Using Analogy to Get Messages Across

Sometimes getting a message across is tricky. You can explain the premise ’til you’re blue in the face but people still don’t quite get it. And unless they get it, there’s no way they’re going to buy into it. 

About analogy – the power of creative comparison

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve struggled, even as someone whose stock-in-trade is words, to explain a digital marketing concept like search engine optimisation to novices’ satisfaction.
Thank goodness for analogy, the art of comparing one thing with another for the purpose of explanation or clarification. It can be remarkably powerful.
To illustrate my point, here are 3 handy analogies my SEO Consultant husband and I have developed to help people grasp otherwise challenging digital marketing concepts.

3 cool digital marketing analogies

Q: Why isn’t my new website doing what I want it to do? 
A: Say you’ve just bought a shiny new car. You open the door, climb in, shut the door and sit down… and you’re still sitting at the wheel several hours later, wondering why it isn’t taking you anywhere.
In the same way a car won’t take you on a journey without your involvement, you can’t just build a website and expect it to take your business where you want it to go. You need to do some actual driving, which involves deciding on a direction based on your business plan / keyword research, and filling the tank with fuel by adding regular fresh content.
Q: Why do broken links matter?
A:  Two high street shops sit side by side. One has intact windows, the other’s windows are all broken. Which shop would you trust and which would you avoid?
The same goes for search engine bots. Broken links make your site look bad in comparison with a site with live links. Google will ‘trust’ a site with live links more than one with broken links, and trust is something they’ve factored into their search algorithm.
Q: Why do I need to monitor what competing websites are doing?   
A: Imagine your website is a shop in a mall containing hundreds or thousands of other shops selling exactly the same stuff as you. The shop next to yours is always packed solid with punters while yours is always empty. What would you do? You’d wander next door to find out what they’re doing that’s so special, then you’d start doing it yourself.
The same goes for competitor analysis. To compete in today’s ridiculously crowded online landscape, you need to be better than everyone else. And you find out how to do better by researching the competition. A simple example? If they update their blog once a week and you only post once a month, they win.

Analogies work in all sorts of circumstances

These just happen to be digital marketing-related analogies. But it doesn’t matter what sector you’re in. Analogy can always be harnessed to explain tough propositions and ideas simply and eloquently.

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