When good corporate habits turn really bad
This article was originally published on Thinkdigital.dk, but has now found a new home here.
As consultants helping premium brands design and implement new digital strategies, we ask a lot of questions. Often we also challenge established habits.
In this blog post I will give you four examples of good old habits of high-end brands that have turned into bad habits in an online world.
Don’t hide your high prices
Premium brands are traditionally somewhat reluctant to show prices on their websites, because they are afraid to scare off customers and provide competitors with helpful knowledge.
Today many potential customers do most of their pre-purchase research online. Part of this research covers price. The few brands and B2B dealers that still hide their prices behind logins therefore risk being left out of the physical or mental comparison sheet prepared by the person who is about to buy a product because their product information lacks this vital piece of information.
Price is a key decision factor for nearly all customers. Google users search for phrases like:
- “price dishwasher”
- “cheap or expensive dishwasher”
- “price comparison dishwashers”
- “dishwasher below 1000 dollars”
- “is miele worth the price”
You want to answer those questions on your website so you rank number one on the Google search result pages when potential customers perform those searches. Then you will have the users visit your website where you can use the attention to explain why your products are worth the premium and turn those visitors into customers.
Alternatively your dealers, your competitors or industry portals will answer the questions and control the research and comparison process.
(Read following article as well: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-reasons-your-content-marketing-must-address-price/)
Don’t hide your technical manuals
Google likes text. Google would love a 100-page technical dishwasher manual containing images and technical terms. It is probable that this will make it worth it not to hide manuals and technical reference guides on your extranet behind a user-ID and a password even if it means allowing your competitor easier access to that material.
You want as much quality content as possible to be indexed in the search engines so you can rank high for both the popular and the more odd search queries.
Often making manuals easier to access will also make your existing customers happier.
The Chinese copycat or the competitor who you would ideally like to keep away from the information probably already knows somebody who can supply him or her with copies of your technical manuals, password or not.
Don’t refuse to let your vendors use you as a reference
Many large companies with established brand names have formal policies that restrict vendors from using the large company as a reference in presentations and on the vendors’ websites.
In the past those policies probably held some merit. Today you want your vendors to flash your brand when they win your business. You want them to mention your company name across social media, and their website should show your logo and an active link.
Both social media mentions and active links help Google understand that you are an important company. If you are a large company with many vendors this will eventually boost your web sites in the search engines.
Consequently your contract with all new suppliers should contain a clause that request them to use you as a reference on their own web site, unless otherwise agreed.
Don’t reuse same text across many web pages
Reusing content usually saves your company time and money. But reusing the exact same paragraphs across many different web pages can cost your web site dearly in terms of visibility in the search engines. If 100 different pages (URLs) on your web site contain the same 200-word company description, then Google might decide to include only a few of those 100 different pages in their search indexes, because the percentage of “duplicate content” is too high.
Google hates “duplicate content” so do your company the favour of rewording that company description slightly on each URL. It takes time, but is worth the effort.
If you have a large number of dealers that all copy product descriptions directly from your web site you should encourage them to write unique texts themselves. Otherwise some of them might be punished by Google for having “duplicate content”. Usually this will afflict the web sites with the weakest overall reputation in the eyes of Google.
(Read the following article as well https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359)