Research before buying to avoid bad internet marketing services
As a small business owner, you receive sales pitches all the time for various products and services. Over time you learn which ones to listen to and which ones to say no to. Well, the same goes for online marketing sales pitches for Internet advertising and promotion services.
As an organic SEO consultant, my clients often ask me about online marketing offers they receive. Here are a few that popped up just in the past week:
- You are simply nowhere to be found
- Invisible online
- Can’t find you on Google
For the first two, a small business client emailed me with some concern. I checked Google Analytics and found that the client was getting 700 visits a month with over 500 from search engines (80% of all visits). Digging a little deeper, I noticed that people were using meaningful keywords to reach the website, not just the business name or employee names. Visitors stayed on the website several minutes viewing multiple pages. Clearly, they were not “invisible online.”
For the last one, I was actually sitting right next to my client discussing how they could use WordPress to add new content over time to improve their online presence. In response to the sales pitch where they couldn’t be found on Google, we googled their main service and town where they are located and my client’s website popped up number 2 in the search listings.
What is the problem with these online marketing sales pitches?
They aren’t very specific as to where they were looking or what search phrases they used to try to find the businesses online. Did they search for the word “chiropractor” or “psychologist” or maybe they used a broad geographic area like Chicago? How many chiropractors or psychologists do you think would match those phrases? For example, a search for the exact phrase “Chicago chiropractor” today returned 78,600 matches or 3,890,000 without the quotes. Clearly, that’s a lot of competition. Even if you were located in Chicago, you’d probably use a zip code or neighborhood designation in your local SEO efforts.
Also, the sales pitches didn’t specify where were they looking to find these businesses on the internet. Google search? Bing search? Yelp? Merchant Circle? Elsewhere?
Or maybe you’ll get a more specific pitch that has this information such as:
- I searched for the term Elgin acupuncture clinic and your website was nowhere to be found. I couldn’t find you in Google on page 1, because you’re buried on page 5 in position number 41.
One of my clients received the above pitch in an email from a company that was out of state. While Elgin is probably the largest city near my client’s office, it is over 30 minutes driving distance away. There are many smaller cities in a close radius that are being targeted to bring in more effective traffic to the website.
How to counter online marketing sales pitches
If you want to know more about what the person is selling or why they are saying you can’t be found on the internet or Google or that you are “invisible online,” then ask questions. Ask specifically what they mean by their comments and get the exact search phrases used and/or websites searched.
Search phrases should be specific to your local area or target markets and include your main products or services. If the salesperson can’t give you any specific reason for their claim, then ask for proof of their claim. Try to get something in writing and when you receive it to verify it yourself.