Beware When it Comes to Online Marketing Companies
For many online businesses, hiring one or more marketing firms to assist in promoting their site is a cost effective, high quality way to grow their business. While the internet has increased the reach of many businesses, many have failed because they did not take advantage of these marketing opportunities. It is no wonder why many online businesses are struggling financially these days; marketing is still a very necessary aspect in this day and age.
A quick Google search can result in dozens of websites that claim to help boost traffic to your site. However, the number one warning sign should be whether or not the company you are considering is actually a legitimate firm or is being recommended by someone with a financial stake in your success. Most of the top full service marketing firms are comprised of a variety of teams of diverse experience and talent who take care of several different goals, particularly in the realm of online marketing. Some of these firms even have a team of attorneys that specialize in internet law. Because the internet is constantly changing, it is very important for you to choose a marketing company that is prepared to adapt to these ever-changing legal requirements.
One of the most common complaints that people have about an online marketing firm is that they suggest solutions that will not work. When you find a website promising to improve search engine rankings for a particular key phrase, for example, they may suggest that your site be redesigned in order to achieve this goal. Or perhaps they will suggest that paid advertising is a more effective solution. The truth is that there are no “short cuts” to achieving search engine ranking success. And if you do decide to use a service to implement a short-cut, you run the risk of paying the higher rates or taking on the extra work in the long run.
Another common complaint about marketing firms is that they recommend PPC or pay-per-click advertising techniques as a way to promote a website. The problem with this approach is that the traffic generated by this form of marketing is highly expensive, and it does not guarantee that your website will ever generate a high number of sales. In fact, studies show that PPC strategies often fail to result in any kind of profit at all!
A third common complaint is that marketing firms recommend unethical methods of PPC advertising. For example, they may tell their client to pay for clicks to advertising links on the search engine pages of other websites. These are known as “bait”. While this may sound like a good idea, there is a major online marketing scam known as “affiliate fever”. This scam basically means that a marketing firm will convince their client to click on a link provided on another website, which will in turn, redirect the user to the advertiser’s website. Because this type of trickery is against the rules of the AdSense program, and can have serious consequences, many affiliate marketers have been sentenced to jail for this offense.
One final complaint that is commonly heard among online marketing firms is that they recommend the use of “adware” or “spyware” to improve the page ranking of a website. Spyware works much like adware, except it works behind the scenes. It usually infects a computer without the knowledge of the user and uses this information to bombard the user with ads. Some of these adware applications have also been found to interfere with legitimate features of medical practice websites. Even more frightening is the fact that some adware programs have been known to install harmful programs on computers and steal personal information from them. While some claim that these types of problems are isolated incidents, it is important to remember that many medical practice websites have had to close down due to attempts to profit from adware or spyware.
Online marketing scams are no laughing matter and if you choose a company to work with that makes these types of suggestions, you could very well be wasting your time and money. Before making a decision, you should carefully review their portfolio of past projects. Only hire an online marketing firm that specializes in helping healthcare businesses attract new patients and retain existing ones. If you do decide to use print ads or e-mail campaigns to market your medical practice, make sure you establish a marketing plan first.
Finally, medical marketing companies that don’t offer refunds and guarantees are not worth your time. You need to know that you can return any damaged advertising products to the online marketing firm at any point. Additionally, look for a company that offers customer support and ecommerce tools. A reputable medical marketing firm will strive to work with you from the beginning to develop a comprehensive marketing plan that helps your business to grow. Remember that your website needs to be both search engine optimized and PPC optimized, so make sure you only work with those companies that can do both for you!