Thursday, September 25, 2008

Puts customers first but search engines last

Web site review: In every issue of our print publication, the Internet Marketing Report, we review a Web site. Here is an excerpt of the most recent review.

Batchbook shows how to put customers first.

Many Web sites fail the “us” versus “them” test by droning on about their history, etc. In contrast, this site puts the spotlight on the needs of prospects and customers befitting a company that specializes in customer relationship management (CRM).

It listens, engage, anticipates and responds in these ways:

  • It puts the customer first. This company does have pages with the usual product info and about us pages, but the focus is on its customers. To see how it does it, check out the home page to start. The three tabs (customer support, blog and resources) across the top are all about helping customers.
  • It uses words like “you” and “yours” liberally. The major call to action says, “We’re different because you are different. Customize your contacts and generate reports your way.”
  • It provides choices. Not every customer likes FAQs, and not every customer is interested in user groups. So this company gives companies these tools, plus “whirlwind online tours,” testimonials, resource pages, a blog, plus reams of other info including a glossary.
Only trouble, Batchbook looks great but it’s not so pretty at the back end and it is hard to see how prospects find it on search engines.

A Google search for important keywords for this niche, like “Small business customer relationship management,” doesn’t bring up any results for this company.

Nor does it show up for “Small Business CRM.”

Big rivals are eating its lunch!

Guess why? If you visit the product info page Batchblue.com/product-info.html you’ll find an absence of keywords.

They keyword “CRM” only appears (visually) three times (in the page title and twice in the page text). It is missing from the URL, the navigation links, the page footer, etc. When I searched the source code on competing products pages on salesforce and Batchblue, I found the reason why. Salesforce's source code for this product page mentions CRM 32 times in its code. In contrast, Batchblue only mentions CRM nine times.

Batchbook.com’s missing out big time. It is competing with the likes of salesforce.com (which could afford a Super Bowl ad a few years ago) for paid search engine marketing.

That means the smaller company has to rely on direct traffic, offline advertising, and other tactics, like the contest that won it a recent Web site award.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online editor Julie Power Thursday September 24.


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