Hello, 1995! – Why You’re Not Getting Found Online

by Ken Mueller on May 30, 2012 · 25 comments

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1990s everyday 300x252 Hello, 1995!   Why Youre Not Getting Found OnlineRecently I was checking out the job listings in the paper, trying to see if I could find anything for my daughter, a recent college graduate. I saw one listing that sounded somewhat interesting, but couldn’t tell what type of business it was, so I decided to check out the website for the business to learn more about it. I’m not sure whether I should be surprised or not, but what I found was truly disappointing.

On the website there was no content. Oh there were words and pictures, but they were set up in such a way that the entire page was an image, including the text. Guess what. Google doesn’t see that. As far as the search engines are concerned, that website might not even exist.

When I clicked on the link about the company and their staff, I wasn’t surprised at all that this B2B company was comprised of 20 people: 19 of them men, and only one or two of them were under the age of 40. This might explain why the website and the rest of their online properties and marketing were so bad. This is one reason why it’s important to bring in some new blood from time to time. We old guys tend to be the last ones to get on board with understanding the importance of a strong online presence.

I was a bit encouraged when I saw that they had some semblance of a social media presence. When I clicked on the well-placed links to their Facebook and Twitter  accounts, that encouragement quickly turned to discouragement. The links took me away from their web site, rather than opening them up in a new tab or window. You should never take people away from your website. Once they click away, they just might not come back. In fact, just about every link I clicked on from their site took me away. It seemed as though nothing with any sort of functionality actually resided on their site. And, of course, there was no blog.

Now on to the Facebook page: The page had been created in June 2010, and the last update was November of 2011. And the page wasn’t even named after the business, as in “Industrial Lawn Equipment”. No, it was called something along the lines of “Industrial Lawn Equipment Fan Page”. It’s hard enough for a business to build the number of likes on its page, especially as a B2B, but to refer to it as a “fan page”? I’m not a big fan of that. Not to mention the exhortation in the “about” section asking us to “check back often for updates and new info.” Don’t tell us to do that if you’re not going to follow through.

And then there is Twitter. They had their account protected, so I couldn’t see their 35 tweets, or find out who their 12 followers were. Clearly those numbers were low, but why were they protecting their account? Because they didn’t know any better. I’m shocked at the number of small businesses that actually have protected Twitter accounts. I recently was followed by a new online music publication from our area, but couldn’t follow them back because of a protected account. Don’t you want people to follow you? I requested a follow on that one, but here it is, two weeks later, and they haven’t approved me yet.

These sorts of things indicate a mindset that doesn’t understand social media. For them, social media is merely an add-on; something nice that they do when they get the chance. It’s not a part of their overall business model and marketing plan; it’s merely that “other thing, and they approach it in the same way they approach traditional media.

I use this one company as an example, because I see these sorts of things all the time. Some say we need to stop talking about the simple how-tos of social media and blogging, but I disagree. As long as there are still a large number of businesses who:

  • Don’t have websites
  • Have horrible websites
  • Have no social media presence
  • Have a horrible social media presence

well, then I think we need to keep talking about it and educating them.

And remember, this is a company comprised almost exclusively of middle-aged men. They most likely won’t “get it” on their own. This is why it’s important for a company to look outside themselves to find the right person to guide them along the way. Someone who can educate them and help them create a strong, fully integrated online presence and strategy. Someone who knows how to maneuver in the online space.

We live online and conduct business online. If you’re not online, and easily findable online, then for many of us, you don’t exist. You can’t get found online unless you are providing people with the proper road map or even breadcrumb trail to bring them to you.

What are you doing to make sure you get found online? Do you understand the importance of a strong online presence? And how are you going to get there?

 Hello, 1995!   Why Youre Not Getting Found Online
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22 comments
TheJackB
TheJackB

C'mon Ken you know that the Net is filled with rabid porn addicts who don't care about buying widgets, skeezers and ding dongs. We have this nifty thing we use as a door stop or paper weight called the Yellow Pages that works like magic.

 

It makes us invisible just like that Potter fellow and we love it.

Latest blog post: Dad's Car Died

deborahapeters1
deborahapeters1

Oh wow, you've just hot everything on the head!! It is so frustrating to come across these issues. And I'm finding even companies that claim to be "social media experts" are in this category and conduct themselves nearly the same!

ShakirahDawud
ShakirahDawud

We could educate them, yes... or we could give up hope and go after their already educated competitors. Save some time. It must be very difficult to prevent yourself from taking candy from babies like these, who just keep throwing it across the room...

BestRoofer
BestRoofer

Ah yes. Another example of us old guys failing to keep up with technology. It is a struggle. That's why there are guys like you Ken!

RandyGreene
RandyGreene

The thing that never ceases to baffle me is that those business owners don't really seem to care that their web presence is horrible! For some reason, they don't seem to be interested in building their business through digital channels, no matter how well you can demonstrate ROI.

 

A lot of times, I think that it's not just a matter of being behind the times - they're either too stubborn to admit that they have a problem, or they're too prideful to admit that they need help. And it's a shame, because I would love to help bring them up to speed!

annelizhannan
annelizhannan

Perhaps you should 'fax' them your blog posts ;)

LizJostes
LizJostes

Amen!

 

I was cringing right along with you as you first discovered the website and then each account. One of my pet peeves is the clicking of links or buttons that take me away from a site instead of opening in a new tab. I'm actually surprised by some of the "big" websites that do that.

 

So clearly these people need help. Have you already pitched them your services? ;-)

WaltGoshert
WaltGoshert

Lots of small business owners think "everybody" is their market. They see "everybody" on Facebook and Twitter. Therefore, if they are on Facebook and Twitter, "everybody" will find them.

 

"Gentlemen, 'everybody' is NOT your market."

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @deborahapeters1 Oh my yes. A lot of that going on as well! Nothing like a social media "expert" with dead social accounts.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @RandyGreene I think that's it. They just don't "get it". It's still new to them when in fact it really could be the most important thing for them. they justhave no idea. A lot is because they don't use the Internet or social media themselves, so they don't think anyone does.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @WaltGoshert Great point, Walt. And while those are important venues, you can't just be there. You have to cultivate and work it

Trackbacks

  1. […] Is your business wondering why no one is visiting your site, Facebook page, or following your Twitter account? Well, you might be stuck in 1995. As Ken Mueller explains in his recent blog post, you’re probably doing the Internet wrong. Check out his advice. […]

  2. […] Ken Mueller at Inkling Media talking about the importance of having a strong online presence in today’s business […]

  3. […] page and some social properties are indexable by Google and the other search engines, but the best way to make sure you show up in search results is to have a website. Without a website, the only things that might show up for you are review sites and directory […]

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