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web presence
search engine optimization
internet service providers
scenario sound
slap in the face
pleasing result
computer servers
google
short cuts
website content
real estate agent
How To Get A Web Presence
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How to Get A Web Presence

I will try to be brief. Several years ago I got thrown into the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) quite accidentally. At the time I had just moved to Turkey and my real estate agent there was desperately trying to get more visitors to her website, because of my background in digital communications she literally threw a part-time SEO job at me and wouldn’t take no for an answer.

That’s when I really started immersing myself in SEO. I quickly realized that it didn’t seem to matter what strategies I tried I couldn’t get a pleasing result. That’s when it hit me like an abrupt slap in the face - there are no short cuts to SEO, it’s a discipline, a process of gradually building up your reputation and resources. I experience some quick wins by changing some website content but the back linking strategies didn’t seem to work.

Does this scenario sound familiar? You submit your web address to a website directory but 80% of those submissions do absolutely nothing. Then you try to get back links from reverse DNS lookups and web analytics sites, you find they create links but not the quality links monitored by Alexa By the way, just so you know. There are ways to get these links to register, I’ve been told it requires at least 10 computer servers, multiple internet service providers and a very sneaky and probably illegal use of Google Adsense to make those links stick. So try all you like and work as hard as you like, for most of us the total number of back links as measured by Alexa will not change easily.

Another approach is needed. I asked myself, what if it’s not about url’s and keywords but the message itself?

So I started to worry less about the web directories and to care more about online PR and the quality of my messages. I began asking a different question.

What makes a person look for information or services or buy something completely new, something they’ve never even heard of before?

If you want to win customers then you have to engage with customers and no amount of SEO can do that for you. So I understood the best form of off-site marketing was to get real world messages out into the world through article marketing, forums and blogs.

The digital asset bank

I started looking at our website not as a set of web pages but as a series of digital assets, I discovered that hidden among all of that text we already had guidelines for buying a property, a template to help people shortlist properties, tourist guides for Belek, Kemer and several other locations. So I started chunking these pages up into individual pieces and repositioning them as unique articles in their own right. I posted these individual assets around the internet on this site on Scribd, squidoo and many other places, within a few weeks I saw our back links were increasing on Alexa.

It’s really nothing new

If you look at existing and accepted marketing theories they advocate that you base marketing strategy around, essentially, your resources. If you can afford big, splashy promotions, you should do big, splashy promotions. If you can’t, you should do whatever else you can.

The hardest thing for a start-up to do is generate traffic to their website. The easiest thing a start-up can do is start talking to people, put messages onto forums, share ideas and hope they are compelling enough that people will come back.

Another strategy for engagement

Base your marketing strategy and tactics on content and engaging with people and you will be attractive to people. If you look at innovative retailers today you’ll see that more and more they are winning our interest by talking about concepts.

Prepare yourself for information over load and new levels of whackiness that will eventually blow your mind.

Why? It seems that creative and even damn right whacky ideas have replaced clich�d sales pitches. You can examples of this everywhere online, cheese shops don’t sell cheese anymore, they sell "Cheesetique" - the art of eating, making and presenting cheese. Business consultants don’t win clients on the back of their MBA, but on their delivery of “people-centric solutions for the social world”. These carefully worded marketing concepts are now the unique selling point, and they are also the unique keywords or phrases that will start ranking people at the top of Google.

A quick summary

My point is this. When it comes to SEO think beyond keywords and computer generated stats for just one moment and consider instead what you want to say and who the audience might be. Look for your hidden digital assets and think about what the key messages really are and how you can embed them into your articles, forum and blog posts.Chunk up your website, if you can’t get people to your own website, re-position the text for use on other websites that do have traffic.

The sales pitch is dead, people are engaged by personal philosophies and creative concepts that encourage them to read on, sign up and visit your website. If your going to be whacky, try and test it on your friends first.

But the fundamentals of doing good business are still the same. The good news is that estate agent is still selling houses, the people-centered humanistic consultant is still using the same tried and tested business practices as before. The underlying messages haven’t changed they’ve just been polished and marketed in a more engaging way and it seems to work.


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