We continue our interview series with leading names of the digital marketing industry with Uğur Eskici, the founder of kriko.io.
After doing good work in big brands such as eBay, GittiGidiyor, n11, Eskici, who set up his own initiative Kriko and participated in many local and international events as a speaker, made special statements to Voxmedya.
🏂 Touch&Go 🏂
# Who is Uğur Eskici? Could you tell us a little about yourself?
# How did you step into the sector? What is the power that drives you to work on this side, Why SEO? What resources did you use for your personal development?
# When you take a look at the places you work on Linkedin, you have taken roles in well-established and large companies. Could you briefly tell us about these experiences?
# Do you have a memory that you can never forget during your professional life? Could you share it with us, if any?
# In companies, you worked with, SEO Specialist, SEO Engineer, SEO Manager, etc. You worked under the titles. What are the duties and differences you take under these titles?
# Can you talk about the foundation adventure of Kriko.io? Also, what kind of services do you offer in Kriko.io?
# Machine learning, mobile priority indexing, and artificial intelligence augmented reality, internet of things, etc., as predicted. What do you think about the future of SEO with the widespread use of technologies? What optimizations will be required?
# What do you think about the importance of coding as a Full Stack Marketer in digital marketing?
# What kind of optimizations do you recommend for website owners to make more use of Voice Search? Can only those who know SEO be successful in Voice Search Engine Optimization?
# What advice would you give to enthusiastic people and new entrepreneurs who have just stepped into this sector?
Voxmedya: First of all, thank you very much for accepting our interview offer. As a Full Stack Marketer that never hesitates to share your information and thus strengthens its power, we want to be inspired by you. For this reason, we will ask questions that we think are important and may be useful to many experienced/inexperienced people.
Uğur Eskici: First of all, thank you very much for your kind invitation and good words! One of the subjects I personally care about is to chat with the sector employees or people interested in the industry as much as possible and contribute collectively to the strengthening of the place of the Turkish internet ecosystem in the global ecosystem. That’s why I especially enjoy participating in professional conversations as much as possible. So thank you again for hosting me!
Voxmedya: Who is Uğur Eskici? Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Uğur Eskici: It can be seriously difficult and sometimes boring for the reader to explain himself, but I would like to summarize it without extending it. I was born in 1988, I am from a strange İzmir (actually Karşıyakalı 😊). I am currently doing MIS master’s degree at Yeditepe University.
My entry into the SEO industry is scheduled for 2004/2005, completely in line with my personal needs. I was not able to attract traffic to dozens of sites that I did in high school, and when I was searching for the reason, it was like a crossroads for me because all I wanted was to be a soldier so far. This step is taken into the SEO world as a hobby after the need resulted in it becoming my profession today.
As a software origin, I started working as a software developer after my university education. But while I was doing this job, which I did very fondly, I saw that there was a gap in the field of SEO. I think some things get more clarity when they get into business life. Then I turned my professional career into digital marketing and started working in this field.
After working in İzmir for about 2.5 years, I moved to Istanbul after a job offer and I was responsible for SEO operations in GittiGidiyor for about 3.5 years. Then, when I was at the zero points, I changed from the soil to n11.com to the SEO Manager position and worked there for 4.5 years. My involvement in many different projects besides SEO has improved me in many areas.
After 8 years of e-commerce adventure, I left my last job and started Kriko.io. Kriko is a digital partner beyond the agency. In other words, it has an approach that establishes close contact with its customers and produces fast solutions, just like In-House. For this reason, although it has been established for 6 months, it has been preferred for brands such as sikayetvar.com, gittigidiyor.com, a101.com.tr, and sherpa.
Voxmedya: We would also like to ask you the questions we have asked the interviewees classicly. How did you step into the sector? What is the power that drives you to work on this side, Why SEO? What resources did you use for your personal development?
Uğur Eskici: Although I made this question in the first question, it is useful to give a little more detail.
My stepping into the industry actually started with a high school web contest. I did not think that the high school I studied would be interested in software development before I started making the website. Then I started making many websites on different topics. But at the end of the day, I encountered the problem that many companies face, the problem of traffic acquisition. After such efforts, when I was confused by the reason why visitors did not come to my site, I came to digital marketing. Of course, since I was a student and had no budget, the first place I was confused about was free channels, namely SEO practices. In short, it was a personal need.
I used several forum sites to improve myself in this area, but later I was interested in foreign forums because of the insufficiency of these places. To progress in the SEO industry, you need to consume a lot of resources. This is still true today. I did this during high school, and I closely followed the people who made a name in the industry, blogs, mailing, forums, and case studies. I read every day, worked every day, and practiced what I learned every day. I developed myself in this way; I proceeded not only by reading and theoretical knowledge but by applying and even creating my own test scenarios, creating my own right and wrongs. I was not afraid to try something different and make mistakes, every dead-end street made me look for new streets. In short, the SEO industry is a rather difficult channel, contrary to popular belief. You have to work hard.
