decoder ring

Recent inspiration has given light to something I think will help many of those roaming the Printerverse. In the past I have talked about how to understand the different areas of print, leverage the lessons learned and make sure you are being relevant. Then it struck me – as I wrote in a previous article on industry jargon and posed the question ‘What does it all mean?’—we need a decoder ring… a series!

This decoder ring isn’t going to be for just print industry terms, but for the things we as an industry trying to communicate with our customers and produce really, I mean Doc Brown’s flux-capacitor, cool shit.

The first thing people tell you is you need to get the word out; that normally means in today’s internet driven world that you need a website. There are a number of other things you can do, but we will decode that in a future rambling. So you get a website or are looking at having one designed and they start talking to you about the importance of:

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Post-Click Optimization
  • Mobile First

Truly, having a conversation about building or improving a website is enough to make your head spin. Take it from someone that just propelled a company to win the Business Marketing Association Colorado Gold Key Award for their website redesign in 2015.

So let’s decode this a bit below (HINT: I will throw in some tips too!):

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization. It is basically the method of making your website seen and promoted by search engines with better success than your competition. (TIP: Hire a good agency that is right-sized for your size of business. For small business get a boutique that will really understand you; for large get one that has the resources to meet your global needs. SEO is always changing – get and check references and have them compete for the business. Then TRUST them to while having quarterly checkpoints to make sure you are on track).
  • PPC: Pay-Per-Click. These are those ads we all complain about on search engines (as well as banner ads). The PPC comes into play when someone clicks on the ad and you have to pay for not only serving that ad during a search, but for the number of clicks you get. It is a tricky business because you are buying traffic by jumping the natural or “organic” search process of the search engine. (TIP: have your SEO and PPC agency as one and the same; cohesion and strategy is key to winning with PPC).
  • Post-Click Optimization: the process of making people do what you want them to do after they click on your PPC ad. PPC traffic is great, but 500 clicks to your website that result in no action is like peeing into the wind. This is important and not as easy as it sounds. It requires a focus on Heat Mapping, Buyer Personas and content matched to your buying stages. (TIP: before you can do this, do a content audit and figure out what buyer personas you are talking to and which ones you should be talking. Very important to have the right content to make people do what you want – whether that is filling out a form or ordering something on super sale.
  • Mobile First: this simply means design your website for a mobile (tablet, phone) experience first. Start here or start fixing your current site with the priorities from this perspective. As I write this I am writing it on my Surface PRO II (still like it better than the III). We are constantly looking things up on our cell phones and mobile traffic is continuing to rise. Design for mobile and capture it. (TIP: make sure your web foundation is able to rapidly implement changes in design philosophy. Mobile is changing, use a platform that will get you there even 5 years down the road).

As many of you have encountered already, the above is just the tip of the iceberg. Looking for a specific thing decoded? Leave a comment or reach out and let me know – you might see it in a future article right here on PrintMediaCentr.

Tune in next time when I discuss decoding 4 methods of promoting your electronic and print communications.


Jonathan Malone-McGrewjonathan-mcgrew-print-media-centr grew up around printing, software and cars. As an accredited Electronic Document Professional (EDP) through Xplor International, Jonathan has worked within the industry for nearly a decade providing direction and expertise in Marketing customer communications for transactional, commercial and specialty print, as well as, multichannel delivery through the latest technology vehicles. You can find him via @JEMcgrew on Twitter and giving advice and opinions as part of the McGrewGroup of companies.

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