Friday, May 29, 2009

The end of the road for single domain name strategies

For a long time many companies have focused on a single domain name for their business. Typically this has taken the form of their brand name. This is fine if you are an established well known brand like Rolex, Mercedes, Coca-Cola or Walkers.

But for the guys that are offering a competing product, they don't have the same brand appreciation as the bigger brands. And for the most part, they are targeting consumers and businesses based on cost. There are many smaller companies operating on differentiating themselves through better value, better quality and better supply/availability. But they're not actually winning through branding. And this is a key failure for most businesses to recognise.

If you are targeting a marketplace based on selling commodity or in demand product on cost - you are not selling a brand. Yes, you can create brand awareness but you're targeting people interested in price, not a brand.

Most companies who pick their Brand name or company name as their domain name are therefore carrying the same mistaken idea into their online marketing campaign. Firstly, people don't come to your website automatically. They come for a reason. The world's premier TV and electronics producers bring people to their websites through massive advertising programmes.

People who are selling discounted electronics products bring people who are looking for discounted electronic equipment and/or discounted electronic brands. Putting your own brand up gets in the way. If you want to sell products that compete with brands, then use domain names that match what people are looking for. Don't be afraid to use more than one domain.

The strategy for small, price-competitive brands
to use brand names in SEO marketing really
has reached the end of the track

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Some advice about selecting an SEO....

Ok, this might sound a bit funny - an SEO telling you how to pick an SEO but I know my fair share about SEO and how it works, and I've been doing it for a long time (since 2001), so I'm bound to have an opinion or two! Here is how I evaluate an SEO company or service when I come across one:

1. What do they have they say about SEO? Is it just a few pages of content on SEO? Maybe it's just a single page on a website offering a range of services. SEO is quite a broad and in-depth subject, so having a content-thin site sets off some alarm bells.

2. Do they have a PageRank - PageRank can be a funny thing but if it's zero, it could be of concern - an SEO should have at least some PageRank (0-10, 10 being best)

3. I check to see if they rank - can they be found - for their town/city and county? Do they rank nationally? I check a number of search terms - SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, SEO Dublin, SEO Ireland, SEO Limerick etc

4. What is their portfolio like? When I visit their clients, do their clients rank? Do they rank well?

5. I get very concerned when I see on-site pricing models. SEO is about competition - "property" or "Pensions" as search phrases are highly competitive. Giving different pricing levels without first evaluating a site seems pretty impossible and optimistic to me at best.

Monday, May 18, 2009

2009 is shaping up to be very busy

Not that I'm complaining but I'm getting so many referrals and calls, its been a lot to deal I've been busy working on proposals and enquiries. Which has given me a lot less time to catch up on twitter, the blog and the beautiful weather that we should be experiencing in Ireland. At least I presume it's lovely outside.

It still surprises me that so many people don't think SEO is an involved manageable proposal. A lot of people I talk to still think SEO is something thats done quickly. In fairness, a good few understand that it's an online business development programme.

A worryingly large number of people still believe heavily in off-site SEO. I think that people are picking up a lot of this from the many websites and web design companies that offer their understanding of SEO. Most of these sites and web designers don't actually rank anywhere, so its very surprising that people are so ready to believe!

Anyway, we are delighted to be announcing that we will be working with the widely acclaimed Landscape Contractors, Castleknock Garden Services, who provide a range of garden design and maintenance services as well as paving, lawncare, wooden and timber furniture and extensions (think decks, patios and tables).

We're also delighted to be continuing our work with leading high performance and leadership development company,