I went for a drink with a friend of mine recently and she was telling me about an anti-wrinkle cream she had bought (I will not be naming her, she’d kill me!) which turned out to do nothing for wrinkles.
She had invested in Johnson & Johnson’s Complete Lift cream, only to have the Advertising Standards Agency ban its advertising a few days later for being “misleading”.
The watchdog was responding to complaints by the public that the £17.99 50 ml pot contained small print which stated it offered “no physical lift”.
Despite this, my anonymous friend said she is going to keep using it “just in case” because it can’t hurt to hope.
Now, I don’t want you to think that I spend my spare time obsessing over search engine optimisation (SEO), so let’s say I began thinking about spin, skin and search the next day.
A variety of studies and advertising bans have debunked most of the anti-wrinkle creams on the market as being pretty ineffective when it comes to turning back the clock.
Good for the skin they may be but none can simply smooth away wrinkles yet an astounding number of people buy them anyway.
Now, SEO works. Not for wrinkles, obviously, I mean in its own field it works. As a marketing technique, it increases targeted traffic, raises visibility and enhances the status of brands.
Despite this, optimisation has a terrible reputation.
If the public know about SEO at all, they often think of that terrible word “manipulation”.
SEO is often thought of as entirely black hat, a way of subjugating the usual search engine quality controls in order to present the searcher with marketing copy and nothing useful.
This is so unfair! How come a product which admits on its own packaging that it does not do what you hope it does, continues to sell in the thousands but there are businesses out there which are not investing in search marketing and optimisation?
I think there will always be great spin on some products and enthusiastic consumers to buy them, meaning wrinkle cream will not stop selling.
However, I like to think that SEO will lose its negative reputation and become recognised as the positive, consumer-friendly marketing tactic it is as increasing firms enjoy the great results it offers.