5 common mistakes business owners make with their website

A lot of websites for small and medium sized businesses and organizations waste more money on their website money than their website generate.  This is because most of the websites are thought to be nothing more than a stagnant electronic brochure collecting dust in cyberspace according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and experienced webmasters.

This fantastic notion of a problem has strong roots in the phases prior to launching or re-designing a website. It all starts with the 5 most common misconceptions small and medium sized business owners should avoid when launching their website.

Mistake #1: A website made by an amateur web designer will yield professional results.
Your business or organization website is not the place to publish an amateur representation of your company, organization or services. You are not just presenting your business image to your local community and surrounding areas, but to the entire world. Obtaining the professional services of an experienced and knowledgeable webmaster will save you thousands of dollars in the design and development of your website and business growth goals utilizing the World Wide Web.

Mistake #2: Developing a low ball “Bargain Basement” website will make your phone ring.
Ask any real business owner who has ever purchased a budget website from somebody on Craigslist or elsewhere if they are completely happy with their results. Focus on finding professional and quality web services at fair prices rather than the lowest price.  No college educated professional is going to use his or her experience and knowledge to make you a professional website for a few hundred bucks.

This goes back to the old saying “You get what you pay for”.

Mistake #3: You’re going to be #1 on Google and you are going to get rich!
 Steer clear of anybody that proposes such a false statement. The truth is, once your website goes online, a high quality website marketing strategy using Organic Search Engine Optimization must be used in order to generate any real and relevant website traffic to your website and this is not a task but rather an ongoing process that only an experienced SEO consultant can deliver. There is a lot involved with professional SEO and the truth is amateurs or hobbyists – many which can be found advertising super low rock bottom prices that seem almost free can be found on places like Craigs List and are desperate to take your money. A good SEO professional will not beg for work because they will be too busy optimizing their own websites or the websites of their paying clients.

Mistake #4: If you build a website, people will find you
One of the biggest mistakes today is business owners fail to recognize the high importance of Internet Marketing programs such as an ongoing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) website marketing campaign. Obtaining a high volume of website visitors to your website is a must for real success. There is absolutely no website that just generates business for you without being properly optimized and operated by an experienced SEO consultant. There is no “luck” involved in the SEO / Internet Marketing Process. Your website needs to be designed and developed by a professional webmaster and needs to include a real internet marketing plan in mind from the get go. Anything less is a formula for guaranteed failure and disappointment.

Mistake #5: All you can do is put up a cheapO website site and hope for the best
You know what we are talking about, those wannabe web geeks that practically beg for work and offer to make you website for a few hundred bucks. Do not be satisfied with a service that only hopes for the best. A professional and successful website is the result of an experienced webmaster that knows web design – development and (SEO) inside and out. The truth is most web designers do not give much if any thought to your success once they have built your website and have been paid. This is exactly why you should not hire an amateur to make your website.

A real webmaster / SEO consultant will monitor your website traffic daily, weekly and monthly to see who is visiting your website and will make adjustments to your website on a monthly basis. High quality websites do not sit in cyberspace and collect dust but are updated on a regular basis and are built and optimized following Googles strict webmaster guidelines and this is what will make you money.

 

Posted in Google, Internet Marketing, Search Engines, SEO, SEO, Web Design, Web Development0 Comments

Orlando Internet Marketing Consultant speaks about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Have you ever received an email from a complete stranger offering you amazing search engine rankings? or that claim to have a special relationship with Google or can make you #1 on a Google search?

I have seen hundreds of emails from pushy people offering search engine optimization SEO, PPC pay per click and or other online marketing services.

Rule #1 If it sounds to good to be true it probably is.
Rule #2
A reputable SEO consultant will never blast you an email out of nowhere.

Here is an actual email I received and I want to share it with you.

The actual email is in RED

Hello, Google has approved YOUR company for the TOP spot on the FRONT page of your local business sites. Increase your bottom line, and start booking business NOW by getting phone calls daily from new customers who want your service. This is a brand new program and is ONLY offered to one business, per city, per industry. It’s either you or your competetor. Call now for a FREE quote and to speak with a certified Google professional. Thank you. Jessica Heaton (949)226-8550
leadmarketing2010@gmail.com

That email or similar emails should be a RED FLAG to look the other way.

SEO scammers are almost everywhere from other countries  to your own town and are usually fly-by-night operations. Many will promise you SEO – Internet Marketing Miracles and will take your money and outright rip you off.

I disabled most of the clickable links in the google article because I do not want you to get distracted and wander away from this page without first reading this to the end.

I found an article written by Google on their webmaster guidelines page and want to share it with you.

After you read this then you can visit the original article by clicking the link on the bottom of this page.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by Google webmaster central

SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization” or “search engine optimizer.” Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:

  • Review of your site content or structure
  • Technical advice on website development: for example, hosting, redirects, error pages, use of JavaScript
  • Content development
  • Management of online business development campaigns
  • Keyword research
  • SEO training
  • Expertise in specific markets and geographies.

