PPC Lessons in the NYC Subway

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I recently took a trip to New York City. The monotonous color scheme of the city in the Winter made it easy to pass by shops and pay no attention to what they actually were. Naturally, the trip offered some exceptional metaphors of online advertising basics.

Be the Center of Attention Fast

The crowd utilizing public transportation on a daily basis is full of variety. From musicians having concerts in the Subway to my teal coat in a sea of black – there are many ways to be found fast.

During the low point of our economy, Mom N’Pop shops need to be found online. The internet influence is undeniable in every industry. Pay-per-click is the quickest way to ensure that your ads are being seen on the first page of search engines. However, there basic questions that are determining factors in the success of your campaigns. These questions must be answered in your ad copy.

Text ads on SERPs are all the same format. So, why should a consumer pay you? What makes your business different? What makes your service the best? What promotional offer will make you more affordable? Some businesses do not answer these before they outline a marketing strategy. It shows in their lack of results.

Navigate the Tunnels

Though I am not fluent in Russian, riding the metro in Moscow was easier than the NYC subway. Why? The Russian metro system has color coding, route maps blown up on every level, and blatant line names 50 feet long protruding from the walls. New York routes have a small digital sign that updates the name and time of the next train.

Apply these comparisons to your website usability – what is the most important thing on your site? Is it easy to find? When you receive traffic from your marketing campaign is it as easy as possible to get from point A to B?

Finding the most efficient transportation from the city to the airport in a short time frame resulted in using the service whose website was easy to navigate, understand, and I could ensure an appropriate time frame. Having the necessary information for a consumer to buy your service most obvious will provide a quick and efficient consumer experience.


Earl Pilkington

Great article Heather – and I like the reference to Moscow’s colour coded transit system. It should be noted that this only came about because so many people were getting lost on their underground (at least that was what I was told by a work collegue who had worked there for 5 years).
He said that the colours not only made it easier to find what you wanted – but, to locate other important stops along the way.