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Web Credibility 101: Execs Shouldn't Hide Their Identities

Andrew Goodman
Expert Author
Published: 2005-03-27

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...and call center employees shouldn't supervise ad campaigns. Since this company just contacted me by accident trying to reach either Google or Overture, now I get to trash their website.

In the interests of self-preservation I'll keep it anonymous, though.

I should begin by mentioning that the entire site, including the flat text, is in flash. Apparently, if you leave the site running and go downstairs for a muffin, when you return, you'll have traveled back in time! (Cryptic reference to the line of business this company's in.)

How's this for an "About Us" page?

"_____ Advisors was founded by industry experts to protect the interests of [well-heeled clients]. We have implemented a comprehensive collection of services to... " Hang on a minute! Who the @#%$! is "we"? If you're going to be helping other execs manage their multimillion dollar expense, it really would be nice to know who you are. The contact us page is, no surprise, a pop-up form that discloses nothing.

And oh, the testimonials. "I saved thousands in commissions, with a simple phone call." - D.B., Palm Beach, FL. Well, if D.B. says so...

So other than the fact that the site lacks usability, credibility, and search engine indexability, and that employees call third-party consultants when they're trying to reach Google, it's plain that ____ Advisors is really maximizing its web marketing resources.

If I were a prospective customer, I'd probably want to look for one of their competitors. Which would be sad if ____ Advisors is really a great company. You just wouldn't know it from their website.

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About the Author:
Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients' paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded Traffick.com, an acclaimed "guide to portals" which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.

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