this isnt a usual blah blah blah post from me, but it has something to do with those who are really passionate about SEO's.. I know big names in the industry might be following all this, but for those who inspire to raise thier level beyond those conventional links building and typical on-page tweaks here is something you must put your effort on.
I was actually taking some interviews and had some interaction with the so called SEO'ers in India and other countries where outsourcing is quiet common, which particualry includes china and phillipines. based on the research I made, i thought i should actually throw up some lines which might wake up some real passionate and wud be SEO'ers to think out of the box.
Ok let me start with a general scenario:
Whats currently happening in this arena is, many of the peeps are actually taking up clients for SEO tasks just by defining a few
compulsory tasks in thier lists like:
a. Meta tags
c. Keywords optimization and density
e. broken links, w3 validation
f. partial competiton analysis (highlighting points what your competitors has done)
g. internal linking structure check
h. and a very insane line, robots.txt file and meta description optimization (I have actually seen these lines in quite a many
proposals i got)
And a typical off-page plan would consist the following:
a. keyword research
b. competition analysis
c. natural anchors, keyword rich anchors etc.
d. Submissions to directories (when will this line go out of proposals?)
e. articles submission
f. links exchange 3-way recips and all those orthodox tricks to get one ways
g. social bookmarks
I know there would be many more points to include but those are the ones which i mostly got when i asked for a proposal, along with the assurance that they are gonna get my site on top within 4-8 months.
OK so, that was a typical Indian SEO firms scenario which any one can get through interaction. From here starts my post which should actually give you an Idea why it would not be a long term effort.
1. All the tasks defined above are basics. anyone reading any SEO Forum can actually gather those points and execute himself in a single day, yes a single day (except links building)
I am not saying that these tasks are not important, ofcourse these are the building blocks from where the SEO evolved. However the point here is, The time has come for us to grow up beyond those points.
My opinion is Clients should not be charged heavily for those basic points. and then recurring monthly costs varying from $100 to $1500 for all those tasks and links building.
Since everyone is aware of those basics, he can claim himself as a SEO and can take up business. But are the clients really happy with what they get? they might be, but thats short term happiness in todays world.
Years back, a site that was SEO'ed could still be visible due to its trust factor, domain age, Links and all other SEO efforts, but you cannot expect a new site to get results that way now a days.
Everyone can do those conventinal SEO things and achieve something that is short termed and can charge the client on the basis of monthly maintaince costs, but can they really maintain when your competitiors are actually up to something else that you might now even think off?
hmmm so coming back to the point, what can you do to be effective in this industry??.. The answer is Do something that no body else in this industry is doing at present.
Its tough, it requires lots of brainstorming sessions, however those ideas are worth the money you get after thier executions.
Whilst you can perform SEO on a website, and may be it comes up on top, what if there is no sale? I have seen many such sites which are on top, yet complain they are not getting any sales, and i have many enquiries asking about how to be a brand name in my industry.
The best i can think of at this stage is Viral Marketing campaigns. Think out of the box, and create a buzz about your site. it requires a lot of effort to make people talk about you, ofcourse in a +ve language.
So what all can you do to for a viral marketing campaign?
I have researched and tried to compile certain important points which are easy to execute, and you can actually generate further Ideas from those points. take a look:
1. To start with, Lets say you are about to launch a website, the first thin I could actually think off towards its promotion would be to release a "Press Release". But, everyone does a press release, so whats new with it?
Yes, everyone does it, but you can do it in a different way, lets say you have a travel site, do a press note and keep the suspense.
Suspense is the key to make people talk about you. Have a nice tagline or punchline.
For example: "It will make you travel".. Coming Soon.. Do not disclose much in the first release.
It will make people in your industry as well others to think n talk about what it actually could be?
They will probably blog about it, or they will actually talk to each other, or may be share the same on chat or social networking sites..
Wasnt that the same what you wanted to do? Since you got an access to the peoples world the first step would actually generate a small wave..
After a week or so release another press release about the unvieling of the suspense.
2. Forums and communities - You can register on relevant forums and start a discussion on your product without disclosing that you are the one who owns it ;) Let people speak about it. Dont let the threads die, respond back equally, in a confident way, remember there will always be a room for criticism, you dont have to leave out, keep on going unless there is a kind of conclusion..
IMHO discussions can go a long way..you purpose is solved though when people will talk about it.
3. Article submissions: Great way for viral marketing, but again everyone does it, so what different you can do?
You can actually use a pinching headlines in your articles, For example: "Yoursite.com beating travel.yahoo.com with its features.." people actually do read n publish such articles when they see there is actually something in the market that is competitng with a big brand.
It will yet again make people talk about you, Share your articles with thier friends. Second wave of buzz ;)
4. Social Bookmarks: Remember, Never do social bookmarks for the sake of getting a backlink. The sole purpose of social bookmarking now a days is to show your creativity, I am not going deeper into what story you should have, But i will only say, what headline would you have..
"Britney Spears Caught Nude - Pictures" sooooo... wanna click in? course you do want to even if there is nothing of that sort inside..however i would not recommend to have crap story, make the visitor stay, if he diggs..,once it comes up you are ready for a swarm of traffic.
5. E-mail marketing: The only word of caution, Do not let your mail be termed as SPAM, coz it happens, your camapign would be a faiulre in terms of e-marketing.
