It was a dark night, as most are. My Internet connection on the phone had said to meet him at the Apollo Diner, a greasy spoon in the Vietnamese section of the Italian neighborhood in the French quarter.
“Sit at the table closest to the bathroom in the back,” he said flatly. I could only suspect that…he had a bladder problem.
He said on the phone to bring “three large,” and he would get me onto the first page of Google. Before I could ask what and how large, he disconnected and left me speaking into a dial tone.
I’ll be Frank with you, although the rest of my friends call me Jeff. Not everyone can be on the first page of Google. Or the second, third or fourth pages either.
And if you make it to the fifth page, well, who cares? No one searches to the fifth page anymore — those days are gone, quit living in the past.
The Internet is the home of the Short Attention-Span Theater. No one reaches the fifth page on a search. They type in a new search term and search again.
Now that you know the myth about SEO, and that SEO doesn’t really matter all that much, what does matter?
Pay per click. What else matters?
1. A wise selection of keywords
This brings focused, targeted traffic to the specific pages of your reader’s interest. Your ads appear to those interested parties who are ready to buy.
2. Compelling ads result in a good number of quality inquiries
The better the ad, the better the response, and for the best-written ads: a more focused the audience. The best ads mean the maximum number of inquiries from the highest quality of inquirers.
3. Good tests
Real-time testing online is fast and easy. Rapid testing yields to a faster ramp-up to higher quality ads, placements, inquiries and conversion rates.
Don’t forget: Split testing, optimization tools, bid management, keyword ranking, geo targeting, day parting, copy testing, PPC optimization and reporting.
4. Great landing pages
The more exciting your site, the more likely visitors stay. The more time people stay on your site, the more likely they will become a customer.
5. The best offers
Give visitors exposure to your good, better and best offers. Driving people deeper into your site equals greater conversion.
6. Driving phone calls
Call me old fashioned, but I like all the above to drive visitors, customers and prospects to a phone call. Unless your Website closes everyone, every time–I’d offer a big phone number on every page. Then YOU close customers.
With live customer contact, you can get a real vision of what customers like, what they want, what they like about your site, your products, your company. Find out if there’s a problem with ordering, colors, products or delivery.
You can learn why they left your site without placing an order last time. And you can show them a real side of great customer service.
Now, back to our Google tale: I arrived at the Apollo Diner, taking the table closest to the doors marked “His,” “Her’s” and “Unsure,” of which I was a bit unsure about myself.
It was getting late when a thin, tallish dark-haired, fair-skinned blondish fat man carrying a small brown bag approached me while I sat next to the bathrooms. “Hey,” he said, his eyes darting around the room. “Anybody using that?” nodding towards the doors.
“Which one?” I answered without looking up. He was unsure so I pointed to that door, saying it was free for $2 donation, when he blurted out under his breath, “Did you bring the three large?”
I always thought I’ve be cool under pressure, but I froze, staring down at my half empty cup of coffee, or was it half full?
It was Internet guru Markus Allen.
“Did you bring it?” he reinforced. “Yeah,” I said, still not knowing what he was referring to.
“Okay,” he continued. “Here’s how to get on the first page of Google.” He was speaking ever so quietly now as he said “Google,” as if they were listening, as if they were everywhere. I leaned over and listened intently.
“Find a forum that gets indexed by Google every 15 minutes.”
Next, he said, post a subject line with your keyword phrase mixed in with one of these powerful words: Advantage, Fast, Gain, Guaranteed, Help, How-to, Lose, Solve, These, Truth, Tips, Trust, Amazing, Results
For example: The truth about direct marketing strategies.
When posting a message, use your keyword phrase twice, once in the first sentence of your post and then in the last sentence of your post.
And here’s another important part – you need other forum members to keep the post alive by replying to the original post, so end your post with a thought-provoking question, such as “Do you agree with me here?”
Ending with a question subconsciously triggers the forum members to reply. And when they reply, your post remains on the main index page – ultimately picked up by Google’s crawlers.
“You can get to the top page…within the hour,” he looked around and under his breath, almost whispered, “on Google.” It may only last a day or two, but you’re on the top, the top of the first page…” he said with a smile, his last words began trailing off as he now stared at the front of the diner.
Just then the diner door burst open and four men in black sweatshirts with the word Google across their chest rushed in and headed directly towards our table. Markus had a troubled look on his face as he sprang up in a well-rehearsed move and pushed open the door marked “Unsure” and went in, the door slamming behind him.
The men – not five seconds later – rushed into the same room, coming back out almost immediately and without saying a word, left the diner. A few moments went by and I slowly got up and pushed open the door marked “Unsure.”
There was nothing. No other door. No window. And no Markus.
As I stood there shocked, I noticed a tiny strip of paper on the floor, say, the size of a fortune in a fortune cookie, that simply said http://www.marketing-ideas.org/The-Secrets. It was Markus Allen’s site. I slipped it into my pocket and left.
And that’s how you really get on the first page of… uhh… shhh… Google.
Jeff Dobkin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a marketing consultant, speaker and writer who has written more than 250 articles and five books on direct marketing. He is also president of The Danielle Adams Publishing Co.