I have written before about 3rd Party Business Listings, specifically in trade journals. But there are all-purpose business listings that basically re-sell information in hopes to create a size-able traffic area in which to sell premium placement for a fee. Search Engine Optimization, if implemented properly, will get you all the traffic
Two days ago, a client of mine got an email from by one of these companies. He forwarded it to me asking if this was something we needed to do. Herein, lies the problem: The lack of knowledge of what is an opportunity versus sink hole of money.
The url was a really long and impractical url that listed my state, county and the phrase “business listing. However, they failed to mask that the originating URL was their head quarters in another state. The subject line was listed as “Traffic Update for ‘company.’” Sounds official. Sounds important. It states that our website recently
received 37 recent visits. It went ahead a bolded the text to it out. The assumption was made that if the free listing did this good (smirk) then paying for a premium listing would triple the traffic for a small annual fee.
These types of emails irritate me because they are of the same ilk as obscure yellow page update notifications.
First, they prey on the business owner’s lack of knowledge about business listings.
Are they part of google? the yellow pages I subscribe too? my web host? The issue of trust is preyed upon. It’s not because the business owner is stupid. It’s because the business owner is occupied with running a business and doesn’t have time to sniff out frauds.
Second, they make unsubstantiated claims.
This email said that we got 37 clicks from their website. Well, I went into Google analytics and didn’t see this URL as a referring site or traffic source. Also, what kind of traffic was it (if it did happen), was it a paid staff clicking on my link to show the clicks?
Finally, they make false promises.
If I pay a small annual fee, my traffic would triple. This astounds me. There’s 33 characters in their URL. Why would anyone type that out rather than go to “google.” Just going to Google is 500% more efficient! Now, if I wanted to pay people to click on links to ensure junk traffic to a site, I might be onto a business plan.
By properly starting an SEO campaign, you can increase your daily traffic with people who actually WANT your service. In doing so, you can stand up to these obscure notices of increasing traffic by throwing odd amounts of money out the window. Leave that to your competitors.