Keep in mind that the Google search results page includes organic search results and often paid advertisement (denoted by the heading “Sponsored Links”) as well. Advertising with Google won’t have any effect on your site’s presence in our search results. Google never accepts money to include or rank sites in our search results, and it costs nothing to appear in our organic search results. Free resources such as Webmaster Tools, the official Webmaster Central blog, and our discussion forum can provide you with a great deal of information about how to optimize your site for organic search. Many of these free sources, as well as information on paid search, can be found on Google Webmaster Central.

Before beginning your search for an SEO, it’s a great idea to become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work. We recommend starting here:

  • Google Webmaster Guidelines
  • Google 101: How Google crawls, indexes and serves the web.

If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you’re considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.

Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:

  • Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
  • Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
  • Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
  • What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
  • What’s your experience in my industry?
  • What’s your experience in my country/city?
  • What’s your experience developing international sites?
  • What are your most important SEO techniques?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?

While SEOs can provide clients with valuable services, some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways. Practices that violate our guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your site’s presence in Google, or even the removal of your site from our index. Here are some things to consider:

  • Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.

Amazingly, we get these spam emails too:

“Dear google.com,
I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”

Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.

  • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.

Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.

  • Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do.

Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or “throwaway” domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google’s index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it’s best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to “help” you. If an SEO has FTP access to your server, they should be willing to explain all the changes they are making to your site.

  • You should never have to link to an SEO.

Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of “free-for-all” links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don’t affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines — at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.

  • Choose wisely.

While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. Google is one way to do that, of course. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press, including this article on one particularly aggressive SEO: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002002970_nwbizbriefs12.html. While Google doesn’t comment on specific companies, we’ve encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. Be careful.

  • Be sure to understand where the money goes.

While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. A few SEOs will even change their bid prices in real time to create the illusion that they “control” other search engines and can place themselves in the slot of their choice. This scam doesn’t work with Google because our advertising is clearly labeled and separated from our search results, but be sure to ask any SEO you’re considering which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.

  • What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter?

One common scam is the creation of “shadow” domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client’s behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor’s domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.

Another illicit practice is to place “doorway” pages loaded with keywords on the client’s site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO’s other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.

  • What are some other things to look out for?

There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a rogue SEO. It’s far from a comprehensive list, so if you have any doubts, you should trust your instincts. By all means, feel free to walk away if the SEO:

owns shadow domains

puts links to their other clients on doorway pages

offers to sell keywords in the address bar

doesn’t distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear on search results pages

guarantees ranking, but only on obscure, long keyword phrases you would get anyway

operates with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info

gets traffic from “fake” search engines, spyware, or scumware

has had domains removed from Google’s index or is not itself listed in Google

If you feel that you were deceived by an SEO in some way, you may want to report it.

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit: http://www.ftc.gov/ and click on “File a Complaint Online,” call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to:

Federal Trade Commission
CRC-240
Washington, D.C. 20580

If your complaint is against a company in a country other than the United States, please file it at

http://www.econsumer.gov/

Click here for original Google webmaster central article

Posted in Google, Internet Marketing, Search Engines, SEO, SEO0 Comments

SEO Ripoff and how to avoid getting scammed

You want SEO services but who can you trust to provide quality SEO services?
How do you avoid getting ripped off?

We have seen it all with SEO and the truth is scary. There are big SEO companies all over the internet like a plague and many are fly by night operations with little or no real world SEO experience. There is also an abundance of inexperienced individual scammers out there that have no real world SEO experience or knowledge in SEO but they have fooled many people and businesses that don’t know any better. You can find many of these inexperienced SEO wannabes on places like CraigsList. Most are not legitimate businesses and you should be aware of these kinds of crooks.

We have had businesses come to us  after being ripped off by so called SEO experts seeking help.
One example is a new client that hired us and contacted us on a 3 way phone call so we could listen to what the BIG SEO company was offering to do. The SEO firm promised to make my client #1 on organic Google searches and stated they have special and secret relationship with Google. Ok this sounds amazing but the fact of the matter is THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE and this SEO firm tried to rip another company off.

To make things more interesting I called the SEO firm on my own and spoke to the same salesman I spoke to earlier via a 3 way phone call and picked his brain to see where the conversation would go. This so called Web Master told me each SEO expert they employ is responsible for managing the SEO for over 100 client websites because they are so awesome!

I also asked them about Google add words which is something I also have extensive knowledge and experience with. I wanted to know how much do they charge to manage a small & simple Google add words accountant and they told me they charge per click instead of a flat rate to just manage the online marketing campaign. Not that I would ever consider outsourcing anything to them or anybody else, I was curious.  I know and believe in the old saying if you want something done right do it yourself but that’s not so easy in these types of situations for people with no background or understanding of how SEO and the internet work.

