Google’s tireless efforts to put internet marketers in straight-jackets continues with their latest twists and turns added to Google Places. It was only a month ago I thought I finally had the drop on them. So, in 48 hours I built a mini business plan to ‘exploit’ this latest gap. During the time leading up to this, I had come across a lot of dated information regarding how to rank well in Google Places. This I expected since in most cases internet marketers will not give up their secret sauce ‘til it no longer works. In any event, through weeks of reading and countless tests in dozens of different verticals we created a formula that we could rank most keywords in a matter of weeks. In fact, with minimal effort we were ranking for some very competitive local business keywords. Imagine ranking a keyword like ‘Cityname lawyers’ in a big metro city in a month for less than $100 including paid man hours. Granted, we don’t pay ourselves much : ) Well, we were doing it. What do you think a lawyer in the big city of New York would pay for that? Can you imagine the margin!? Ridiculous.
We looked at several different models for this including: selling leads, squeezing visitors to affiliate offers (insurance for example), selling the listing once ranked, hooking up with SEO agencies and doing their dirty work and the list goes on. As it turned out we decided to go the route with the smallest ROI, but the quickest cash. In the end, we took it to affiliate marketers and SEO agencies. We figured lets start small, make sure we know what we’re doing and most importantly get a feel for the beast aka Google Places. So, we put together some mean sales copy and went to the affiliate forums. Planning to create a thread in the Buy Sell Trade sections of all the major forums including Wickedfire, Black Hat World and Warrior Forum . We decided to start on Wickedfire. This is just my opinion, but the people on Wickefire just seem to have a better head on their shoulders. Granted, like any forum, it has plenty of meat heads.
With the sales copy written we launched our thread during the first week of December. We called our little service/product The Creature. Like many of our mini business plan it was partly based on the success of a colleagues business, The Hoth. Currently, they are one of the most talented and quickest growing quality link building services that I am aware of. Alex and his team thoroughly impressed me with their presentation, communication and after testing our their product, they blew me away with its effectiveness. Thus, I said here is a good example, lets follow in their footstep with our product and perhaps we will have similar success.
Immediately we had a lot of action and interest in our service. Affiliate marketers and SEO agencies alike all wanted a piece of The Creature. However, when it came to closing deals we found out we may have been too late. Unfortunately, someone had already solicited the good folks of Wickedfire and taken them to the cleaners, turning most into bigger sceptics than internet marketers already are. So, like any cautious buyer, we received a lot of very conservative orders. Totally understandable, but certainly not what we expected. As the weeks pressed on we continued to see a fair bit of action but more of the same type of buyers. Unfortunately, we had priced our product at an extremely deep discounted price, leaving us a very poor margin. The pricing assumed that we would receive volume. I am not saying this was a bad idea, as it is yet to be seen, but it certainly left us in a tricky situation, cashflow wise.
In any event, we stand behind our product and although things are lean, we can’t wait to change the way businesses attract new clients. This has always been a tricky thing for us, being new and composed of such a young team. Thus, we are empowered to help other businesses avoid these growing pains by supplying them with a quick affordable means to generated clients with Google Places Marketing and The Creature.
This should be long enough for our first post of the Google Places series. Stay tuned as we expose our secret sauce to Google Places Ranking. I will be back with more in the upcoming days.