Voxmedya: When you take a look at the places you work on Linkedin, you have taken roles in well-established and large companies. Could you briefly tell us about these experiences?
Uğur Eskici: I would like to talk about the last 2 companies I worked in İzmir by taking the period I worked in out of parentheses. Because I took part in operations such as software development, software support expertise, and even sales in İzmir. Of course, I also worked on the SEO side, but this was mainly before I moved to Istanbul.
I was 21 years old when I started GittiGidiyor. Although it is the youngest employee of the company, you can estimate the responsibility I have undertaken when you look at the volume of the company. The transition to GittiGidiyor was very exciting for me and it was a nice step for my career. I guess Soon after an 8-month-after eBay bought the majority stake in GittiGidiyor and so was entered into the eBay market in Turkey. As a result, I had the chance to see the internal processes of eBay. On the other hand, I was constantly following conferences abroad and was a strict Slideshare follower. I was reviewing the case studies in the market and combining them with my own hypotheses. I was trying to make improvements and be “different” to produce more added value.
You know that while the annual growth of start-ups such as 300% and 400% was normal, I had enlarged organic channels by 400% in my second year in GittiGidiyor, so I received various awards from both eBay and GittiGidiyor. This growth continued year on year. I had a very pleasant time in GittiGidiyor, there was nothing that could not be done with a team like a monster.
Then, whether I was looking for some special reasons or looking for new excitement, I got a proposal from n11 which is at the zero points, and started to work in the position of SEO Manager. If we think of it as a domain that enters the market from scratch, it was obvious that it would be a big “challenge” for me. There was a lot of work to be done for a domain where infrastructures were created from scratch. As we finished backlogs one by one as mountains and put them alive, our traffic was growing. After 4.5 years of effort, we managed to beat our biggest competitor in the organic channel and my former company GittiGidiyor. Of course, this whole journey was not a “one-man” business, but as a team, after a long effort with a collective spirit, the whole company was doing this as a “team”.
Then I resigned from my duty in n11 and watched the series at home for about 1 month 😊 I had to distract my head.
After speaking with many well-known brands in Turkey, “Why do not I try to open a company myself?” There was a feeling. In this way, the seeds of Kriko have been planted, and soon I became a company in 1 day and came to the market.
Voxmedya: Do you have a memory that you can never forget during your professional life? Could you share it with us, if any?
Uğur Eskici: If it is not misunderstood, I have more than one memory 😊 And they all have great importance for me. Let me tell you the first thing that comes to my mind.
In the periods after purchasing GittiGidiyor on eBay, there was a big project we were working on. For ethical reasons, I have to continue to explain without mentioning the details of the project.
The software development team of this project was very crowded and it took at least 4 months no matter where you look. But for a different reason in the project, a decision was made for a very important part of it, as opposed to I gave brief before, and they were about to embark on an operation that could be completely disastrous in terms of SEO. Despite all my objections, the other party was not convinced, but they could not convince me either. After a root-cause, one of our director’s sentences was as follows: “Uğur, we also examined eBay and they did as we said. Do you know better than eBay? Why so much resistance? ” which I love phrases too 😊
After I made the explanation in a proper language, I continued the discussion by stating that what eBay has done connects them, that this operation in the company is my responsibility, and that the project should come alive this way. Finally, the decision was made, “So let’s ask eBay and find out in detail why they did so.” The idea that “there is probably a reason and it is true if eBay did it this way” was dominant in the meeting room.
Then, I prepared and sent an e-mail including the SEO team of eBay USA in TO and the related people in the company in CC. I extended the word too long, I will cut it short, the answer after 1 day was as follows: “Don’t do it like this! As the SEO team, we wanted to proceed with the way you explained, but it was not done for some reason. Currently, the application on eBay is wrong and is a method we do not approve of. You, proceed as you planned, this is the correct application; don’t worry about us. ” Of course, this answer fell on everyone’s inbox at once, and soon the entire software team stood up and applauded me. A great honor, a great feeling! One reason for such applause was that the rollback cost was incredible for IT if the project was released the day before, as I did not approve. The starting point of the 400% growth that I already mentioned was the starting point.
Voxmedya: In companies, you worked with, SEO Specialist, SEO Engineer, SEO Manager, etc. You worked under the titles. What are the duties and differences you take under these titles?
Uğur Eskici: Each title has extra duties and responsibilities, covering the responsibilities of a sub-title. However, at the “Manager” level, there are tasks that I do not frequently do in lower positions such as invoices, budget plans, team management, leadership & motivation management, KPI management, 3rd party relations, being a speaker at conferences representing the company, annual strategic plans, board meetings, and presentations. But at the end of the day, I can say that it deals with the issues I mentioned at the lowest level, only the time I allocated varied.
