Are you getting what you pay for if you've hired a company to handle your marketing for you?
This post was inspired by a recent conversation with a dear friend. They had been paying for website development and other services with the hopes of showing up when people look for what they offer.
It wasn't until they noticed that the phone wasn't ringing that they started wondering why
A Google search for their business resulted in ...NOTHING
They had to actually stop by the office of the company they were doing business with to find out they couldn't pull up the website either.
When my friend called me, she was a little disturbed by this and began wondering if they were getting what they were paying for.
I don't know the full details of the contract and what they were supposed to be receiving, but I do know this.
She didn't even have a website!
Nope, not even a website, it was one singular page and they called that a website.
No links to anything else but their other website, not even a contact form on the page.
Now...if you know anything about SEO, marketing, etc, you know this is NOT optimal and that is what prompted this post "Are you getting what you pay for"
Search engines looks for links and backlinks and content so they can rank a website accordingly.
The most important signal search engines look for to determine a website’s value is links. Links are like a vote of confidence or endorsement for your content.
It gets even better!
As I began to look around to see how my friend was showing up online, I discovered they don't really have anything online: no social media page, or pages, not business listings or Google places, and listing that did exist hadn't been claimed or optimized (reputation management)
They were never even told they should have, at minimum, a free Facebook page.
Sidenote: I saw an article recently sharing the top 10 reasons to have a Facebook Business Page (Source)
1. Increased Exposure to Potential Customers
1.19 BILLION USERS.
Need I say more?
Duh! #1 is reason enough but 2-10 are GREAT reasons as well, and creating a Facebook page is free.
What does a business owner do to ensure you are getting what you pay for?
This is a tough question to answer. Mostly because my first instinct is to say educate yourself but I know the typical business owner does not have the time (or the desire) to learn everything you would need to know about marketing online to make sure you get good service.
So what can one do to make sure you are getting what you pay for?
These are not all of my recommendations but they are some basic ones:
- Stay away from individuals and companies that guarantee anything, especially #1 ranking on Google. There are just too many variables and if they are promising this, you need to be careful.
- Get in writing what they will provide. This way you can review it later, or even get a second opinion if need be.
- If they say they are giving you a "website", what does that include.
- If you want to be found in local searches, ask them how they can help you show up. Be sure you understand what they say. No Techno babble, plain English please.
- Ask Questions, even if you aren't sure what to ask, ask.
Some Basic Things Every Business Owner Can Do Before Hiring Anyone to make sure you are getting what you pay for.
If you are even a little bit Savy on the computer, there are some basic things you can do to launch your own online presence for your business.
I won't go into great depth here on this post (I'll save that for other posts), but I'll give you basics of what you can do.
- Create a Free Facebook Page for your business.
- Link your new Facebook Page on your Personal Profile
- Buy a domain if you don't already have one. ( I like Godaddy)
- Buy the hosted WordPress option through Godaddy (they do all the rest when you have a domain with them and choose this)
- Launch the hosted WordPress and follow steps to build a basic website. (Pages: Home, Blog, About Us, Contact Us, Photos etc)
- Add your business to basic places like: Google Business Places, Bing Business, Yelp, Manta)
- Do a Google search for your business by name and or phone and "claim" any listings you find that are your business
I could go on and on, but these are some simple steps you could take before you ever hire anyone.
Of course, these will be time consuming (I'm still creating listings for my business) but you can hire someone to do this for you.
Look, I'll be real here. I've barely touched the surface here but I wanted to address the problem and at least point you in the right direction.
If you have some questions about what I've shared here, I'm happy to provide a free 30 minute consultation to guide you some more.
Contact me and lets chat, or submit a comment here on this post and I'll respond shortly.
ps. If you haven't already, get your complimentary Website SEO Analysis and see how you are doing.