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  1. #1
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    What are some non-SEO marketing methods you use with clients?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm rethinking my entire approach to websites.

    Up until lately, I've never put much thought at the marketing aspect of a website. I was focused on aesthetics, good coding, customization, user-friendliness, and analytics. I did keyword and SEO meta too. But I feel like the marketing part of a website should be worth 50% of the contract value to a client. After all, a website for most businesses is an investment and many will be thinking of the return (I don't say all, because some will just want a website, some will just want a website to impress, or some just need something easy to use and manage for their organization).

    The methods I'm thinking of
    So I'm thinking of the different ways I can incorporate marketing into my website packages/proposals. I'm not sure what's good and effective and how to charge for them properly, but here are some I thought of:

    • submission to online directories
    • submission to local directories or chambers
    • including $x of Adwords for the first month or so
    • creating 2-3 interesting, relevant blog entries that can generate organic traffic or social traffic
    • make a submission to user-submitted resource sites like ehow.com, squidoo.com, examiner.com
    • Yelp listing
    • Google Places listing


    And of course, no black hat SEO, comment spamming, or anything that can cause negative search engine points or make people angry that you're spamming their site.

    Some ideas regarding marketing
    I'm thinking that with every website, I could include all these things as the marketing part. As for an ongoing service, clients could pay a monthly fee to have me manage their Adwords and then I would give them a concise report showing traffic, click thru rates, etc at the end of the month, much like a financial manager gives reports to their clients about what is happening with their money.

    What do you guys think?
    Last edited by RDesignista; Nov 13th, 2013 at 01:52 AM.

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    It really isn't worth that much, because most of the marketing of a website can and should be at least partly the client's responsibility. Let's face it, they know their customers better than you do and they'll have a better idea of the type of language to use, the products they're most interested in, etc. That doesn't mean you can't advise or help them along the way, but at least the majority of the work can and should be done by the client.

    As far as your list of things goes, it depends on the client. Some things will work for some clients that won't work at all or aren't applicable to others (e.g. a store that exclusively sells online probably won't need a Yelp or Google Places listing). So I'm speaking in generalities when it comes to your list. But here goes:

    1) Wouldn't bother unless you somehow know of some topical ones for each client that will generate that client some traffic. If you mean "submit to the list on say directorycritic.com and see how it goes", don't waste your time and your client's money. You'll see next to no traffic and Google caught onto that trick ages ago because of the people doing it for "SEO reasons".

    2) Can work if the client is a member of those chambers. Usually doesn't generate much traffic, but when it does it's targeted.

    3) Depends on the client. Some clients are better suited to Adwords than others (e.g. clients with a high-value product that would generate an ROI big enough for an Adwords campaign).

    4) If you don't allow for comments, then this can work. I suggest not allowing for comments because the additional time and effort required to maintain them, filter out spam, deal with idiots and competitors, etc. generally won't make it a worthwhile exercise.

    Adding useful, relevant content always helps...but again, this is something that ultimately should be coming from the client because they know their stuff better than you will. This is what most "SEOs" and "Internet Marketers" don't understand...the lack of knowledge they possess about their clients' business models cannot be offset by generic marketing tricks. I don't blame you for looking at this, Ron...this is one of the many things that the Internet Marketing Community needs to figure out.

    5) Here's a link that I have from ehow.com that I had nothing to do with (the Kingpin Bowl one):

    Movie Theaters in Orangeville, Ontario | eHow

    I found it in Google Webmaster Tools one day by accident. The reason I found it there is because it wasn't in my referrer logs at any point. The reason it wasn't there is because...it sent me no traffic. As in not one single visitor. That's over at least the past calendar year. Granted, it's a link and it's organic and I appreciate the effort, but it really doesn't do any good.

    6) and 7) Be careful with this. Anything involving reviews and review sites is a double-edged sword. Competitors trash the company, shill reviews pop up, idiots write negative reviews about companies they've never even done business with. I had a client who had this woman who went off half-cocked and wrote several negative reviews on various sites about his company because he wouldn't serve her. The reason he wouldn't serve her? His business was local to Toronto and she lived well over an hour away. So she went absolutely ballistic and the client had to spend about 3-4 hours getting the reviews removed on the grounds that she was outside of his service area.

    I'm not saying don't submit to review sites (and both Yelp and Google Places are to at least some extent)...I'm saying proceed with caution.

    The point I'm trying to make in all of this is that you probably won't be able to come up with a package that fits all. You'll be able to use some things for some people, and different things for others.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Game,

    Thanks for your input.

    Yes, I completely agree that the client should be the one marketing their business. They are in the best position to do so. However, because of my networking, I'm coming across a lot of small business owners. These small business owners wear a lot of hats, so having some online marketing help would be value to some. I am thinking that if I can offer some online marketing to go with my website production, it could help sweeten the deal or I could increase the bidding price, because the SBO can see their website more as an investment, rather than a really big business card.

    At the end of the day though, I would prefer not to do anything with marketing. I much rather focus my time on development and design. At the least, I think I will be doing more with SEO, Adwords, Analytics, and adding key blogs entries as part of an effort on my part to service SBOs and to up the value of my services.

    ***

    Regarding your comments:

    1. Yes absolutely. There are a lot of trash directories out there. I signed up for one when I first started out, didn't know you had to pay, and they ended up sending me spam and an offer of $90 to be listed.

    2. Yes, qualified traffic, esp geographic-wise, is what I'm looking for. Which is why I am doing more with Adwords.

    3. Yes, I figured that Adwords would not be for everyone. The general per click seems to be $.50 to $4, so it doesn't make too much sense for someone with $15 / ticket.

    4. Yes, I've totally learned that allowing comments = Pandora's Box. Even if you have a Facebook or Disqus account, there are still the "My mom makes $55,000 an hour selling ramen from her home!!!!" comments and/or just general flamers. And the burden of responsibility and moderation and spam filtering is too much for most business owners, esp. since comments won't necessarily be making more money for a lot of businesses.

    5. Well, that link isn't an instructional link. It's a list of movie theaters in an area. Not sure how it's there? But take this for example: a query for "how do I network" would be helpful for a business coach with online seminars. "how to twerk" would be useful for someone selling DVDs on how to dance freaky at a club.

    6/7. Yes, you're right. I remember the article you posted on G+. Some people can totally astro-turf or astro-trash you. I just like Google Places because it'll help with putting you on their maps and in the results listing. I just like anything Google that sets you apart from the rest of the lists (Authorship, press releases, etc).


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