What to do when SEO isn't the answer?

15 replies
I got a call from a local web designer that was looking for some SEO work to help a client.

After looking at the site I don't think SEO is the answer in this case. I don't want to link to the site in here, but let's say it's a new invention so there is no way anyone or hardly anyone is going to be searching for this thing.

I was thinking press releases, wikipedia page, but most importantly some serious social media.

What do you guys think? What could I do to get the word out about a completely new product and what could I charge for this?

This is actually a new type of aircraft that this guy invented and has a patent on.
#answer #seo
  • Profile picture of the author princewally
    Does it solve a problem people would be searching for? "Planes that don't crash" may be a search term to optimize for.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aussie_Al
    Me personally - when I think of SEO I think of the whole shebang, press releases , promo videos, article marketing, backlinking campaigns, blog commenting - everything

    Why limit yourself?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kyrool
    Well, I agree with Aussie_Al, probably making it known would be of first concern, wikipedia, twitter, facebook and youtube would be a start. Then go on to others.

    As for charges, it would be good to estimate no. of hours spent and how much the time is worth to you.

    Just my 2 cents Good Luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Makarski
      I happen to have a prospect just like that. They came to me with an idea to "build a new website". Turns out, they were thinking about SEO. However, their product / service is something that is new and is a bit ahead of its time. No one is looking for that product / service yet.

      Here's what I told them:

      1. Follow your sales guys and write down what they say to prospects (pay special attention that either result in a sale or move your forward in the selling process).

      2. Create your customer avatar / ideal customer profile.

      3. Come up with a list of problems that keep your ideal customer awake at night.

      4. Buy some PPC traffic and drive the clicks either to a survey to learn more about what these people are looking for, or a squeeze page to follow up with them on the phone. Figure out how to "turn the corner" in your presentation and go from the problem they have to the solution you offer. Keep tweaking this part until it works.

      5. Now that #4 works, start thinking about SEO.

      Now they understand it's a longer, structured process that will require an investment of time, manpower, and $'s. They have 2 out of 3 in place so now I'm hooking them up with angels and VCs and that will earn me a commission when they raise some cash (I'm only making a few introductions. If they ask me to represent them, there will be consulting agreement in place too.)
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      • Profile picture of the author iamchrisgreen
        Originally Posted by Alex Makarski View Post

        I happen to have a prospect just like that. They came to me with an idea to "build a new website". Turns out, they were thinking about SEO. However, their product / service is something that is new and is a bit ahead of its time. No one is looking for that product / service yet.

        Here's what I told them:

        1. Follow your sales guys and write down what they say to prospects (pay special attention that either result in a sale or move your forward in the selling process).

        2. Create your customer avatar / ideal customer profile.

        3. Come up with a list of problems that keep your ideal customer awake at night.

        4. Buy some PPC traffic and drive the clicks either to a survey to learn more about what these people are looking for, or a squeeze page to follow up with them on the phone. Figure out how to "turn the corner" in your presentation and go from the problem they have to the solution you offer. Keep tweaking this part until it works.

        5. Now that #4 works, start thinking about SEO.

        Now they understand it's a longer, structured process that will require an investment of time, manpower, and $'s. They have 2 out of 3 in place so now I'm hooking them up with angels and VCs and that will earn me a commission when they raise some cash (I'm only making a few introductions. If they ask me to represent them, there will be consulting agreement in place too.)
        Couldn't have said it better. This is a solid way to go about it.
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        • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
          Not that you are exactly coming back to see the suggestions but for a new invention you would simply do Press Releases in the relevant media.

          The cost is zero.

          Dan
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          • Profile picture of the author warrior realm
            WOW! Great advice from those here before me! Hopefully I can add a little as well. Sounds like you have an interesting project on your hands!

            New aircraft? If I were involved with aviation/aircraft at all I would definitely want to know about anything "new" in/on the field . And I would think this is something that is relatively expensive to buy?

            With that in mind, I would create two different types of press releases; One for SEO/Lead Gen purposes and then another aimed at writers/editors of every aviation related media/publication I could find contact info for.

            One Thought: Create several press releases and several promotional videos and release them on a regular basis to create a "buzzzzz" (generate curiosity and excitement) and attract attention.

            Two Thought: I would want to attract the attention of the media in an effort to motivate the press to contact ME (the product owner/spokesperson) to interview me and write an article, do a segment, review my product so that I gain as much valuable FREE publicity (in the right markets) as possible.

            Three Thought: Use press releases and videos as "two-step" lead generation tools. If this is an expensive high-end product (again, I'm assuming), a two step lead generation model to motivate potential buyers to "raise their hand and identify themselves". Maybe by offering more information on specs and such.

            FOUR:
            Who is your perfect customer for this product? Create a profile.
            What problem does this product solve? What pleasure does it give?
            What logical and emotional benefits would I enjoy if I owned the product? (logical: saves gas money ... emotional: it's babe magnet!)
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  • Profile picture of the author fitz10
    I would think of it more as "driving traffic" rather than SEO in the strictest definition of the word. I think you're absolutely right that you need to drive more traffic through social media (maybe target plane enthusiasts or B2B groups having to do with aviation?) and press releases rather than through traditional SEO.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChessTrainer
    bizarre.looks for people selling planes on ebay
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  • Profile picture of the author georgegr
    Your target group will give you the answers if you need seo, a good way to start as Alex Mentioned is PPC advertising.

    Marketing:

    Promote your profile on forums, blog share good articles that people will love to give a link, at the same time spend some time on social networks for several reasons such as reputation, ads, bookmarking !

    but i strongly believe that almost everyone needs SEO
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  • Profile picture of the author traficmaster
    I would go with:
    - Social media (very BIG yes) it can be just sooo powerfull
    -Paid ads,offline local paper,online get banner exchange/pay for banner space
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  • Profile picture of the author zedert
    I quite agree with Aussie_al and Alex Makarski
    From an entrepreneurial point of view, the client is dreamingif he thinks the panacea is online SEO.

    He should hire you as a global marketing specialist, not as a SEO specialist.
    Prior to any creation, he should have done a market survey, since there's no point in building something no one is willing to buy (and what features, price, etc. they expect)
    THEN, and IF there is a real market, your client should start:
    -creating a brand name with the usual parapharnelia (videos, local press releases,local tv, etc.)
    -setting up a commercial force

    Your job could be to help him create that and coordinate all those things if you are experienced enough.
    I've personally charged some thousands buck for such things in the past.

    My advice: if he does not have the cash to pay you right now, flee and do not accept deals such as "i'll give you a few shares". Since more than half small business that innovate on a market disappear in less than a year, well...
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    • Profile picture of the author BrianTomlinson
      I think Press Releases are a killer way to get started. Something new and cool though definitely get video involved. All of those strategies can allow you to start building a solid base/foundation.
      This is a great opportunity to build up their SEO naturally from the start. The good news is that they are ahead of the game.
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      • Profile picture of the author NRC1983
        I was thinking the same thing as the person above, if the product is brand new and exciting, a press release would do wonders...he might even want to get a publicist on board as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    I have never had a client that elements of SEO hasn't worked for them. Even a brand new invention nobody knows about, you can still optimize to get results. Why don't you target the keywords, "New invention" "recent inventions" something broad that will increase awareness.
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