Over a couple years I’ve been looking at the sites that most of us use here in Thailand on a daily or maybe weekly basis. There are some sites that we all tend to use because there just isn’t anything better.
On a weekly basis I use or have used these dot coms: stickmanbangkok; bahtsold; ajarn; daveseslcafe; thaivisa; phuket-info; phuketgazette…
and very little else. That seems to be about it for me – and what I’ve needed over the years.
Being an internet marketing consultant in my past life and coming here to Thailand I ignored things online for nearly a year before deciding to get involved in some way again in e-commerce projects and large-scale portal development or some other area of development.
The quality level of sites here is horrendous, and yet expats are using them a lot because there’s really nothing else. This lack of competition and lack of expat’s eagerness to get into the online “game” here in Thailand has helped to make the situation what it is. Couple that with a lack of skilled tech savvy folks that know what they’re doing as far as web-site development, traffic generation, e-commerce optimization, site design (aesthetics), and general online business skills and you arrive at what we have today.
I don’t think I could name one site about Thailand that I enjoy going to. Sites are in such a serious state of disrepair that they are either turtle slow, covered with graphics ads, have missing links, have a navigational structure that a 9 yr old child could improve on, bold or capital letters for text which is piss-poor for ease of reading, a color scheme that copies stickmanbangkok which is copying something from when he started the site upteen years ago – called ” Paint.exe”.
The user experience here is really low-grade, and it’s pretty damn depressing that people that are making money with their sites are doing absolutely NOTHING to improve them.
Thailand is ripe for a major portal that contains well designed sites filled with quality content formatted in an aethetically pleasing way that isn’t focused on whores and expats, is designed to attract a portion of the huge Google traffic looking for travel information about Thailand, incites quality advertisers to spend money on ad placements, and builds on itself as more sites join the network…
Imagine all the quality sites existing in one major portal for Thailand.
The top site for teacher information. The top site for online classifieds. The top site for visa, workpermit and living in Thailand issues. The top site for traveling information. The top site for information about Isaan, Pattaya, Bangkok, Patong Beach, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui. The top site for photos of Thailand. The top site for Videos of Thailand. The top site for learning the Thai language. The top sites for different products from Thailand for sale. The top site for weather in Thailand. News about Thailand. Expat news about Thailand.
Imagine that Google would find this portal SO full of quality information (optimized FOR Google of course) that there would be tens to hundreds of thousands of visitors per day to this portal and the web sites that exist as part of it. Millions per month and tens of millions per year. Thailand has 13.8 million visitors per year coming here. Most of them are searching online a lot for information before they come and while they are here. There are so many millions of Google searches that relate to Thailand. A portal that is focused ON Google would grab a large portion of search engine traffic which is basically free when the sites and portal are optimized FOR Google.
Part of the secret for creating a portal like this… is blogs. Blogs have supreme power in the search engines – not just Google, but the major search engines as well.
Why is that? Google craves content rich, updated sites that conform to the formatting Google likes to see.
Blogs give it that. Or, CAN give it that when they are formatted correctly and optimized for Google.
The plan I have for www.ThaiPulse.com is something that incorporates all of this into one large Thailand Travel Portal.
I am astounded on one level that people aren’t “getting it”. I know it’s a new concept to most of you and there has been stagnation for so many years regarding online efforts by those that have some level of “success”.
With this project we could raise the bar for what you’re currently experiencing as “success” though.
Imagine this large network of the best sites – linked together and sharing traffic for free. Using each other to gain traffic. Stickman’s site brings “x” number of people per day and then once they are done reading the articles they jump off to some other part of the network. Maybe travel plans. Maybe Bahtsold. Maybe Thaivisa. Maybe Isaan blog. Maybe to see the photos or videos of the day. Maybe somewhere else. The visitors that come to the main portal – www.thaipulse.com will see all the sites listed – they will come to KNOW that this is the top group of sites that Thailand has to offer. They will stay at the site for a long time and read whatever information they need to get – and come back the next day and do the same thing. The page views on such a portal would be very large because each person would likely see numerous sites. The links that surfers create pointing TO the network become very powerful in Google’s eyes. I’ve not seen a Google PageRank of higher than a 5 here at Thailand sites. We could have a 7 or 8 with this portal over 18 months to 2 years.
Your traffic over the course of 1 year should increase more than double I would estimate. I would actually estimate much, much higher – but I’ll even be conservative and say double.
I’m in contact with a lot of top level writers at the moment. If I can get just a few to join now… and then over the next 6 months get 10 more… this portal will become something quite extraordinary.
I am opening up categories of blogs that have topics similar to some of the more successful sites that currently exist… Nightlife in Bangkok. Nightlife in Pattaya, Patong. We may create an online classifieds. We will have teaching blogs. We’ll have a photo of the day blog.. A video of the day blog. We’ll have a tips for tourists blog. We’ll have a Thailand technology blog. We’ll have many blogs that may cover some of the topics that current sites that have some success are covering. And we may surpass them as we get enough focused content on the keywords that Google will send us large traffic for.
I want the sites that are currently successful to be part of this portal – obviously. You can join as a blog and put links to your site from the blog. You would need to put links to your blog and to other sites as well that are in the network to form a strong network. More about that later…
Ok, anyway – so that is the plan – that is even some more background about what the general idea is.
Create one place – THE PLACE in Thailand for tourists mostly, that are searching on terms used to find information about Thailand.
Own Google with well developed and optimized blogs focusing on key topics that will send big traffic our way.
Share that traffic amongst each other.
Grow bigger with time.
Have the premiere portal for Thailand travel in a year or so of time.
Am I making any SENSE to anybody?