There are usually two forces behind driving online sales: SEO & PPC. They both have great benefits and they both have huge disadvantages. SEO Pro Organic traffic = free clicks, right? (sort of). Con Niches that are dominated by REAL authority websites are difficult to rank for. Neg SEO can fuck you overnight. 95% of SEO companies are clueless and will do more harm than good. PPC Pros Easy to track. You see what every single visitor costs. Precise conversion cost. Cons Clicks can be expensive as fuck. Lots of click fraud going on (way more than you think). _______________________________ If you don?t think outside of these you are going to end up eventually getting fucked. I want to share some info to serve as a wake up call to some. Hopefully it will make you think outside of SEO and PPC. I had a family member reach out and tell me the story of their friend dumping a lot of money into SEO and PPC and they were barely breaking even every month. They were spending $7,000/month: $4,000 for SEO $500 for PPC Management $2,500 AdWords Budget They wanted me to help. I have one rule: I don?t work with family or friends?it?s too much of a pain in the ass. They will bother you nonstop and expect the world. Fuck that?way too much unnecessary stress. I told them that I would look at the SEO and jump in their AdWords account to see if they were getting hosed. They were. Big time. They have been with the company for 6 months. Over the course of those 6 months there were less than 20 links built. 17 to be exact. 17 fucking links for $24,000. For those that are mathematically challenged that breaks down to $1,411.76 per link. They were crappy directory links and some stupid shit. Basically you could replicate the 17 links in less than 45 minutes. They had nothing for organic traffic. Jack shit. The jackass SEO company was sending them a monthly organic traffic report and it looked great?.A SHIT LOAD OF VISITORS?.but wait?it was all referral spam. HAHAHAHA. These donkeys were counting referral spam as organic traffic. Once that was filtered out it was virtually NOTHING. So they SEO was 100% WORTHLESS. They pissed $24,000 down the drain on SEO and go nothing. Now onto the PPC. Over 6 months they spent $3,000 in management fees. Not sure what for. When you looked at the account changes (that?s right ? any shitty PPC fuckwads out there?anyone can see the change log) there were MAYBE 2-3 changes a month. In actual ad spend with AdWords it was $15,000. The average cost per click was about $6. SO, over the past 6 months they drove about 2,500 clicks from AdWords. The keyword targeting was complete shit. All broad and not targeted at all. They had NO negative keywords. So, when you consider that there were no negative keywords and all match types were broad it is safe to say that the majority of the clicks were worthless. I wish I knew the conversion numbers?but the stupid fucks didn?t even set up conversion tracking. Common sense tells you that most of the traffic was garbage. The SEO was 100% useless. The PPC was mostly useless. $42,000 pissed down the drain over 6 months. Thankfully they have a great service and website so they do convert traffic. That is the only way they were able to stay above water. After looking at the cluster fuck I told them that I would not work with them, but I would put my thinking cap on and give them 1 great idea that would cost no more than the $7,000 they were currently pissing away. I told them to take a month off from PPC and SEO and spend that time looking for a new company. Their service and site converts traffic so the goal was to get as much quality traffic as possible?for far less than that $6 per click that AdWords was raping them for. This is where creativity comes into play. Anything that is going to produce kick ass results isn?t going to out in the open. You need to dig for it. After some searching and brainstorming I found a great website that looked to be a great advertising option. The problem was their ad layout was so standard. Header ad and then 2 ad blocks in the right sidebar. People are so used to seeing that layout that they automatically focus away from it because they know it?s an ad. I contacted them about advertising and they sent me over the rates. They were pretty high. But what I did like was the fact that they didn?t charge on a CPM basis. So many sites that do that will send a shit load of bot traffic to inflate their traffic numbers and to expire your ads quickly. I had no interest in those banner spots so I asked them if they would consider a site takeover. Complete background, top header and also a banner under every blog post. They came back and said they would do it for $10,000. Way over budget. We went back and forth and finally agreed on $6,800. This left them with $200 to use to get all the ad creative designed. Sites can inflate their traffic and there aren?t any 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] party software that can estimate traffic correctly so after we got the price finalized I asked for access to their Google analytics to verify the traffic. I was expecting a fight but I had access within an hour. This was a good sign. They had nothing to hide. I was able to see everything about the traffic. Where it came from and how long it stayed on the site. If this was a client or one of my own projects I would dive into the referral traffic also and see where it all came from. That would identify so many additional opportunities. If a site that you are about to drop a lot of money on isn?t willing to show you their analytics then fuck them. Sure, if you are going to spend a few hundred dollars on some banner ads they have the right to tell you to piss off, but if you are going to give them nearly $7,000 they sure as hell better be transparent. Common sense told me the site was good. The social shares were legit and the comment section was active and not full of comment spam from SEO clowns. Their Twitter and Facebook also had serious action and that was encouraging as well. Term was for 30 days. 1 month site takeover. After the 30 days: 487,873 impressions (this included the site take over in the header ? NOT the banner impressions after the posts) 7,422 clicks About a 1.5% click through rate BUT?when you consider the banner ads weren?t counted in the impressions the REAL click through rate is probably around 0.65%. The big thing here was that the design was good. It didn?t scream ?I?M A BIG ANNOYING AD? ? it really blended in well. Another thing was that this site never did take overs before, so the visitors were not used to seeing a takeover. Over time the click through rate will decline. This is the benefit of #1: making sure the design matches the site well and has STRONG call to actions worked in and #2: being the first take over that the visitors have seen. Back to the clicks. They were paying $6 per click on AdWords for broad match worthless shit traffic. These clicks were targeted?.it was a blog that the people they want to target hang out at. The cost was less than $1 each. It was about 94 cents. The campaign absolutely killed it. SO much that they made up for all that money they pissed away over the past 6 months. They also have a nice new advertising source that they know performs better than anything they have ever tried. BUT?it will eventually slow down and dry up. They will have to introduce new creative every month and try different approaches to keep it fresh. The point is that you need to ALWAYS be looking outside of the basics. SEO and PPC have everyone in the space competing for. It?s so much easier to call an SEO company and say ?I need PPC and SEO? instead of thinking of alternative ways to get traffic. Also, most SEO clowns will do minimal work. As long as the client is paying every month they aren?t going to go above and beyond to think of better ways. Final Advice If you are a business owner: get creative and think of ways to get your marketing right under the nose of the people you want to sell to. If you are an SEO: always try to think of great ideas to bring your clients. This helps them and also creates a very loyal client that will stay with you because you are constantly going above and beyond to help them. It shows you actually give a shit about their business AND you know what the fuck you are doing.