Online Advertising Insights
I was in the middle of several projects and stopped to look at some of my web stats and noticed a keyword phrase that appears to on the rise; “search engine pro scam”
I received this email the other day relating to the same issue:
As a search engine marketing professional since 1998 I’ve seen the good and the ugly in online marketing. When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m a full-time student of online marketing. Fact of the matter is that online marketing for those of us who do it for a living can be mind numbing at times. We need to sort out the fads, trends, and principles that stand the test of time.
Regarding search engine marketing scams, I’m amazed at how many emails I get from folks asking me to stop charging their cards or to stop service and they have no idea they are communicating with the wrong website / company.
Here is a thread I found related to the search engine pro scam real estate agents are talking about online:
“Philip Roy” – says:
“I have had the same problem. I wish I knew a way to find a good SEO and advertising company but it seams like they are all full of it. Please let me know if you find a good one.”
“Dan Kennedy Homes” - says:
“Sadly, I'm experiencing the same thing. Major rip off!”
I think folks get ripped off in their online advertising for several reasons:
- Lacking knowledge – My best clients have a basic understanding of what SEO or paid advertising is.
- Instant gratification – Folks want instant results and end up making poor decisions on how they spend their online marketing dollars.
- Chasing the next big thing – There is a new next big thing on the Internet every 60 seconds. Start with the basics.
- Cheap Mindset – We’ve gotten ourselves into a cultural mindset that everything can be outsourced for peanuts (I won’t bother to mention any of the sites here) – You get what you pay for.
Vince Curtis summed it up best – “NO Company can guarantee placement on Google except Google.”
I’ve been saying this for years. Additionally, Google and the other top search sites change algorithms on a regular basis. Any company that promises or guarantees a #1 spot on Google…. run!! Sure, someone can get you to the top temporarily, but it’s the basics that will help keep you there.
Where to find good online advertising and SEO
If I knew nothing about SEO or online marketing I would start with some referrals. I've try to work with people I have some sort of connection with friend, business associate, etc. vs. some random person I found on Craigslist or a foreign country I can't pronounce the name of. Another place I would look is a local SEO / SEM marketing group. Many major cities have local SEO / SEM marketing groups that meet regularly.
Don't put too much stock into certifications... ask to see proof or results. Certificates are great to show some level of competency or understanding, but the ability to generate traffic and results that turn into profit are two different animals. I've personally managed over 2 million dollars in ad spend on Google Adwords and Bing while generating thousands of leads for auto dealers nation-wide, but I have yet to get Google Adwords or Microsoft Adcenter certifications.
What type of experience have you had with an SEO or online advertising company?
Share your story below.
Search Engine Pros Scam - Original article