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"Turnkey" Solutions for SEO or Social Media, Good Idea?

Posted by on December 2, 2008

Have you heard of companies or individuals offering “turnkey” solutions/strategies for SEO or for social media?  Wait, let me back up, let’s start off with “what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the term “turnkey?”  I define turnkey as a one size fits all approach to getting things done.  I think of turnkey as a form or data field that companies can fill out with their information that then generates recommendations/results/etc.  An SEO turnkey solution would be something that says “insert keyterms here and we will create a title tag for you (get the idea?)”  A social media turnkey solution would be something that says “if you want more friends on twitter or facebook, install this.”  Of course, these are just a few examples that may or may not exist, but hopefully you understand where I am going with this.  You can also check out my post on “personalization not automation.”

When referring to SEO or social media I don’t believe in anything that is turnkey.  There is no such thing as as a one size fits all approach or an automated SEO or social media campaign.  We’re talking about strategies here, not clothing.  Here is my argument against using anything turkey for SEO or social media (and probably a lot of other things):

  • your business is always going to have a different target audience, a different set of keywords, different conversation hubs, a different product, etc.
  • if you use a turnkey solution and so do your competitors, then where is the advantage for you?
  • a tool that works for company may not work for another company
  • easy and cheap does not imply effective
  • the relationships you try to build through SEO or social media may not make sense for everyone.  For example if you are an author or an online retailer you are probably going to go after very different relationships with very different people
  • you can’t stand out or be unique from anything turnkey
  • in order to succeed you need a customized strategy that matches YOUR goals and objectives

Basically I think that in order for any business to succeed in today’s environment a turnkey solution is actually more detrimental then beneficial.  With the economy struggling people are looking for “unique” and “original,” you can’t afford to go with anything turnkey.  A social media strategy for Adobe won’t look anything like a social media strategy for Coca-Cola and an SEO strategy for Chevron won’t look anything like an SEO strategy for Ford.  You can use the same basic ideas and general guidelines but if you actually want to see results you have to have your own way of getting things done.

I use twitter, linkedin, and facebook, but so does Barack Obama.  One of us uses social media to give advice, tips, strategies, promote content, and create conversation; the other uses social media as a medium for a calls to action, broadcast messages, status updates, rallying the troops (so to speak), etc.  There may be some similarities but overall the way I use social media and the way Barack Obama (or his team) use social media are very different, can you imagine both of us using the same turnkey solution or strategy?

What do you think about turnkey solutions for social media or SEO (or other)?  How would you define “turnkey?”

thanks for reading

  • wow! nice article on SEO, very well explained about seo really very intresting.thanks for sharing such a good information.

  • After many years in corporate marketing I can honestly say I hate the term Turnkey! I think Turkey is more fitting given the season and the concept. If you're going to join the conversation, be you. The real you. Thanks for this post and all your insightful posts and tweets!

    • completely agree. the only people that benefit from “turnkey” anything are the folks that created the solution!

      thanks for the comment

  • Anything worth having, is worth working for. Too many people rush out and grab some social media technology, usually a blog, and decide they have a social media strategy. Technology doesn't equal a strategy. Turnkey says to me that they haven't thought about their audience, but that they are in such a hurry to get anything up, they will just do whatever is easiest. Turnkey is not a good idea.

    • we dont have patience anymore that is the problem, we want instant results and instant rankings, it just doesn't work like that and it never will.

      thanks for the comment!

  • Thanks Jacob for your post on this topic that is I think going to become more and more top of mind…
    No need to remind you that the Social Media scene is exploding at speed light and for the small business owner out there who wants to jump in (because everyone keeps telling them that they need a blog, be on Facebook, etc), don't you think that it is a bit intimidating ?
    Being in the industry, we tend to lose sight that the majority still doesn't participate in the 'conversation' and just want to get started, therefore I believe turnkey can be good for a majority of SME owners out there…
    I define turnkey here as a step by step approach to accomplish their goals with Social media. Not a one fit all solution, but a systemize way to go after their Online activities…
    But I totally agree that Social Media Strategy and the different tools that will be used are going to vary.

  • socialmaker

    When it comes to seo services there are only a handful of companies who really know what they're doing. Only these know what content is all about, fixing site issues, URL canonicalization and rewrites and getting you a lot of links.

  • socialmaker

    When it comes to seo services there are only a handful of companies who really know what they're doing. Only these know what content is all about, fixing site issues, URL canonicalization and rewrites and getting you a lot of links.

  • I agree. I believe that SEO should be tailor made for each and every individual website according to its needs.

  • I think the proper use of SEO is only well know by the companies rather than an individual. So SEo will we make more easier for the ordinary man can understand it ..

  • Marcko

    Small and medium-sized businesses are now utilizing popular social media sites as part of their search engine marketing efforts. By capitalizing on these popular websites, they can get direct traffic right away that might also increase the ROI instantly.

    SEO reseller

  • Hey nice article.The SEO is used by online business or individually.Its understand by ordinary person.Its used for increase the traffic of the website for the search engines. This information is very informative.Keep sharing with us.

  • Syjuban20

    Turnkey Solution was conceived using the idea of exploring community groups and advertising via social media. It is still considered spam.

    web design australia

  • Anonymous


  • Well written article I enjoy at the time of reading this article.SEO is a way to improve the ranking in search engine like Google& traffic on your site.Thanks for sharing this informative article with us.I like this.Keep it up.

  • It is great concepts.In this article the turkey solutions are described for the SEO,these solutions are very helpful.I like this information.Grateful to you for sharing this information with us.Keep sharing with us.

  • This method is
    becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it
    provides people with a chance to learn and enjoy both at the same time.Very
    well written post.Got to know new concepts on gamification as well.

  • A
    typical turnkey website comes good especially if you are too conscious on
    your budget.Well i read your article fully and found it quite
    impressive.Thanks for sharing such article.

  • Anonymous

    Hey beautiful article.The SEO is used by online businesses or individually.Its understood by ordinary person.Its used to increase traffic to the site for search engines. This information is very informative.Keep share with us.
    search engine optimization company

  • Well written article.I appreciate your writing skills.Its great.I really like the concept of this post and I feel that this is a very unique and rare information that you have managed to compile.You have done a great job by sharing this post with us.I like this post.Keep sharing with us in future too.

  • I would like to thank you for defining the term “turn-key” as it is used in this digital world.
    For 12 years I was a math high school teacher and math coach to my department. Part of my role in these positions (particularly as coach) was to turn-key best practices, classroom technology and all I learned from my own professional development to the teachers in my department, the staff as a whole and occasionally at district meetings. This term held a COMPLETELY different meaning to me then and I was going to bring MY definition to my blog. Had people come expecting the one size fits all, impersonal type of automation you speak of, I would have been completely perplexed.

    My turn-key was to translate what I had learned to a larger audience, provide best practices that worked for me and others I met on my learning journey, and, most importantly, field any personal questions about my presentation. The goal was to share IDEAS with people, not provide them with a panacea!

  • SEO

    I am totall agree with you.When referring to SEO or social media I don’t believe in anything that
    is turnkey.  There is no such thing  as a one size fits all approach
    or an automated SEO or social media campaign.