Crazy SEO is not meant for everyday marketing strategies, yet there are times when it converts traffic like nobody’s business. Think back to a time when you were in a public place minding your own business, and a crazy person made such a loud ruckus that you paid attention to him, and still remember the guy to this day. One time I was in Venice Beach, and a man with a massive moth-eaten beard and piercing blue eyes approached me. He had his tighty-whitey underwear on his head with his eyes, nose and mouth visible through the leg hole–he looked like a dirty pervert astronaut. He also had about two dozen hot dog wieners dangling from his belt, no shirt, and he was shouting about how circumcision is genital mutilation on those too young to have an opinion. Now, this guy was either legitimately crazy, or an unpaid performance artist pretending to be crazy. I had zero interest in his message or purpose, yet he was so bizarre that I remember every fine point about him, and I still recall the details of his banter.
I stood back and watched how crowds responded to him. When he handed onlookers his pamphlets, most people actually stopped and read the material as opposed to other solicitations via the printed word where most either refuse it, or take it to be polite only to toss it in the first bin they pass. Being a digital search marketer, my geeky side came out. I noted right away he was converting traffic. The desired reactions he wanted people to have and the elements of his funnel, were: (1) Get noticed (2) Have people spend time listening (3) end result where people take the pamphlet, and read it. I sat across from him at a cafe, and counted the number of interactions he had with people using my mobile to keep an accurate record. When I hit viewer number 50, I calculated the conversion rate, which was just above 70 percent–a figure unheard of in digital marketing. Then I thought, can Crazy SEO garner the same results? Can crazy tactics create a funnel to get people to download an asset from a website?
Know Your Market Before Attempting Crazy SEO
Let’s face it; this guy was in Venice Beach. In the digital marketing landscape we can equate this to target crowd sourcing. Venice Beach is known for drawing people who love crazy folks. So it made sense for him to get his message out there as opposed to conservative pockets of LA like Beverly Hills where circumcision is the standard. But what about areas like Malibu where there is money mixed with a laid back lifestyle that smiles upon weirdos, so long as they aren’t obstructing traffic? Sure, you might get some takers, but the underpants astronaut clearly knew Venice Beach was where he needed to drive traffic to his message.
Crazy SEO Tactic #1: Target Big Numbers in Small Places with Insane Blogs
Imagine you have a bonsai tree business, and traffic to your website is dismal. You have a greenhouse with hundreds of bonsai trees requiring constant care (time and money), and you need to draw the right traffic to your site so you can get conversions and ship the little trees to their new home. As traditional SEO is concerned, in addition to bonsai tree keywords, you may have put together keyword strategies for various consumer types to engage through distinct campaigns, i.e. “spiritual gifts”, “Japanese gifts”, “organic gifts” “exotic house plants”, etc. But what about researching crazy niche markets with tons of viewers for link building opportunities? For example, Dr. Mark Griffiths has a blog dedicated to dendrophilia–the sexual attraction to trees. His site has tons of engagement, and over 5 million visitors. If you are highly creative, a skilled writer, you could create some engaging content that relates bonsai trees to this strange fetish, and put yourself in a position to get some additional paying customers though a backlink, as well as an increase in organic ranking. Who knows what will become of the poor little trees, but your business growth is more important than their innocence.
Crazy SEO Tactic #2: Role Play Your Way to the Top
Consumer modeling is a marketing strategy in which a company uses data and analytics to determine what their standard customer profile is in order to fine-tune their strategic approach. When throwing consumer modeling into social media marketing, you can engage the crazy SEO tactic of role playing–pretending to be someone else. Think about it, would you trust a product recommendation directly from the manufacturer, or from another consumer just like you? Let’s say your company makes an innovative portable baby bed that works with a smartphone app and vibrates and plays soothing music when your baby stirs or shows signs of becoming stressed. Let’s assume the research indicates that middle-class mothers aged 23-32 are the target audience. Instead of blogging about infant care and communicating with new mothers through your brand’s identity, consider buying a few stock images, create fake social media profiles around personas like “Jane Perry age 28 proud mother of two from Pulaski, Wisconsin”, and start engaging with other people whose profiles match your ideal customers. Start writing mom blogs based on the things they talk about, share their posts and comment on them, then send your blog posts to them. Before you know it you will be part of a massive network, and all the social signals going back to your website will boost your organic ranking.
Crazy SEO Tactic #3: Pick Fights with Scholars
Brimming with scientific data and statistics, academic journals are a honey hole for sourcing content. When you cite a scholarly article while delving into its statistics, so long as the study is relevant to your content, you will appear more knowledgeable to your consumer audience and Google will likely increase your quality score which leads to better organic ranking. Google Scholar lets you search according to subject matter or author through various databases with the option to look for the most recent publications. So, instead of simply citing a study in your content with the hope to stand out and gain big points with Google and your audience, why not disagree with the publication, and make louder noise? But hold on; you simply can’t wag your finger and call malarkey; there is a way to do it so you come out looking knowledgeable, professional, and in a way that lets you use someone else’s argument to leverage your own with the goal to rank higher in the SERPs:
- In well-written, detailed language describe the abstract you are about to critique while pointing out their conclusions and findings.
- Explain how your research takes a different approach, and showcase its value by defining the high credibility of your sources
- Lay out a map that shows how you came to various conclusions, and how your work reveals a different finding that is more credible
- Explain who would find value in your work, and why
- Present it in a well-structured format
- Conclude with well sourced support that emphasizes the accuracy and quality of your work
- Only site respected .edu or .gov sources
If you don’t have the scope to engage something like this, hire a digital marketing agency with an erudite content specialist who has the credentials to write a reputable white paper and engage in scholarly, critical work.
Crazy SEO Tactic #4: Be a Shameless Ass-Kisser
So many awful marketing agencies still build backlinks for their clients in hundreds of directories that have nothing to do with the brand or services. Several many of the top SEO pros did it; until Google Penguin advanced their link penalty filter to penalize those who continued. Now the novices continue to do it because it is easy. Getting high-quality links means you need to kiss a ton of ass. Pucker up buttercup:
- Identify the follow sites with a high page rank whose content is relevant to your own
- Begin communicating with them through social media, sharing their posts and praising them
- Once they know who you are, send a formal e-mail and express a desire to share some content with them you feel would bring value for their audience
- Do research – what blog subjects of theirs are the most popular? What is their audience talking about in Facebook and Twitter?
- Weave a piece of compelling content hitting on all those popular triggers with some unique matter
- Share the content with the potential link source, and really sell its value
Make them feel like they are masters of the universe and their customer’s are famished for your content, which is essentially manna from marketing heaven.
My Rant: Be Wacky When Appropriate, Stop Being Dull
Clearly if you are pitching companies like Nike or Honda, you don’t want to go too far round the bend. However, for those appropriate moments when you are trying to get a general message heard to a large audience, rotate strategies and make sure one of them is wacky and eye-catching, like our friend in Venice Beach wearing a belt made from hot dogs. Don’t be afraid to find an oddball topic and make it relevant to your products, even in a metaphorical sense. Have you scanned Twitter recently and checked out all the articles people are promoting? It’s all the same thing regurgitated again and again. “Write content for people”, “5 Things Your Startup Should Do”, “How to Make Facebook Work for Your Brand”….ENOUGH! It is all the same elementary school “been there done that” noise we have heard again and again. If you don’t have the time to do research and actually publish something original, at least write something from left field that looks at a subject from a different angle. Besides, why would someone hire a digital marketing agency that publishes the same dull junk again and again when there are creative people out there spinning crazy stuff that is fun to read?