Write personal e-mails only. Show the recipent that you actually know his name, his profession and interests. politely request or invite them for anything you want to do with these e-mails.
6. Give them(visitors) something, thats the basic of viral marketing and everyone does it, how can you be different? Giving out a discount coupoun, perfumes, small tid bids would not be a great idea. Infact plan it something like: Join our website, every 50th registrant is going to get a canon digital cam with so n so features worth $300, on the other hand if your budget isnt bold, Your Logo -Brand printed T-Shirts, and USB Drives are a good idea as well. I am sure you can derive a lot of ideas from this point.
7. If you can offer an e-mail service, then go ahead, and you can get traffic by attracting visitors to get an E-mail address right on with thier real names (limited period offer) e.g: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the other hand, remember the Hotmail Viral trick? You too can add a line in each n every mail that goes out from your server: something like: "Get your own Hotmail/anydomain account with 6 GB space .. Click here" you can imagine where the e-mail's circulate
8. games are vital to gather swarms of traffic, flash games preferably from your niche. nothing more to say about this one.. it speaks for itself. I am addicted to mniclip though ;)
9. I have noticed alexa is a major factor for a site being a brand although its data is skewed, however a decent alexa rating actually boosts the site as big brand. You can do intensive PPC to build up the alexa ;) I have seen many sites to doing so just to raise the alexa
10. Create a video or capture it from somewhere embed your URL in it, and promote the same on youtube metacafe and other video sharing sites and tubes. make sure Visual impact is always a bigger one.. offer something real good to see.. i would prefer a houmourus sort of a clip ;)
11. You can actually buy reviews (+ve) from popular people in the industry for a small amount. If big guys talk about you, you will be promoted automatically. Sites like eopinions.com mouthshut.com can be helpful
12. For local branding and marketing, Ad slots in online PDF publications and magazines is recommended. Do check the subscriber database strength before paying them..
13. if you have the budget, hire an Advertising firm, and launch yourself on a Radio ad slot, TV, Podcasts, conduct confrence and seminars (offline) + Webinars online, and include your clients and other respected memebers in your industry to participate.
14. The next best thing is to go global. I am sure Tagged.com is known to all. how it did that? It sends an e-mail from your friends name something like this: Matt Cutts has tagged you! Using a friends name to send the e-mail automatically build up a trust factor, and generates curiousity for the recipent to read and sign up.
Moral of the story, use a Refer to a friend button/invite a friend button or API based service, which sends out persolized e-mails in such a way that recipent is bound to read the mail.. think think..
15. Comparison charts are also a good feature for viral marketing, Simply build a chart and compare your services with a big brand in the industry for example: a comparison of car-
Alloy Wheels Integrated GPS
Honda Accord Yes NO
Ford Mustang Yes Yes
Something like this.. It would make a buzz about you providing something in comparison with a big brand and you will gain popularity.
16. Affiliate marketing - Start your own affiliate program and make people popularize your brand by paying them % revenue shares it will not only get you links but business and branding.
17. get your domain evaluted once all that is set. A high domain evalution will actually create a buzz in the industry about your site being in demand due to its high cost..
18. Add a poll or survey to get a instant n better feedback to improve in market. People share it with thier friends and sometimes blog about it. Crazy poll options might leave your visitors blogging about it ;)
19. Use facebook Flyers to promote your products, sites.
20. Another method to create a buzz in the corporate world is to list yourself at jobs marketplace as a brand with the brand name and leave an ad for any post. Many people blog about it or refer it to friends and adds to the reputation using a 3rd party website.
21. Use branded e-cards, business cards, and circulate them online and offline.
22. offer Mp3's, Vidoes, podcasts, flash designs/games, but make sure to keep them on your own server. If anyone likes it, he will refer the same to his friends by either blogging and providing a direct link or share it up in forums or e-mails.. and e-mails do get forwarded, Just like rapidshare gets it
And a lot more Ideas to think and work upon..
Well the sole purpose of writing all this is, Change yourself and charge your clients for something that is worth charging so that the rip offs in the name of basic services fade away.
BrainStorming is a vital part of all this process. Gather ideas, do a analysis of its feasiblity, plan a strategy and execute it.
You have to make people talk about your product/site, by hook or by crook and that can be achieved By touching the emotional state of the Visitors, Either do something really good, Or something really bad..
neutral things are being done by everyone, forget that.. Also, think it this way everyone can brag about his/her product specification in ads, but sometimes, a small word can do it all with just images and video ;)
I have mixed up everything just to make you realise that out of the box thinking now a days is quiet important to live up in the Internet Industry. infact charge your clients with something that will help them big time, and not with those tid bids (though nessecary)..
kudos to all those who already do it, but many a times those tid bids are the cause of rip-off's just because everyone can do it..
Bottomline: Save SEO industry from the black spot, Think Unique, Think Viral, Think long Term, Change yourself. Those who can understand what i just talked about, go ahead and research. Those who already do it, its good. But seriously, its no April Fools joke, its time to adapt ourselves accordingly, and stop all those rip offs happening around.. There are things beyond link baits even, practice good, and contribute more towards this industry in a good way.
There is life beyond those 3-way link exchanges.. wake up
Share your thoughts..