Website optimization and search engine optimization are different. Who knew? Oh, pretty much everyone in the field of marketing.

Guess what!?! Not all content creators have a background in business or marketing, so we learn bits and pieces as we diligently research for clients. When the A-HA! moment happened, I had been completely freaking out about how the h%*& I was going to relate what all of these speakers at CMC 2018 were saying to SEO.

Breaking it Down

In his #CMC18 session, Drew Tarvin kicked up the level of word play and turned humor into a MAP. As I sat listening to the wisdom behind his words, I panicked as to how many different ways I could say to turn keywords into something fun or humorous. Yeah, it was not computing. I finally did that magical thing and googled the word optimization by itself, unconnected to search engine.

Light bulb moment! Website optimization picks up after SEO has done its job. A website has a business goal. Optimization is the behind the scenes experimentation that uses A/B testing to figure out which elements of their website support that business goal. Purposeful changes are made to figure out what results in the biggest increase in conversions.

How Does Drew Tarvin MAP the Use of Humor?

He teaches anyone willing to listen that humor done well can build deeper connections with your audience. Remember. Frequent communication is not the same as effective communication. The Humor MAP was created by Drew Tarvin to help organizations figure out which type of humor is right for their specific situation. MAP is an acronym for Medium, Audience, and Purpose.

  • Medium – How will you present the humor? Some choose comic or infographics, while other use videos or emails.
  • Audience – Who is the humor intended to reach? Get to know your audience and their expectations.
  • Purpose – Why are you choosing humor? Analyze what you hope to accomplish through humor. Is the goal to build relationships between staff and management,  improve communication, or increase productivity?

Where can I Drop Humor on my Website to Improve Optimization?

Once you learn to use the MAP as a guide to the creation of humor, it’s time to decide which tests you will try first. You may choose to add a comical video to the landing page to attract visitors’ attention. If that’s not your style, it could be a hilarious call-to-action that snags attention and increase conversion rates. Even an unexpected headline may cause people to stay longer and convert sooner.

Know When in the Cycle to Use Humor

Knowing when to include humor as part of your marketing strategy can make or break a campaign. Landing pages are often the first thing people see when they happen upon humorous ads, emails, or social media chatter. The beginning of the sales cycle is the perfect time to connect with your audience through humor. Once people choose to opt-in or buy your product or service, money is likely on the line. This is the stage where you need to be aware of timing and assure people that your company or product is worth their investment.


Elizabeth B is a curator of words whether on the page or in the conference room. She spent most of her adult life in public education fighting for developmentally appropriate education as a classroom teacher and reading specialist. She is well-versed in compiling data and creating special reports for various educational institutions.