In this article, Read over Seven ways digital marketing companies scam small businesses before it happens to your business.
Scam #1 Overcharging you for very basic services
A client I worked with previously was approached by an SEO Agency, and they were offering around $600 per month for very simple work. They’ll do Sitemap submission, set up Google Analytics, Create and Optimise GMB, and install Google Search Console.
All these mentioned tasks above can be completed in just under an hour and will never need to be repeated. And they seem to think they have to charge on a regular monthly basis, eh?
It takes about under 30 minutes to set up a Google Analytics report that will be emailed to you once a month, and you will never have to do anything else. The service is probably not worth $600 a month. It can be just a One time charge as they will be spending some time doing this task.
Well, to work as a website designer or an SEO service, you don’t need a certificate or degree.
And the majority of people have no idea what it is. That is the issue here. As a result, people can get away with charging exorbitant prices for services that aren’t very impressive.
Scam # 2: You are not given complete ownership of your website.
They may have their own CMS or even use WordPress CMS, but manage it in such a way that you don’t have complete access or rights to it.
So double-check that the website you’re getting is completely yours, that you own the codebase, the design, and the rights to it, and that you’re not locked into some kind of plan/contract that requires you to keep paying money to retain control of your website, as this is a common practice among many Digital Marketing Agencies.
If there is a contract, read it fully and ask them, “Do I own the website when this project is finished?” Make sure they say “yes” before continuing to work with them.
Related Article: Choose the right Web Agency for your needs
Scam # 3 Locking you into Agency contracts
This may be an SEO contract or, even worse, a website contract, but the bottom line is that they won’t let you go.
To be on business, you must pay a fee. They also threaten you, implying that if you leave at some stage, they will remove your backlinks, which they can potentially do.
They can take away all of your backlinks on SEO ranking if they set it up in a certain way.
So, before you start with any agency, go through the paperwork and make sure you own the website completely. If you’re providing SEO services, make sure the connections don’t vanish after you’ve stopped working with them. As a result, do your homework and pay close attention to what’s in the contract.
Scam #4 They try to sell You a template website rather than a Custom Website.
The key concept is that a custom WordPress blog, or any custom website, is completely unique. They’re doing something fresh and exclusive that hasn’t been seen much before on the internet.
Even though they use a theme as a base, they are using page builders to customise the whole website as your need.
Plus, They’re working on a backend interface that you can edit and update on your own. They are also working on SEO content as well.
On the other hand, a template is simply something that has already been created. It’s a nice-looking website, but it’s a little generic. It has to be because it has to operate for a variety of companies and is just a framework.
It’s similar to purchasing Pre-made furniture. Since it is pre-made, and there’s not a lot of space for customisation. There’s nothing wrong with a template website if you need one.
Read this article when you would need a custom website when Not.
Scam #5 Ineffective and Black-hat SEO Practices
Many SEO Agencies use black hat (back door ) methods to acquire backlinks. This may backfire and google can manually ban your website permanently.
Ask the Agency how are they getting backlinks? See what methods they are using to get backlinks.
When it comes to SEO, the main idea is to know, what are they ranking for on Google Searches?
Look at Marketing Agency’s website. Use this awesome tool called semrush.com you could put their site in semrush website and check on many things related to SEO.
It will tell you their domain authority, what they’re ranking for, who’s linking to them etc.
And then, who are their clients, what keywords are their clients ranking for because if they’re not ranking for anything or if their clients aren’t ranking for anything, just don’t use them. It’s that simple.
If you ever get a cold email from someone telling you they offer SEO services, run and hide. Because if they knew and master SEO services, they wouldn’t be out doing cold email outreach, would they?
That is really Awkward!!
Scam #6 Not making you aware of how to use CMS
Many Businesses do not know how to operate Content Management Systems like WordPress.
They need not, they may want to hire an expert like us to do it for them.
However, they must know how to make small changes like adding a new team member picture or writing a blog themselves. The Agency should not be charging them for such small tasks.
Check with the Agency if they can offer to provide training so you can make little changes to your new website without spending money and time with the Agency.
Scam #7 Using Stock Pics that are not paid for..
Stock pics are one of the Important elements of a website. They make your website look nice and relevant. If an agency does not pay for the pics and use them on your website you may get sued if the owner of the picture becomes aware of it.
Stock pics are expensive. period. So, many agencies try to get free Stock pics that many times may need a Licence to use commercially.
So, Genuine stock pics are the deal. The Agency must have a licence for each of the stock picture used on your website and they must provide you with the list of licences.
This guide should keep you informed of potential digital marketing scams.
Just remember, If you don’t like their portfolio, don’t work with them because they aren’t going to be good.
Who are their clients who rank with them if they sell SEO services?
Can you call them and confirm that it was them?
If they sell SEO services and don’t rank for anything, leave because that’s the bottom line.
You want to work with someone who can deliver the results they promise.
So, always do your homework before signing on the dotted line.
Have you ever been a victim of a Marketing scam? Is there anything you’ve discovered? Comment below…
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