The Algorithm Method

The image of my third grade football coach still haunts me. His too-tight polyester polo shirt stretched around his barrel chest and tucked into too-short, double-knit polyester shorts. Striped knee-high socks stretched tight around spindly calves. The outfit somehow rendered even more frightening by the fact that his shirt, shorts and the stripes of his socks all perfectly matched his bright orange conversion van. 

Okay, in all fairness it was 1983, and orange was our team color. But still… not a good look. However, while my coach was so very, very wrong when it came to fashion, he was right about one thing—it’s all about fundamentals. This little nugget of jock wisdom isn’t just true for the high-stakes game of pee wee football. It’s also true when it comes to crafting effective, brand-building creative. That includes digital executions. 

Sure, digital executions are a little more complex. You have to consider user flow, load times, keywords, different browser and mobile platforms, crazy developers and, of course, search engine optimization (SEO). 

For a website to have a good SEO score, it must have good creative. That’s right, a good SEO score is dependent on good creative. That’s because for a website to have a good SEO score it must have two important traits: it must be engaging and it must be link-worthy. 

“Engaging” in this context simply means that a site must entice users to spend a few minutes interacting with it. “Link-worthy” means that users find the site’s content worth sharing. Both of these traits are built on the same creative fundamentals as an effective print ad or TV spot. (Remember those?) 

In some ways the interactive nature of the web makes engagement easier. After all, by definition interactivity requires engagement. And the web has certainly made sharing content among friends and family easier than ever. However, consumers will neither interact with a site nor share its content unless it connects with them on a human level. 

Whether it’s a website, a display ad or a flyer tucked underneath someone’s windshield wiper, to be considered good, creative must connect with consumers. It must be relevant to their lives and interests. It must stand out from the multitudes of mediocre marketing messages they’re bombarded with every day and pull them in. If not, the consumers who do find your website will simply bounce, and even the best laid SEO plans will be SOL.