I heard an ad on the radio last week during the morning drive to work that caught my attention. However, it didn’t stick with me the way in which the marketer likely would have hoped. It was the call to action and way that the company’s website was positioned that got me thinking.
The ad was for Sheridan College and at the tail end of the spot, the gentleman encouraged listeners to “Google Sheridan College”. Right away I started weighing the benefits and risks of this approach versus the traditional mention of a direct URL (which in this case would be www.sheridanc.on.ca).
There are indeed arguments for both methods. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter, both for and against:
Easier to Remember: If your URL is not clear or short, urging listeners to Google your business name or keywords you know that you rank first on is a good idea. In the case of Sheridan, it makes sense. The “c” added onto Sheridan to represent “college” would likely missed, as well as the somewhat uncommon use of “*.on.ca”.
Familiar Territory: I can’t be the only one that has seen another person actually type a full web address such as www.ebridgeconnections.com into Google to find the site they are after. They are not doing this because they forget the URL – they’re doing this because its comfortable. It’s likely where the majority of the average user’s internet forays begin, so guiding your prospects from this starting point seems like a good idea.
The Cons Cautions
Check Your SERPs: If you’re going to use Google as the middleman, you need be aware of how they are representing your website. You can start by looking at what content Google has pulled from your site to generate the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Is it displaying what you want it to, with correct formatting and dates? For a great article explaining how to control your SERPs with meta tags, click here.
Ranking: This is a bit of a no-brainer, but if you’re not ranking number one for the search term you provide, you are asking for trouble. Many users may still successfully reach your site, but there will be some that get confused or lost on the way. A quick check on this point can easily save you from these missed opportunities.
Bad Press : The internet is an open forum where anyone and everyone can speak their mind. If a prominent enough person or enough people are saying anything negative about your company or products, there is a good chance it might show up on page one of the search results. By actively monitoring the web for mentions of your company – good or bad – you can strive to make better decisions surrounding internet marketing.
In conclusion, it really depends on the unique circumstances surrounding your business and online reputation. Whatever method of communicating your website you decide on, just be sure to do your homework.
This is by no means a complete list, but it does provide some food-for-thought for business owners. Can you think of anything else to be mindful of, or perhaps a benefit to this method that I may have overlooked? Let us know!
Assistant Marketing Professional
Technology Corner, Uncategorized