Search killing url advertising.

I was watching a TV ad for Dyson’s new city range of vacum cleaners when the call to action at the end really grabbed me.  The ad was all very clean, scientific and applesque. 

 However the one thing that really grabbed me was the bold call to action at the end, which stated

“search online for Dyson City”.  

So what’s interesting about this.  Well at one point these ads would normally have finished with a fully owned and controlled website address popping up, where the company could be pretty sure of what people would find.  In this instance its a real vote of confidence in its seo and the organic search listings.  Not surprisingly the official Dyson site appears number one but below it is a heavy mix of review and news sites.  Personally I think its a brave move by them and a pretty open approach to ‘hey, we know people will search for us and we have nothing to hide’.  If they had gone the usual route of ‘visit this URL’  I would have seen the image they wished to portray and then have had to do an additional search to get other validation on it.  This way you see it straight away.  Am I attributing too much to Dyson that they potentially see the value of reviews and news as being equal to its own controlled online assets?   

I can think of plenty of brands/products for whom this would be very dangerous and you would need to have a proactive search marketing strategy in place so the first few pages were not all negative (think Irish Pork for which the crisis still tops the charts).  This is probably a reflection of where things are going with social media.  Do you point to all your social media platforms or just accept user behaviour and give them a simple term to search for.

I have observed a lot of companies from big movies to hair dressers promoting their facebook profiles instead of a website.  Some are more clever with their own facebook url while others go the generic route of posters saying ‘Find us on Facebook’.  I pretty certain that most who use the generic route have just not gotten around to registering one rather than being hugely confident people will find them straight away but it does pose an interesting debate – is the day of pushing people to one location numbered?      

All of this probably fits nicely into the dominance of search and the current url addressing system evolving.  Either way I hope the Dyson guys took this decision based on smart thinking, analysis and an understanding of user behaviour rather than just a hunch.

Some obervations from this.

  • Long urls are hard to remember – use simple terms.
  • Make sure you test the keywords you use with google keyword checker
  • Encourge user review of your product.
  • Ensure you have a reasonable news flow and online coverage.
  • Think about people first and their behaviour – what they do rather than what you want them to do.
  • Invest in SEM

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