Each month I inevitably get a call from a new client or a prospect I have been working with that says “XYZ told me they can do this!” There are thousands of Internet Market Companies out there but just like with anything there are a few rotten apples in the bunch. If you have been sucked in by a great sales pitch though here are 4 red flags that should make you question their ability and force you to continue to research them or your other options.
- “We Guarantee!” – Run! Don’t Walk Away. And know 100% that no one can guarantee a #1 ranking in Google. “We guarantee results” should have been stripped from their vocabulary because it is next to impossible and when possible crazy expensive! If a company is claiming a guaranteed result get it in writing. Know exactly what they are guaranteeing: top ranking, keywords, traffic, ROI? If it is traffic just how are they going to make that guarantee? SEO? Pay Per Click? With a guarantee they are questionable so you best have more questions for just how they will make it happen.
- The SEO Firm’s site links to all their client sites, and those clients link to one another. This one requires a bit of investigative work but simply navigate their blog and see if they are linking back to pages on their site or is it to a client site each time. Do the links in the posts go to some very random spot, i.e. a blog about PPC Success and you land on a website selling you chair covers?
- Flat Fee for PPC Marketing – While this may seem intriguing for many on a tight budget this is another red flag. First, a flat rate means they will take a portion of your money and keep it to manage the account. Second, they typically do not divulge how much of that fee is actually going towards your Pay Per Click. Third, they don’t optimize for the right keywords which typically can cost anywhere from $3-$8/click which means a $300/month fee can break out to $5/day on average. If you have a $2/click cost you may get 2 clicks a day. If a company is offering a flat rate, ask them how the funds are allocated, what keywords they will bid on, what the average cost-per-click is, and what reporting is involved. If they are unable to provide this information save your money for a firm that can back up what they say!
- Questionable Tactics – If they mention any of the following steer clear:
- Link Farming
- Buying Expired Domains
- Buying Links
- Buying Likes
- Buying Traffic
- Scraping/duplicate contentWhile some of these may have worked back in the day, they certainly don’t now. Additionally many of the tactics will negatively impact your SEO efforts with the search engines therefore steer clear.
Please ask questions and more importantly listen for those red flags. Got more questions afterward then please contact our marketing professionals for additional insight.
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