The Wrong Web Marketing can Cause Harm to Your Site

How Can You Spot a Bad Web Marketing Service?

Now that you have decided to take the plunge and hire an Internet marketing service, you want to make sure you hire the right one. You have probably heard plenty of cautionary tales about companies that have become involved with shady services and suffered greatly for it. Even the largest of international firms can sometimes be duped. So, how can you spot a bad internet marketing service? There are a number of things to watch out for which can tip you off that the service you have chosen does not use respectable marketing methods.  If you spot any of the following, it is time to head for the door. Avoid these firms at all costs. There is too much at risk to turn a blind eye to unethical practices in web marketing.

Unrealistic Promises

Proper web marketing is not a magic pill that provides overnight success. If a service promises you that they can put your website on Page one and/or guarantees results of any kind, they are either crazy, or more likely, they are up to something unethical. (Or both) In addition, if they offer vague plans, poorly designed reports, or cannot substantiate what they want to do, it is probably because you would not want to hear what they are planning.  Unrealistic promises are usually the last resort of fly by night companies that do not have other concrete evidence for their success. No one owns the search engines except the search engines themselves. With that in mind, how can anyone know what will happen in the future?   Do not fall for unrealistic promises, rather; listen, and respect the companies that take the time to explain exactly how they work. There is no reason a marketing company would not detail the steps they plan to take   without promising  you the world covered in pearls. Remember what your mother told you. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true.

Bad SEO Approach

A few of the of the more obvious techniques used by shady companies that attempt to bend the rules in order to manipulate the search engines are as follows…
  • Overusing keywords
  • Hiding  text on a page
  • Dubious  link schemes
  • Doorway Passages (Traffic stealers)
  • Private agenda content (placing links)
These have all been popular scam tactics in the past.  It may require a little bit of research on your part, but if a service suggests anything that sounds shady, (Or impossible) walk away. Search engines are getting much better at spotting these schemes and penalizing the websites that use them, not the companies that are hired to implement them. With your knowledge or not, you are responsible in the eyes of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. (Among others) Do not be afraid to  ask your web marketer what  their main approach would be, if the  first words out of their mouth is “building links is the first thing you want to do,”, do not walk away… RUN! Search engines have been working hard for more than a decade to spot link manipulation. They are more than good at finding them. It is time to understand that attracting visitors through original quality content distributions and white hat SEO techniques is the only way to go.

Choosing the Wrong Keywords

Some underhanded internet marketers will try to dazzle you with a long list of hundreds of keywords to start using. Unfortunately, just because a keyword might have some relation to your business that does not necessarily mean that it will actually bring you quality visitors. The goal is not a simple matter of more traffic. You want qualified traffic that leads to more business… hence, conversions. We always tell our clients that 1000 visits a month with 100 conversions is much better than 10k visits with 50 conversions (and probably, a Guinness Book worthy bounce rate). Just food for thought for those who are after keyword with high traffic volume! (It may be time to think long tail)

Link Building Schemes

High quality inbound links are essential to the success of your website, but some services will still try to push the idea that any link is a good link (just unbelievable). This just is not entirely true, because the search algorithms are now penalizing sites that have a high number of low qualities, unrelated links. A service needs to have an inbound link-building program, but it should focus on quality, content, social interaction, and plain old hard work… not quantity.In the past search engines count every link to your favor, now, links can lift you up or bring you down. At Dynamic Search we like to look at it in a way in which every link has a score and can range between -5 to 5. -5 to -1 are links that causes you harm and 1 to 5 are good links and help you increase in online visibility (zero is just neutral). Now if you think like us, you should check every link point to your website and start thinking quality rather than quantity.

Hundreds of Online Directories

There are a few good online directories, but the vast majority of them are considered worthless by the search engine algorithms. Set up when any link was a good link, they were just a blatant way to sell a link… any link. If the service promises to list your site on hundreds of directories, they are living in the past. They are wasting their time and your money on an unproductive exercise. They still exist thanks to underhanded tactics from which they make money. Web directories are placed in our graph at -4. (Very spammy)

Site Redesigns Without 301 Redirects

There may be valid reasons to redesign your website and pages, but do not  let a service totally redesign without redirecting visitors via 301 redirects. This allows you to direct visitors to the new version of the page without losing all the positive history and search engine rankings of the old page. A complete redesign without redirects completely discards all the good effects of your past efforts.  Additionally, 301 redirects can solve major duplicate content issues many website have without even realizing the problem exists.  Don’t leave this one out, search and learn how to implement good 301 redirects on your websites to avoid the ball and chain effect.

Bad Content

Do not   allow anyone to create content for you that is based on a formulaic usage of specific keywords without actually saying anything relevant or useful within that content. Many times freelance copywriters speak a foreign language with only the most rudimentary knowledge of language and grammar. The end result obviously shows this, and completely destroys your credibility. Do not settle for average content, aim high and obtain the best content possible for your niche. While we are on the subject of freelance copywriters, here is something to consider. Many competent internet-marketing firms can provide quality content affordably, however; those unscrupulous marketers that try to push content upon you may have another agenda in mind and it will not be one that puts you in good graces with the search engines. A trustworthy Internet Marketer will let you know if your existing content is sound and productive. Beware of poor marketers that push content with suspect, pre-existing links.

Irrelevant Traffic

Many times, these poor marketing services will focus more on traffic rather than conversions. They may drive some traffic to your site (if you’re lucky), but those visitors have absolutely no intention of becoming your customers. They may be misled into thinking they are heading to a page that is completely different. (Doorway Passages or Jump Page scams) Alternatively, they will hit your page and quickly leave. (Bounce Rate) This has no business benefit to you and usually leads to an overall bad performance of your website. Misled traffic is one of the main reasons for increased bounce rates. Traffic is not everything but quality traffic is. If your bounce rate suddenly increases dramatically, you may want to bounce your new Internet Marketing Firm. Besides, a good Internet Marketer will have a conversion Rate Optimization strategy that will help to reduce your bounce rate dramatically while increasing your conversion rate through targeted traffic campaigns that use quality content and social interaction.

Quick Fixes

Web marketing is an ongoing process. Any service that offers a onetime fix, without any ongoing maintenance, is wasting your money (with a few exceptions). Content needs to be refreshed, performance needs to be measured, and new links to appropriate websites need to be cultivated. Any service that has a “set it and forget it” mentality is not worth your money. A good web marketing company should have a strict marketing methodology to convey their client’s business message in the most honorable and professional way.  There are no shortcuts when it comes to getting your name out there. They will request your investment to increase brand awareness and visibility online. Make peace with that and find a suitable company to help you achieve your marketing goals. That is, after all, why you do what you do. Life is far to short to waste on unethical, time wasting internet marketing tactics.