What do you tend to do when looking for information about a certain product or service? Let’s say you’re planning to buy a new mobile phone. Would you look up the manufacturer’s site for information? Or would you turn to your local telecommunication provider’s web site? Perhaps you’d ask your likeminded friends and colleagues first? And maybe you’d look up reviews and comments on the internet, which would lead you to relevant forums and industry gazettes?
With the wealth of information available on the internet, people do not just go to Corporate web sites anymore. In fact, I’ve recently acquired a new 2nd generation HTC Touch. And my buying decision was made without even going to the HTC web site. Yup, I looked up the descriptions and features list on my local service providers’ web sites, as well as those of overseas providers. And to ensure that the phone was not a problematic model and if problems existed that they can be resolved, I did a search on Google and located a host of forums, product reviews and consumer feedback.
This is one of the reasons why companies need to revisit their corporate sites to keep the content relevant and useful. If I’m looking for ‘user reviews’ and did a search for that, would your web site’s ranking come up tops? Unlikely.
I recall several months ago, we discussed putting a forum and blog on our corporate web site. But this is not something conservative marketeers can stomach. There is always a fear of smear comments, negative feedbacks, etc. But with proper moderation, this can be managed. The way we hunt for information online now renders this concern obselete. If customers have a genuine concern and can’t air it on your corporate web site, they’ll vent it somewhere else.
- “How to evolve your irrelevant corporate website” by Jeremiah Owyang
- Today’s top 10 – “Top sites in Singapore” by Alexa – the rankings shown here is a good indication of the trend I mentioned earlier. People are doing researching and visiting community sites more than anything. Today’s rankings are 1. Yahoo, 2. Friendster, 3. YouTube, 4. Windows Live, 5. Google.com.sg, 6. Blogger.com, 7. Facebook, 8. Google.com, 9. Wikipedia, 10. MSN. I’d discount the ranking for Windows Live and MSN, as people who use messenger tend to open these pages without even deciding to do so.
- Slideshare has a presentation which compares the 2005 and 2007 rankings. For a comparison, you can have a look at slide 30.