At the end of the last decade…
* Dotcom stocks were heading straight up in one of the biggest orgies of manic stock buying the world has ever seen
* Banner ads were selling at massive (and irrational) premiums
* Pay-per-click advertising (then offered by just one company, GoTo.com) was considered an oddity
* Yahoo was the 800 pound gorilla in Internet media
What a difference ten years can make
* The NASDAQ still hasn’t come even close to recovering its Year 2000 heights
* Banner ads are sanely priced
* Yahoo appears totally hopeless
* Pay-per-click advertising (mainly in the form of Google AdWords) has taken over the world
The turn around
In spite of the crash of bogus Internet companies, the Internet itself was as solid as a rock – and it was going to grow, this time for real.
The big change was that Internet advertising was going to be based on careful calculations of ROI (return on investment.)
In a way, this was nothing new. Old school direct marketers have been tracking the profitability of their ad buys for decades.
Thanks to its PPC revenues, some say that Google is poised to take over the earth.
Not so fast Google
Here’s what absolutely won’t change in the coming decade:
* The Internet will continue to be a central part of hundreds of millions of people’s lives. If anything, it will become even more central as the Internet solidifies its position as the “central switching station” for all media: text, audio, video, buying, selling, communicating, chatting, gossiping etc.)
* Consumers will continue to seek VALUE in their purchases and if my crystal ball is working, they will be even more militant about getting value for their money in the years to come.
* Advertisers – the ones who are going to survive that is – are going to become even more sophisticated about tracking their results and making sure they get the best possible value for their money.
What this is going to look like is smart Internet marketers diversifying away from Google AdWords.
AdWords will continue to be an important part of the mix, but anyone who is not taking energetic, aggressive steps to free themselves from dependence on Google for their traffic is going to have cause for regret.
Strategy for System 2010
Copywriting is the switch that turns raw traffic into money.
I don’t know how to state it forcefully enough but here goes: Traffic is worthless without masterful conversion and conversion is just a fancy word for ad copy, so in a very real way the whole game of Internet marketing boils down to copywriting.
In all the noise about Twitter, Facebook and other “mindshare building tools” a lot of internet marketers have lost sight of what matters in Internet marketing.
To bring us all back to reality in 2010, I’m bringing in two Big Guns of the copywriting world to System 2010 – both multi-decade veterans who write real ad copy for real companies selling real products to real people.
The other piece of the puzzle: traffic
Great copywriting, as important as it is, is not enough.
You need the second part of the equation: traffic.
I’m a big fan of SEO, article marketing, JVs, viral marketing and all the other “free” ways you can drive traffic on the Internet. Over the years, we’ve offered scores of trainings and master classes on these subjects.
But none of these methods can hold a candle to the simple, reliable method of simply buying the traffic you need.
If you want to maximize your potential on the Internet, buying traffic is where it’s at.
If you’re already a traffic buyer you already know that Internet traffic is the Eighth Wonder of the world.
You can buy a little, test it, amplify what works and turn off what doesn’t.
It takes skill, know-how and paying attention, but knowing how to buy Internet traffic comes as close to money-on-demand as anything on earth.