Sunday, 17 February 2013

Marketing Without Search Engines

Build your website for visitors, not for search engines.

Let's take a quick look at this idea. What if you completely forgot about search engines and simply built your website for your visitors. This would mean that you take a great deal of care in understanding who your visitors really are and design your website's look / feel / navigation carefully and specifically tailored to the needs of your visitors.

Defining your visitor domain:

You have to use several attributes to define / document your visitor domain. Some of these attributes can be as follows:
  • Age Group
  • Academic Qualifications
  • Technical Qualifications
  • English Language skills
  • Work Experience
  • Sex
  • Geographical Area
And so on.
The greater the details and statistics available the more accurate will be your decomposition of your visitor domain.
When you have filled in as much details as possible use these details to determine your website's look / feel and navigation as well as Content.
The content of your web pages is determined by the demographics of your visitors.
If you've got a lot of young, well qualified, technically strong visitors, the content of your website must be attractive to them. Additionally website navigation should be simple to use, i.e. everything should be between a click or two clicks away.
Once your visitors decide that they have a lot to gain by coming back to your website because of its content, your visitors will drive traffic to your website by commenting about it on their social medial networks and encouraging their peers to visit.
This kind of third party marketing, largely value driven, is amazing for driving a stream of repeat and new visitors to your website.
If you ignore search engines and simply craft and deliver what your visitors want, people will do what they’ve always been doing i.e.
  • They rely on each other
  • They rely on their community of peers
  • They rely on the content of publications known within their geographic location or industry
  • They rely on word of mouth
  • They rely on getting information from trusted sources such as their social media networks
Only after all these sources fail do they turn to "Search Engines".
Hence the new mantra for website marketing is go where people that belong to your core focus domain gather, this could be LinkedIn, Orkut, Facebook, YouTube or any other
Internet based social gathering  place. It's there you will have to be heard.

When you ignore search engines and turn your focus to rudimentary marketing techniques such as focusing on Internet determined gathering places, and
marketing your website there, would you realize much actual marketing, ( that can drive traffic to your website ), you are NOT doing. This can be a
pretty amazing relevation.

There are a ton of forums, social networking websites, technical blogs, (especially for vertical technical niches ), often created and run by thought
leaders in their domains, that you could be ignoring when attempting to drive traffic to your website. 
It's pretty likely that by NOT being active on these online communities that you are losing out on perhaps a few thousand visitors every day.

An intelligent comment, clear and lucid. A well thought through "Thank You" note. Any of this can catch the attention of a potential visitor.

Now if your website URL is part of your signature, your website is just a Click away. You would be amazed at how many people will actually click on
your URL and hop across to your website. That's driving traffic.
Believe me, this sure beats:
  • Waiting for your site to be indexed
  • Rank for longtail phrases
  • Hopefully have search engines drive traffic to your websiteDepend on "Keywords" being searched for your position in the SERP
  • THEN
  • Hopefully converting into an ad click or sale to drive revenue. 
The earlier approach is definitely proactive and worth the effort.
 Occasionally, the thought leader on reading your comment, may be curious enough to come across to your website ( incomming traffic ) and perhaps leave
a comment there in return. Wow, you've just been endorsed by a thougth leader.

Visitors who are driven to your website from your social networking page ( or from your Comments ), they know more than your page name, url and meta-description.

They have a rough idea of who you are. They know your history of contributions. Your words are in their face before they even click over to your
website. You are already partially presold by making yourself familiar and ( more importantly ) trustworthy.

The whole experience of marketing without search engines is educational.
It forced me to climb out of my shell and represent me ( my brand ).
  • This is me
  • I own this website
  • Here’s what I do
  • Take a look
  • Here’s why this will be interesting.. 
And so on.
Nothing revolutionary really but when you’re not depending on search engines, its not just how to get clicks but also how to get the most value out of each click?
  • What web page should be linked to
  • Who should be targeted
And so on.
This forced me to work hard at persuading on a social level, to try and understand what the other person wanted, think carefully before I posted
anything. Never to post rubbish. Always focus on adding value. All the while knowing that I was building a strong brand for myself and a reputation.

I would recommend that you believe that search engines don’t exist. Especially if you’ve got a new website. There’s a lot of visitors out there just
waiting for you to show them your site. If you've reached a plateau using search engines to drive traffic to your wesbite why not focus on promoting
your site outside of search engines?

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