Ok that’s just another way they choose to bill for a specific service and there is nothing wrong with that but when I asked how much do they charge for every click and they said $50. I researched the specific key words involved and Google wasn’t charging more than $5 yes five bucks for the specific keywords we talked about.
Talk about serious price gouging and what is really sad is many businesses fall for these types of scams because they don’t know any better or don’t know who to turn to for quality and sound advice.

Not only did this SEO firm promise things that are impossible to guarantee they demonstrated they are not capable of delivering the one on one attention to detail that is necessary to deliver quality SEO services and their prices for shoddy work is way over priced. Now I am not saying good SEO comes cheap because good SEO is very time consuming and required a lot of hard work, dedication, knowledge and most importantly real world SEO experience.

So how do you find a good SEO consultant anyways?
That’s a tough question to answer because good SEO consultants are usually very busy catering to their clients and know firsthand good SEO requires paying serious attention to detail and managing the SEO for 100 websites is a bad idea for just one SEO consultant.

PICK UP THE PHONE and call him or her.

The first thing you should be asking for is to meet the SEO consultant in person – face to face for a consultation. If they are not willing to meet you in person then STOP and keep looking.

What if the SEO consultant is not near you, IE another state?
Now things are different and meeting them in person is not so reasonable but that’s ok.
You can have a phone consultation and ask important questions.

Not every SEO consultant will meet you in person for free and there may be good reason for this. They are very talented individuals and their time is very valuable and most don’t want to deal with tire kickers – you know the potential clients that ask endless questions seeking free advice then never spend a dime.

After you get that out of the way ask to see some websites that the SEO consultant is responsible for. Ask to see natural – organic searches that bring up the websites. If the SEO guru can show you this and demonstrate their talent then you are on the right track to SEO success.

Other questions to ask are how much do they charge? And what will they do for X amount of dollars. If the SEO consultant tells you they have special connections with GOOGLE or they own thousands of websites that can drive traffic to your website then WALK AWAY NOW!

Other things to verify which you can do yourself are.
Is the SEO consultant a real business?
How long have they been in business?
Do they have any professional references?
Do they have their phone number on their own website? Or do they only communicate via email?

MOST IMPORTANTLY are they located within the United States?
NEVER EVER under any circumstances hire a SEO consultant that does not reside in the United States for obvious reasons. Lack of communication skills, lack of legal – laws to protect you as a consumer, lack of quality support. Nothing is worse than being transferred to India when you need help fast.

At the lease try to use common sense when in doubt and understand good SEO isn’t cheap.
The old catch phrase I live by is cheap is not good and good is not cheap.
This doesn’t mean just because the SEO consultant isn’t cheap that he or she is good.

Now before you sign any contract or agree to a deal, find and pay a good business lawyer to review the contract to make sure you completely understand what the contract states and ask the business lawyer to clarify anything you may not understand. Spending a few hundred dollars to have a business lawyer review and edit the contract if necessary may save you thousands of dollars and prevent you from signing a bad contract.

In conclusion you now know what to look for, what to ask and how to weed out the SEO scammers that are out there.

GOOD LUCK with your quest for high quality SEO services!

Posted in Internet Marketing, SEO, SEO0 Comments

What is Internet Marketing or Search Engine Optimization – SEO?

Internet Marketing is the process of improving the volume and or quality of visits to your website.

Let’s face it no matter how fancy or good you think your website is if your website is not making your phone ring or isn’t reaching your target audience then your website is almost useless. This is the same principle as having a physical sign for your business but instead of proudly displaying it where your target audience can easily see it you have it hidden in your garage covered in junk. What good is it?
Who cares how nice your sign is nobody can find it.

Millions and millions of people use Google each and every day to look for something whether it is information, services, a product or YOUR BUSINESS but if your website is not visible then your potential customer or client goes elsewhere for his or her needs.  Thousands and even tens of thousands of people use Google right here in Orlando Florida everyday to search for a business, service providers, information and all kinds of other things and guess what? If your website does not show up for a local search you are losing money and potential customers & clients are going to your competitor instead of you because your potential customer or clients don’t know you even exist.

Quality SEO or search engine optimization does not happen overnight and is a time consuming and tedious technical process. Internet marketing in itself is a complex science that requires special skills, knowledge and most importantly real world experience if you demand quality results. If you are a small or medium sized company and you want to achieve professional results then it is best to hire a SEO – search engine optimization expert to perform the work or guide you and provide you with quality support. You can attempt to do it yourself but if you don’t know what you are doing then it’s best to hire a professional SEO – Search Engine Optimization consultant or small firm.

Choosing a high quality SEO expert can be a nightmare in itself with all the scams and con artists everywhere. So stay tuned while we write an article on how to choose the right SEO expert for your needs and how to avoid getting ripped off which is a HUGE problem in itself and why it is best to stay away from the BIG SEO companies at all costs and we will explain why in our next SEO article.

Posted in Google, Internet Marketing, SEO, What is?0 Comments


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