Friday, October 20, 2017

The Fool’s Gold of Online Marketing

When presented with an online marketing product or service, it may seem attractive on the outside but, is it really worth it or are you being fooled? In this article, we detail the distasteful tactics used by many other online marketing companies to take advantage of unsuspecting businesses.

This is America and as an American business we believe success is not just our own but that of our nation. Success is not measured by the wealth of few but instead by the well-being of each employee, our customers, and community. We cannot forget our fellow Americans. That is why we are committed to the true American way of doing business with fair and honest practices.

Misinformation: Falsehoods, inaccuracies, deceptions, myths, or lies… False information by any name is still false and, unfortunately, it has become copious in today’s digital world. Businesses should keep in mind that pretty presentations and featured reports are not always evidence of a company’s abilities or success. Before hearing a pitch, its best to know a little about what the numbers mean and what realistic results are.

One term that is sure to come up when discussing SEO services and website rankings is “keywords” or “keyphrases”. These are words or phrases that a business wants to rank for. For example, a keyword for a plumbing company could be “plumber” or “toilet repair” and the goal is to have the business website display within localized Google results when these terms are searched for by a consumer in their target areas. All of this is related to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which can take up to 6 months to begin producing results.

Some organizations will attempt to deceive consumers with misleading ranking reports. They may say something like a business has 1,000 keywords ranking on the top two pages of Google, which can sound great. But, what are the keywords and are they worth paying for? Many times unrelated, uncompetitive, and/or outrageously long keywords are used to inflate positive figures on a dishonest report. Back to our plumber as an example, the phrase “best plumber in the Southside of Charlotte at 1111 SE 1st AVE” should not be included in a ranking report nor should a business be paying to rank for it. Think, what are the chances of someone typing and search for that exact phrase in Google or any search engine? Also, be wary if the company is unwilling to share a list of the keywords correlating to their report numbers.

Like with many industries – banking, insurance, manufacturing, and others – there is only so much you can know before buying into a product or service. Sometimes that means putting a little faith in a company. At Leads Online Marketing, we know in our hearts that every day we do what is best for our clients because their success is our success and that type of relationship cannot be based of falsehoods.

Quantity over Quality: Quality keywords are not the only things to look into when choosing an online marketing service provider. Internet marketing can incorporate a wide variety of services including but not limited to website design and management, email and pay-per-click advertising, and social media. However, as with keywords, there can be a quantity over quality issue.

Google has always said that websites should have “relevant, quality content” to rank in its search. This rhetoric is supported by Google’s endless efforts to update its search algorithm in order to improve results (and profit). This is why it is so important, now more than ever, for a business to produce quality content across the web starting with the main website and blog. If your web pages and blog article consist of a few hundred words or less, chances are it won’t rank well. The same goes for websites with repeating and low-quality written content.

Business owner should also avoid buying into social media scams such as “instant 5,000 followers” commonly seen on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. These offers will seems enticing but there is no quality to the follows you will receive. This is because the accounts are often fake and equate to no real gain for the business; they won’t engage the business or its posts, they aren’t real people so they cannot suggest friends to the business or call for services themselves. The same concept applies when paying for website traffic. Yes, you may get the amount of traffic you paid for but are those visitors staying on the site, are they buying anything, will they come back or call?

Promoting Like its 1997: If someone’s sales pitch includes website Alexa Rankings or Google Page Rank (PR) Scores, then their marketing strategy may be stuck somewhere between Steve Jobs return to Apple Computers and the publication of the first Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". Yes. It has been that long!

Plenty of fun and great memories were made in the 90’s. However, the fact is innovations have made many products and services from that time obsolete and very much ineffective. Only companies that continue to train, research and innovate, like Leads Online Marketing, will have the ability to produce real results.

Guaranteed & Immediate Results: When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), results take time. It can take up to a month for a single effort to be seen by analytical tracking systems. This waiting period can be nerve racking for some anxious business owners who are paying a monthly bill for marketing, and it’s understandably so. This makes the alternative seem all the more appealing but do be warned, ‘fast results’ fade even faster.

Companies guaranteeing fast results are likely using ‘black hat’ or 'grey hat' tactics that can easily cause your business to be penalized by Google and other online authorities. This is not something to be taken lightly since those authority are the key to your business’ online success.

Competency: Can they do it? Will they do it? When? Of course the company you hire for your business online marketing needs has to be able to do the job they promise to do. They also have to be able to communicate effectively with you, your staff, and any other companies working on your behalf. In some cases for example, a website manager or managing service provider needs to collaborate with the SEO specialist in order to achieve the best results for their mutual client. If one is not responsive or refuses to collaborate, it will be your business that suffers the most.

We hope this article can help businesses big and small to avoid wasting their valuable time and money on products and services that “look” promising at first but, end up being worthless after all.  If you would like us to take a look at your current marketing programs and website give us a call at (704) 612-2442 or, fill out the contact form here to send us a message. We would also appreciate your feedback about our blog and website.