Online Marketing Lies Exposed


Just some light office reading of Monica’s article in the Columbia Business Times.

Every Time a client calls scared from a sales pitch from some goober company I’ve never even heard of I feel two things:  First, I feel angry that a company would resort to this type of tactic to generate business.  Then I feel grateful for the relationship I have with my client.  Because they trust me enough to call and talk about their unsettling experience.

Not everyone is my client though, and not everyone has a marketing person they can trust to sort through the crap and tell it straight.  In an effort to thwart the goobers I’m calling the game so you can too.

You know they’re lying if…

Your Google listing is about to expire.

This is a scare tactic. Google is not calling you.  Even a company the size of Google doesn’t have enough people to call all the business owners in all the cities in the world to let them know that their listing is about to expire.   Not to mention your Google listing is never about to expire.  Not only is it free, it’s not going anywhere.  Even if you didn’t register your business with the search engine you may still be listed on Google.  The company makes it their business to know that you exist and share your information with people when they’re looking for your product or service on the web.   The next time these people call you can tell them to knock it off because what they’re doing is not ethical and you’re on to their game.

You’re going to rank #1 in Google guaranteed.

Nobody can guarantee this, even the best SEO company.  Google expressly warns against search engine optimization companies guaranteeing anything, let alone a coveted #1 Google spot.  Rankings are volatile, they fluctuate and can only be manipulated, not controlled. Therefore a ranking can’t be guaranteed.  So they’re lying…just thought you should know.

Top ranking SEO in 48 hours.

The promise of improved rankings fast is, while appealing, actually a lie.  There’s no such thing. Building legitimate traffic to your website is a marathon not a sprint. If you want to generate a surge of traffic to your website or a top ranking in Google you have to pay for it through ADVERTISING.   Which means you’re really not doing SEO you’re doing pay per click advertising.  If you’re being promised top rankings in 48 hours it’s not legit.  And if the company delivers on the promise, odds are good it wasn’t achieved using legit methods. If you get caught optimizing your site using shady methods Google will penalize you, not the company you hired.  Your website will be blacklisted, placed in the equivalent of website jail. Leaving you with little to no web traffic and a big problem to resolve with Google.

The price is too good to be true.

You know what they say: if the price is too good to be true it probably is.  You may be able to get a super low price from a new company just trying to get their feet wet and grow their business. In some cases those people may be completely competent and amazing at what they do.In other instances they don’t have the bandwidth or the experience to actually carry out your project. So while the price may seem awesome and the people seem nice that doesn’t mean that the end product will meet your specifications. Ask somebody who knows the lingo to help you compare apples to apples.

No need to update your site, we post the blog posts on ours.

If you’re paying a company to post blog posts on their site and never on yours you’re missing the mark.   Now I’m not saying that you should never post content on another company’s website.  Guest blogging can be a great component  of your online marketing scheme.   However, if you’re paying somebody to blog for you and they post all the articles on their site and not yours their website gains any benefits of increased traffic and search engine placement for the blogs keywords not yours.

Website cloning for “tracking purposes.”


Monica showing off her most recent article in Columbia Business Times.

If any online advertising company you’re considering working with tells you that they never need to talk to your web design company to develop and run an online marketing Campaign run away fast.  Most of these companies plan on cloning your website.  This is a bad deal for two reasons:

  1. The cloned site they’re creating is a site they control, not you.  Depending on the contract they may actually own the site.  If you ever choose to discontinue working with them you’ll lose all of attention gained through your online advertising campaign because it’s all tied to a site that’s not yours.  Worse yet if you didn’t read the contract thoroughly the advertiser could sell the site to your competitor if you back out on the contract.
  2. Your website is rewarded for its unique content.  If there’s another exact copy of your site then, unless handled properly, one of the sites will be penalized for sharing duplicate content.  a domain that they own and advertising the new website not the one you own.   Can you guarantee it won’t be your original website that gets dinged and not the one they own?

They tell you, “You don’t have to do anything; we’ll do it all.”

This is marketing code language for we are going to make up crap.  If your marketing company never has to talk to you about what’s going on your business then they have no idea what’s going on in your business. And the marketing the produce will also have nothing to do with your business. Good marketing requires interaction from all parties to ensure it’s consistent throughout all mediums and true to your values and company culture.  Good marketing always requires at least a minimal time investment on your part.

Listen to your gut.

If you’re not sure about a sales pitch ask around.  Talk to a marketer or fellow business person you trust.  Ask Google, if it’s a scam, odds are good that someone has ranted about it online.  By sharing we can keep each other honest.

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