Leads to Visibility
SEO is all about visibility! At the end of the day all, what you are aiming for, is as many potential customers seeing you as possible. If you are getting 50 people per week get to your website from search, and you could increase that to 100 people then that’s got to be a good thing right?
As I said, customers aren’t always looking for you, sometimes you will need to get in front of them to tell them you exist. THEN you’ll be on their radar, then they will remember you and maybe they will become a customer. Maybe not today, maybe it will be once their current contract is up, but they are more likely to remember you than if they’d never seen you before.
Printed Materials Increase Website Traffic
You receive a business card and the first thing you do is check out their website. The business card and website team is the perfect combo. The business card is a small, bite-sized bundle of information that you can keep easily in your pocket until you need it. The website complements that with all the information you could need.
So how is print good for search engine optimisation? Well, you or your SEO people signed up to Google analytics, right? With that little tracker on your website google knows exactly how many people go to your website at any given second. They use this information in their algorithm to figure out how important your website is. That’s why they tell you in their guide to put effort into the offline promotion to generate traffic, not just online.
Think about it, if a website has 0 views per day and another has 100 and with all other variables being equal. The website with 100 views is seen as more important by google. Thus worthy of a higher ranking on it’s SERP (search engine results page). Logic right?
Any increase in traffic to your website will increase the importance of that site and any and all traffic can and is tracked by google. Don’t like it? well, there’s not much you can do. If you want to be seen by people, you need Google, Bing, Yahoo and all the other search engines on your side.
Put Effort Into Your Message
This is a big point to be fair, with perhaps a little, hidden meaning behind it. You need to put effort into your marketing, into your website, into your content, and into your print marketing. Why? Because people and Google want quality. They accept that a company able to invest in print advertising is probably more “important” than one that can’t. A company that can spend more on various types of marketing is probably more relevant to searchers than one that doesn’t do any. Whether you agree with this or not, this is one way that google has to determine how important a website is. 1000 visitors a day is better than 100. Again, logic.
Google Loves Brands
There has been some research recently that suggests Google really does love brands. You see a brand isn’t just a generic domain name like onlineshoeseller.com but can be something like Clarks or Brantano. Those brand names don’t necessarily help with SEO in the old world-view. But in the new one, Google knows that a brand can be more trustworthy and have a better reputation.
People will search ‘shoe shop’ and find a branded website, but they will also search the brand Clarks or Brantano. More people searching for them by their brand name and not “generic” search terms gives them a minor importance boost.
Coming back to print and we must look at how people act when they receive flyers. They are as likely to put your brand into their browsers search bar as they are your exact domain. This is where your brand starts to flourish.