They Went From the Bottom to the Top Thanks to My Services

American Singers’ Opera Project (ASOP), a not for profit organization, assists young American opera singers in building careers in opera. ASOP moved from New York City to North Carolina because of the rising cost of organizing classes and performances. The move to NC established the format of the project to be a 2 week summer workshop.

Initial assessment
ASOP’s website had these issues:

  • The domain name was too long and prone to misspelling: “www.americansingersoperaproject.org”
  • It was amateurish with old, ineffective design techniques
  • Search Engine Optimization was ignored
  • Although ASOP relied heavily on printed advertisement, a better web presence was a crucial need
  • The original website was not registered in some of the most important directories, negatively affecting the Google Page Rank (PR)
  • The budget of the company was extremely limited
  • The traffic rank was poor as well as the Google Page Rank
Website designed in Drupal

ASOP’s Website

My solutions and actions
I decided first of all that ASOP needed a new website and re-branding. Knowing that the website would need periodic updates and that SEO was certainly an issue to address, we decided to design the new website using an open source CMS (Content Management System). Drupal, in my opinion, is the best available platform to meet this need.

The original name was too long and complicated; unfortunately the name “www.asop.org” was taken, so we opted for www.asop-inc.org

Due to budget constraints, a real SEO strategy was not an option. Therefore, I optimized the website for only a few important key-phrases and increased visits to the website through a simple but effective Web 2.0 strategy. The Director of the company agreed to create a page on Facebook and keep it updated frequently. Registering the new website with some important directories was mandatory.

A good website should have content written by a professional writer. Homemade solutions are rarely effective, but the budget in this case forced me to use the original content of the website. This limited my intervention to merely simple editing for SEO purposes. I suggested to issue a press release in order to build awareness about the newly designed website and to obtain qualified incoming links.

Results
The new website with new domain name was ready in a relatively short period of time (2 weeks). In order to keep Search Engines indexing, I had to manually redirect the already existent pages to the new ones. At this point, I registered the website with several important directories and asked the Director of ASOP to start a Web 2.0 presence through Facebook. Since ASOP is well known in its field, the number of visitors for this page and consequently the number of “fans” increased steadily from day one.

Thanks to a few incoming links, the PR of the website climbed from PR1 to PR4 in a matter of a few months [PR is ranked on a scale of 0-10 with 0 being the worst and 10 the best]. Please note that no reciprocal linking strategy is in place here. Reciprocal linking is a thing of the past and highly hyped by Indian companies. Print advertising, modified as we suggested, brought in a few new incoming links.

The press release I designed was a crucial element in finding new, qualified incoming links as well as in spreading awareness of the new website. ASOP’s website now has excellent positioning for its targeted key-phrases.

For example, despite the economic crisis that hit ASOP as well as other workshops, the number of participants in the Summer Opera Workshop dramatically increased in 2009 due to my efforts. ASOP used to accept 25 participants, a number that was not reached in any of the preceding years. After my intervention, this quota was met easily, with 3 times as many requests in comparison to previous years. In fact, ASOP is now looking at the possibility of organizing TWO workshops per year instead of ONE as has been done in the past.

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