Internet Marketing in China – A Horse of a Different color

Chinese SEO Horse

I’ve been thinking as I’ve been encountering more and more customers in the market for SEO work in China. The voice of the customer can be summed up in a short sentance “I want it to look this way!” Why is that a problem you might ask? Well I’m not in the business of web design – I’m in the business of online marketing. Not to say that a flashy user interface and eye-catching graphics and imagery are going to harm the impression on your customers.. but your not going to have any eyeballs on your site if it’s not properly marketed. It’s much like having an attractive storefront without any windows for people to see your work through. The Chinese seo marketplace seems, to say the least, underdeveloped.

People don’t care about marketing aspects of their site, actually it’s worse – they are completely unaware that aspect of site development even exists. Educating a customer to a place where they are comfortable enough to sign a contract for that service takes quite a bit of time. *Cute the light bulb!* Why not create an informative site, commodified for this market that isn’t selling anything. A site designed to bring in people who have a website or who are interested in one that know very little to nothing about the wonderful world of websites. A site to build GuanXi and network amongst the reputable sites and key figures in the local SEO industry. Not selling something directly on the site would be a huge differentiator.. however monetizing that arrangement is something I need to consider more fully.

There is also the issue of very similar to “scope creep” in the programming world which seems to be effecting some of our web design projects. Communication is key and that is obviously something that always needs to be worked on when we’re dealing with people who speak English as a 2nd language or worse yet those that we have to speak to through a translator. We try, but there always ends up being miscommunication that results in us having to do more work. Manage Expectations I always say. We’ll have to keep working on the clarity of our work proposals. We also need to properly advise when we run into ambiguity and idealists. Many are looking so far down range they can’t see what they need to focus on now to get to where they want to go later. It’s all our responsibility, a challenge, something I dread and look forward to everyday – there’s money to be made if we can get our formula right.

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  • mike michelini

    I hate design….well, I mean, yes, I understand its important to show “face” to your clients, partners, and customers. But I think the website customer is too sensitive to the design. I understand its their baby…but come on….its purpose is to sell, right?