6 Red Flags for Recognizing Marketing Solution Scams

Have you had someone call you recently with a “marketing solution” that just didn’t feel right, maybe even a little scammy? A number of companies are offering what they’re calling marketing solutions, and their methods veer from scare tactics to just outright rip-offs. Here are six major red flags for marketing solution scams that are clear signals you won’t get value for the money they want you to spend:

1. “Without us, your website won’t even come up in a search online”

This is the gist of Yellow Pages Online’s spiel, and it’s simply not true. The only thing you actually won’t get if you don’t pay for their directory placement is placement at the top of their directory. Business directory listings do help your rankings in a Google search–but YP is only one of many. It doesn’t benefit them to help you get listed in other local directories, so there’s a direct conflict of interest, because it is definitely to your company’s benefit.

2. “We know SEO better than anyone, after all, we’ve been directing clients to businesses for decades!”

The printed version of Yellow Pages was, literally, the only way to find a business for all those years. As soon as companies like Yahoo! and Google came along, their days were numbered. Killing trees for printing phonebooks and optimizing a website for search could not be further apart. Some of the many phrases you do need to be hearing from legitimate SEO providers are keyword density, backlinks (or link-backs), social media impact on search results, and ranking factors, among others.

3. “Google’s numbers have dropped, and they’re on the way out”

The reports of Google’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Google did drop from 80 percent of all non-advertising website visits to 75 percentin a study done in December 2015. However, all other search engines together didn’t even come close to their numbers. One thing your marketing provider should be telling you is that, in order to come up in local searches, all your information online must be up to date, and you need a Google Places Page if you don’t already have one. Google dropped their local results from seven to three, and skimpy or missing information will endanger whether your business shows up on the search results page–if they don’t tell you that, they’re simply not giving you the service you need.

4. “We’ll take care of your AdWords for you on our own advertising platform!”

You should always have access to your AdWords dashboard–without that, you don’t know what the analytics actually are, what your cost-per-click or pay-per-click should be. Your involvement in your own marketing is paramount–any company that discourages you from participating is probably covering something up.

6. “Our listing/microsite will have everything a potential customer needs to get your information!”

If a company is building a web page or charging you for directory listings that aren’t on your own site, it’s a problem. Your domain name is important, and keeping your website fresh and recently updated is a vital part of any marketing process–it’s where your customers go to find you, and all listings should lead there. Yellow Pages and Rogers Outrank do this by building microsite pages that aren’t part of your domain(s). Customers who want more in-depth information than an ad and an address should always get it from your website, rather than lost forever in YP or Rogers Outrank midstream black holes. If your website needs help, your provider should help you change it to a strong online presence, not build up their own domain.

At Hyperweb, we understand online marketing has already moved past traditional advertising. We provide strategic content marketing for your business by helping you answer questions your customers and potential buyers are already asking.

Contact us for more information about how we add value to and help develop your marketing strategy.
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