Last week I got some promotional material from a marketing firm that wanted to generate leads for us online. With a brochure disguised as a newsletter, this firm did a really good job of positioning pay-per-click as the greatest way to generate leads, get the most success and be oh-so easy that everything else is just a waste of time.
There first attack was on the dying animal of the yellow pages and I appreciated their realistic approach to the yellow pages. People do pay a lot every month to maintain the page size for their printed yellow page listing. In fact, in 45 minutes, I’ll be telling our yellowbook rep that my replacement window, hvac and plumbing clients are dropping their print ads. Yes. As traditional as it is for those types of companies to remain in the yellowpages, the numbers of our tracking don’t lie. Moving that money into online ventures of PPC and SEO has been exponentially better, trackable and fun (at least for me). More on that decision at a later date…
Unfocused SEO Hate
This brochure then attacked traditional SEO. “Hey, I thought we were on the same page!” But I saw where they were coming from. People may have an opinion on SEO that is not a good practice. Maybe they heard it in a negative context … maybe they heard someone got burned from a “company” that did some outdated blackhat techniques… Either way, it’s a poor and unfair picture of actual SEO. Lumping whitehat and blackhat techniques together makes my custard boil (holiday pun, sorry). This newsletter/brochure summed up SEO tricks and scams that would get you “blacklisted” and make Google frown. Unfortunately, they listed two techniques which are outdated and barely used by even the truest Black Hatters. These were “keyword stuffing” and “link farming.” When I read that I made the following expression:
except I don’t look like Tommy Lee Jones.
Another swing at SEO was “The Guarantee.” They basically state “you can’t guarantee SEO results and so be wary of anyone giving a guarantee.” Well, that leaves little room for something positive. “You can’t offer it and if you did, you’d be a scumbag.” This notion of guaranteeing things is getting out of hand. The guarantee is meant to be an assurance of understanding that satisfaction of the client will happen based on all foreseeable circumstances. The weight of making a client feel comfortable with choosing an Internet marketing firm is on the Internet marketing firm. Just like doing research on the best messaging to get someone to react from a mailed flier, so research is done to see what needs to be done to rank high in your industry. Will there be people that won’t react to your postcard? Of course! Why? That’s just how it is. Will your site still be on a lower page after a month of optimization? Of course! Why? That’s just how it is. But just like the post card, you test what worked, what didn’t work, what the competition is doing and what you can do to improve your results. Pay-per-click can guarantee that you will spend money for every click, but that doesn’t guarantee a sale. There is no silver bullet, just a variety of weapons.
When choosing an Internet Marketing Company, look for a company that considers the options that work for you and not just what is easy or popular.
1. Pay-per-click – make sure of the costs and that you have the money to do an effective campaign.
2. Local SEO – If you are national, no. If you have multiple locations, yes. If you are local, absolutely.
3. SEO – Yes, because your Pay-per-click money may not always be around.
4. Email- Depends on your clientele. Spam is called Spam for a reason.