How not to use the Internet



Obviously, the Internet is an important business marketing tool. Whether you’re a social media advocate or not, I don’t think anyone believes you can just ignore the Internet as you go about building your business.

You need a web site. Preferably one that doesn’t make you look horrible. Even better if someone can find it when they’re googling the kind of search term that would likely lead them to your business. It’s nothing more, on some level, than a Yellow Pages ad, back in the day (why they still print phone books, I’m unsure).

If someone searches “security company in Denver, Colorado” and you happen to run a security company in Denver, Colorado, it would be nice if they found you, right? And then maybe bought something from you?

Yep, that’d be sweet.

Some companies, like Security Surveillance System, employ other tools to try to make it so people come across their business when people are googling. For instance, you can sign up with various press release delivery services that will put your press release online and do some search optimization so that it’s likely to appear both in basic Google searches and in Google News searches.

You know, like this one.

The aforementioned SSS has used this service, and perhaps even paid for it. Which would be unfortunate.

First of all, let’s suppose someone, a potential consumer, did some googling and stumbled across this in their results. Here’s the first thing they see:

a way not to use google

Awesome, right? Clearly, the first thing any reader wants to encounter when reading a story about a security company they might buy a system from is a giant block of ugly text ads. There is no doubt they will continue to read. No doubt. Thank you i-Newswire for setting SSS up with this sweet-looking press release that looks just like any other news story someone would come across on the Internet.

Are you sure this isn’t the Wall Street Journal?

And it would be horrible if they didn’t continue, because the ensuing text is really quite impressive.

First we learn, “Security Surveillance System is a leader in on-site surveillance, tearing through competitor prices, providing the lowest cost in cutting edge technology. Not only has the business dropped all prices on their products, but they have paired up with the biggest company in the business, CCTV.”

Sweet. That giant company CCTV. Their brand rocks! I heard CCTV did eleventy billion in revenues last year. And their advertising campaign is all kinds of good. Now that I know SSS is working with CCTV, I’m definitely reading further.

Maybe you didn’t know it, but “Security Surveillance System was founded on a simple philosophy. They protect everything of value.”

Seriously, though, what seals the deal is that “Security Surveillance System is the Voted Best Security Company in Denver, Colorado.” That’s pretty terrific. Maybe you didn’t know it, but I happen to be the Voted Best Writer on the Face of the Earth. What a coincidence, right?

Please note that after the headline, there is no further mention of voting for this particular title of any kind.

By all means, “If you’re in the Denver area and need on-site security in your home, business or office these guys can help. Being one of the few privately owned and operated businesses.”

Really, I had no idea that Denver had become so corporate. Very few privately owned businesses there. Who knew?

And, “As a side note: SSS also sales parts and materials needed for someone who wants security, but can install the system their self. The business will sometimes have older cameras, or an over stock on parts. Best offer’s taken for used or older equipment. Cash in person is preferred.”

Really, what reputable business doesn’t offer used and older equipment for sale, preferring cash? That’s very common practice, I understand. Like, out of the back of a truck. Happens all the time.

Does something like this help in search engine optimization? Absolutely. It showed up in my google alerts. Is it going to help you sell security systems? I doubt it. What buyer, even one sensitive to price, would think highly of a company that presents itself in this hodge-podge, non-sensical manner? They’re trying to sell to business owners, after all. Sure, some business owners aren’t exactly Rhodes scholars, but you generally don’t get to be a business owner without a little bit of a bullshit detector on board.

This is the equivalent of a car company buying a giant billboard by the side of the road: “Yugos for sale! Wicked cheap! They probably won’t break!”

Will it catch people’s attention? Sure. Will it sell any cars?

Wait … Yugos for sale? Who do I call?



<p class="comment_time">August 12th, 2010 at 12:06 pm</p>
<div class="comment_text">
<p>Well, that&rsquo;s what you get when you click on that Google AdWord advert that seems to be everywhere at the moment - &ldquo;1,000 backlinks for $9.99&Prime;<br />
Some whizz kid in Mumbai using your company name to spam every forum and blog in sight desperately trying to build up his link numbers.<br />
I&rsquo;d love to rant more about this but my Yugo needs a clean <img src=" alt=";-)" class="wp-smiley" /></p>

<p class="comment_time">August 12th, 2010 at 10:17 am</p>
<div class="comment_text">
<p>For the record, I voted for P.J. O&rsquo;Rourke for Best Writer on the Face of the Earth, but I did pick you for Best Writer I&rsquo;m Allowed to Read at Work, so there&rsquo;s that.</p>
<p>Now for comments relevant to the post at hand; the folllowing post talks about someone doing it right: <a href=" rel="nofollow">
<p>Alarm guys have to remember that security is, essentially, a service industry. Service industry customers need to make their customers so happy that they tell all their friends and they become customers, too.</p>

<p class="comment_time">August 12th, 2010 at 7:04 am</p>
<div class="comment_text">
<p>Thanks Mike, my family is very proud of me. There&rsquo;s going to be a ceremony in my living room where I&rsquo;m presented with a trophy in the shape of a keyboard.</p>

<p class="comment_time">August 11th, 2010 at 7:37 pm</p>
<div class="comment_text">
<p>Brilliant. Love this.</p>
<p>and congrats on being Voted Best Writer on the Face of the Earth. That&rsquo;s huge.</p>