On-page optimisation in the offline world

This is more of a question than a full-blown blog post, but it’s something that’s been niggling at the back of my mind for some time.

It’s this: why are some companies that are brilliant at search engine optimisation so bad at promoting their online brand in the real world?

Think about it. Some firms will invest thousands getting the layout of their websites perfect, drawing visitors into target pages through cleverly-placed calls to action and other techniques.

Then you meet an employee of the company, and they hand you a business card that has the company’s website address in tiny letters. It’s a wasted opportunity.

Or you see a poster for its services, with the URL tucked away in a corner – invisible at more than five paces.

There’s often a tension between design and message, but I think digital direct marketing techniques could be much better employed in the real world. And I wonder why more online agencies don’t offer them.

So, before you next order a batch of business cards, why not trial two versions? Distribute the same numbers of each at comparable events, several weeks apart. Then use Google Analytics to see which were the most effective.

There are a lot of people out there who aren’t necessarily search engine savvy, but would be delighted to type in your URL if they were motivated enough to do so. Surely that’s got to be good for business?