A few weeks back our class had the priviledge of hearing a lecture by SEO guru Vanessa Fox. While speaking to us via Skype, Fox discussed several companies that failed to make themselves known through Google. As Fox explained, it’s not enough just to have an amazing Web site, people have to be able to find it, and most people find sites by Googling. What I found most interesting were the companies that spent millions of dollars on ad compaigns and then failed to optimize their sites. (Apparently you have to make your Web site “readable” for Google.) One example was the “Hang in there Jack” campaign by Jack In The Box.
Many of us remember the moment vividly. We were happily watching and analyzing another Super Bowl commercial when our beloved Jack was suddenly blindsided by a bus! I, for one, was shocked and concerned. Apparently so were others. Thousands of viewers rushed to their computers and typed “hang in there jack” into their Google search bars, but they were all greatly disappointed. Jack’s new Web site was not launched until the moment the commercial aired, and it wasn’t landing on Google’s top ten. What a failure! Millions of dollars on the ad spot and no one could Google the Web site. While I’m still concerned for poor Jack, I’m happy to report his site is now doing well on Google.
Jack’s case and Fox’s presentation inspired me to do some of my own research. I thought of some of my most and least favorite commercials and looked into how well their respective companies “owned” the conversation. I’ve ranked them from least to most successful:
- Jared the Galleria of Jewelry: He Went to Jared Campaign – Every one of the top ten Google results when searching “He went to Jared” is a Web site bashing this campaign. This is the opposite of what a company wants.
- Stride Gum: Alternate Uses Campain – If you search “alternate gum uses” you’ll find Stride’s official Web site as the seventh result. It’s safely in the top ten and it’s link is clearly labeled.
- Dancing With the Stars Campaign – Granted this campaign does not use a tagline. The only thing you hear over and over is “Dancing With The Stars.” Type these words into Google to understand what it means to own the conversation.