Category Archives: Strategy

When is a Website Useless?

What Not to Do

We have been working with NZ Used Appliances. When you go to their website, it is available to be claimed. Obviously this doesn’t help much. When people try to go to the website they don’t know if they are out of business or if there is a technical glitch.

What the story is, is that they paid someone to create and run the website for them. They got no leads from it and stopped paying them. Just having a website is not enough. It is like putting out an Open sign on a store that no one ever drives past. No one will know it is there.

What They Did Right

They created a Google My Business page so that they could show up on the map in searches. Many people make a mistake here by doing the bare minimum. Google gives brownie points for filling out the information as completely as possible. The listing will rank higher that way. NZ did a pretty good job filling out their listing.

What to Do Better

For the map listing, getting more citations is better. A citation is where another website lists your name, address, and phone number. This could be a directory, a social media site and other possibilities.

The next thing is content. Pictures are great for customers to see what you are selling or doing but search engines like Google and Bing rely on words to figure out what a website is about. The reason so many Wikipedia articles rank so high is that they have a lot of content and are very authoritative. The more helpful information and pages you provide the better. Don’t just copy content. Duplicate content is not looked upon favorably and can get you listing pushed down in the listings.

The other key item is the number of websites linking to yours. Why is that important? It is kind of like a popularity contest. If someone doesn’t like your website, they are unlikely to put a link to your website from theirs. So the more websites that link to your website, the more likely that people find your website worthwhile. Search engines want to give people a good search experience so more links usually means higher rankings.

However, not all links are created equal. A brand new website with no history linking to you will not have much power to help you. However, Wikipedia, NBC, NY Times or a similar website linking to yours will have a huge effect. It can have the same effect as links from tens or hundreds of small websites without much power.

Social Media and Advertising

The above was about getting a website seen in organic rankings. However, there are also strategies for getting seen on the various social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. That is for another article.

It is also possible to advertise on Google, Bing, Facebook and others. There are a number of strategies to accomplish this and they vary depending on where you are advertising, what you are advertising and to whom. It is possible to sink a lot of money into online advertising very quickly but it is also possible to make a lot of money if you know what you are doing. Once again, that is a whole other article or more likely articles.

Strategy Ideas #1

Tuck Business School is usually ranked in the top 5 in the country. Its professors are well known in the area of business strategy and have come up with some important ideas and concepts.

Vijay

One of them is Vijay Govindarajan. He grew up in India in a lower middle class neighborhood in a one bedroom house with his parents and five brothers and sisters. Electricity couldn’t be counted on. He figured that India had few resources and lots of problems. If he wanted to get ahead he was going to have to be innovative. He feels that the only way to move up, either as a person or a corporation is to be creative and innovate.

Vijay went to Harvard Business School on a Ford Foundation scholarship. The scholarship required that he spend two full years in India after graduation. But then he got a job offer from Harvard Business School and they required him to start work one week before the full two years were up. Neither Harvard or the Ford Foundation would budge and Vijay had to pay the Ford Foundation back for his business school education.

He was struggling to get by when a more senior professor suggested that he try doing some consulting on the side. He did and loved it and found that it provided a great synergy to his teaching and research. He was able to get in and see what companies were doing and not just do things from an ivory tower more theoretical approach.

Reverse Innovation

One key idea this has led to is Reverse Innovation. Reverse innovation is the process of inventing or designing products for use in underdeveloped or emerging markets. Then you bring those products back to the wealthier countries.

Example / Inspiration

He came up with this idea of course while consulting. In this case, he was consulting with GE. He saw that they had developed an ultrasound for the Chinese market that only cost $5,000 and was portable. In the US an ultrasound machine with similar function costs $300,000. GE brought this machine to the wealthier countries and sold a ton of them. But they didn’t understand what they had done because it was such a small event in such a large company.  Vijay picked up on this and used it as a focus for his research. He also told GE’s CEO Jeffrey Imelt about his discovery and Imelt jumped on the idea. He made it a major focus for the following year.