Voxmedya: Can you talk about the foundation adventure of Kriko.io? Also, what kind of services do you offer in Kriko.io?
Uğur Eskici: After I resigned from the company I worked for last, I rested for about 1 month and mentioned earlier that I watched the series during this time 😊
Of course, I was receiving offers from many known brands and going to negotiations. I think the best thing I’ve done so far has been building friends. During this process, I received great support from my friends. Even some of the offers I received came from my friends’ testimonials. But at the end of the day the reason is not known, is it instinctively returning to the institution again, or “Could it be this moment at that moment?” Should I jump on a different adventure?
For the answer to this question, “What could be the worst?” I said and decided to start a company. I started the official procedures the next day and founded the company again during the day. The jack was set up on the May 1 workers’ holiday; I even signed my first contract on May 1 and opened it functionally.
Today, Kriko, complaint, gone, and become a companion to big accounts like a101. Within the scope of the study, there is not only SEO but also working closely with all relevant departments within the company responsible for growth. Among the brands we serve, Kriko is positioned not as an “SEO Consultant” but as a “Growth Hacker” and at the end of the day, brands are happier and Jack continues to position itself as a partner beyond an agency.
Voxmedya: We would like to ask a question on the SEO side in order to benefit from your experience. Machine learning, mobile priority indexing, and artificial intelligence augmented reality, internet of things, etc., as predicted. What do you think about the future of SEO with the widespread use of technologies? What optimizations will be required?
Uğur Eskici: I think our life will get harder and harder. In fact, what we call SEO is, more precisely, the job of SEO practitioners, reverse engineering. So it works to solve Google’s search algorithm, and the more accurate we can do this, the better the site’s performance is improving. While our job was easy when the topics you mentioned were not in our lives, search engines, which became more intelligent, diversified their approach, and listened to many signals more cleanly. I do not believe in the concept of “The Future of SEO”. As long as there is a search engine in the middle, the SEO industry will always be in our lives, but I am certain that it can change shape!
When we say only SEO before, we are doing ASO (APP Store Optimization) now, I think it will become even more important than SEO. Apart from that, it is no longer utopian to think that concepts such as Voice Search Optimization will take place in our lives with the development of structured-data applications and especially voice-search. Therefore, optimization practices will always be in our lives, I think there will be differences only in shapes and methods. Don’t be afraid, SEO won’t die! 😊
Voxmedya: What do you think about the importance of coding as a Full Stack Marketer in digital marketing?
Uğur Eskici: A must. Very clear. Today, we see digital marketers in the industry who do not have a basic level of HTML or algorithm concepts. If you say it is compulsory, no, but if you want to be a “best” in your business, I know at least one software language and I think you should have implemented it.
Whether you are responsible for performance channels or organic channels at the end of the day, the application we deal with is a software product. And if you are not familiar with fundamental concepts in the software and developer world, whether you are budget optimization, campaign, or search engine optimization, there will always be a barrier in front of you.
Voxmedya: Based on your many years of experience in the field of optimization, what kind of optimizations do you recommend for website owners to make more use of Voice Search? Can only those who know SEO be successful in Voice Search Engine Optimization?
Uğur Eskici: The world of voice search is still in its infancy. There are even communication and security protocol studies that have not been finalized yet. Nevertheless, some applications that are included in the structural markup language such as “speakable” have entered our lives. Although there will be different applications for voice-search, I do not believe that these will take on a very complex or chaotic form.
Voxmedya: Finally, what advice would you give to enthusiastic people and new entrepreneurs who have just stepped into this sector?
Uğur Eskici: I especially enjoy talking at universities. Chatting with my young friends who are planning a career or choosing a profession is another source of motivation for me. As I always say to students, whatever you do, these should be in your life:
- Be curious.
- Don’t listen to others. Research and read. Do not catch up with pill information.
- Keep the people you love near you.
- Do not give up. Success is a victory achieved by those who do not give up the moment they think “this is not happening, I give up now”. Do not give up. Work. Take the time to read Atatürk’s “Nutuk” and Grigory Petrov’s “In the Land of White Lilies”.
- Improve yourself in concepts such as communication management and teamwork.
- Try to learn at least 1 software language. Read books on topics such as “Algorithm” and “Project Management”.
- Do not choose a job especially at the beginning of your career, definitely try to touch every job. Don’t focus on high wages. Learn different things and improve yourself. Work with different teams. See how different people work.
- Try to take part in a start-up project. Don’t be afraid of start-ups. You will see and learn many things you may not learn in the enterprise in your start-up projects.