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January 06, 2008


Mike Volpe

Kudos on the new website launch! It certainly is beautiful, and makes an improved statement about your brand.

You might be curious to know though, that when you search for "data storage" in Google, EMC does not come up at all as far as I could tell. On the first page are companies like www.quantum.com, www.iomega.com, www.overlandstorage.com and even HP! Whoever designed your website did a fantastic job making it beautiful, but they also made it impossible for people to find your website in Google. But, maybe no one uses that Google thing anyways...

Chuck Hollis

You know, it's funny -- you're not the only person that thinks Google ranking is the be-all and end-all for brand recognition.

Given EMC's target market (relatively sophisticated consumers of IT technology), I don't think spending big bucks to get to the top of multiple search engines.

It's hard for me to imagine a scenario where someone wakes up one morning, thinks "gee, I want to spend a boatload on storage today, I better go Google for it".

For certain products and audiences, there's no argument -- investing in keyword ranking is smart money spent, but not for us, at least at this time.

So -- here's the question, is Google placement more about bragging rights, or finding new customers?

Chuck Hollis

Hi Mike, did a bit of research into you and your company, and this comment of yours is starting to look a bit spam-ish in context.

HubSpot has something to sell, and this is how you're selling it.

Fair enough, but I don't have to play now, do I?

Mike Volpe

According to a Marketing Sherpa study, 83% of IT buyers always start their earliest part of the buying process with a Google search. Only 26% always go to an IT vendor website. (page 9 of http://www.marketingsherpa.com/tele/IN-BTBG7-9306.pdf)

Sure, EMC has an amazing brand and no one is going to visit a website one time and drop down a credit card for a million dollar purchase. But, if they are using Google (over 83% are) wouldn't you want them to find you, rather than the competition?

Here's the point... for a term like "data storage" Google actually wants EMC to be at the top of the rankings. You're the industry leader, and one of the most relevamnt websites in the world for that term. So, why are you not ranked for that search term? It is NOT because you are not spending enough money. This has nothing to do with budget or spending. EMC's website makes it hard for Google to understand what your website is about. With some relatively simple changes to your own website, you can make huge improvements. Have one of your web marketing people read a few free SEO blogs ot buy the $80 SEO Book (www.seobook.com) and then make the right changes to the website. I really think that for a small investment of time, you will see some good results.

This is not a sales pitch for my company. I've been a big believer in search engines, blogs and social media being a very important component of the marketing mix for a long long time (years) and I've only been in my current job not quite a year.

Plus, EMC is not a good fit for our product, you're way too big of a company and we could never support your needs, so believe me, this really is marketing advice, not a sales pitch. You can even remove links to the company where I work, and references to the name if you want. I am honestly just a huge believer that search engines, blogs and cosial media are the most powerful marketing tools available.

Anyway, I do really like the new website. It really does a good job of accomplishing the goals you laid out. I guess I would have just added one goal, which is to "make sure our website gets found online by people in our target market as much as possible".

Doug Wald

Hi Mike-

Nice job on the site.

I, too, have gone through a recent global redesign for a technology partner of EMC's that has encountered similar branding and integration challenges to serve multiple audiences and verticals (through acquisitions), all while trying to keep content fresh, succinct, relevant and localized for our international partners and customers.
Love the idea of the true web content style guide and having all content providers take a test. Were your authors hooked up to electrodes and when they write something ripped out of brochureware or use jargon like "value-add" or "mission-critical", they got zapped with some high voltage juice??

BTW we're also sailing into the SEO/SEM boat and looking forward to the experience.

Continued success....

Chuck Hollis

Hi Doug

As far as the "behavior change", a lot of work on self-service education, style guides, etc. I think the real "core" of it was a "wall of shame" approach -- the team shared broadly the really bad examples.

This name-and-shame approach produced all sorts of immediate behavior change, IMHO.

Best of luck in your journeys!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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