There are many traps that business owners fall in to when they first decide to spend money on internet marketing. In the grand scheme of things it’s still a relatively new industry and most people launching websites for their businesses, or indeed starting an online business, will not have the same kind of foundational knowledge that comes with traditional offline marketing. This can leave them vulnerable to internet scammers or at least poor quality services.
One of the main pitfalls is paying for quantity instead of quality. Some random “marketer” on a forum may be able to send your site 5,000 hits for $2, but that doesn’t mean those hits will covert in to sales. Traffic is only worthwhile when the users are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
Here are some other things to look out for:
Bulk Email Lists
Email marketing is one of the oldest methods of internet marketing, and it’s also one of the most abused. The issue of spam emails has gotten so severe that most email providers now have stringent spam detection systems that weed out 90% of unsolicited marketing. In short anyone claiming to be able to send your press release to 50,000 addresses is mostly likely misleading you, as the majority of those emails will go straight to spam folders, and a lot of the addresses will be inactive or irrelevant to your target demographic. 10 personally written emails sent to potential clients who have shown an interest in your business will be much more effective than 50,000 cookie cutter spam emails.
When researching Search Engine Optimization one of the first techniques you will come across is building backlinks – the process of getting links from other websites to your site. This gives the nod to Google that your content is valuable and others are giving it a proverbial thumbs up, which in turn boosts your search rankings.
While back in the day you could spam blog comments, forums and other public systems with your link and have success, today search engine algorithms are advanced enough to realize that these kinds of links are poor quality. Their effect on SEO is therefore negligible and if you go overboard they could actually get you penalized.
So if somebody is offering a service to get you thousands of backlinks, be warned that they’re most likely poor quality and unrelated to your site’s niche.
The best method of building links is to provide high quality content that people actually want to share.
Black Hat SEO
Just because there are thousands of different SEO techniques out there doesn’t mean you should use them. Black Hat SEO for example are SEO techniques that Google doesn’t allow, and will cause you to be penalized if caught using them. Anyone using the “latest” Black Hat method is essentially in a race against time and will ultimately be found out and dropped from the search engines. Black Hat techniques are simply not worth the risk of losing your entire business just to get a temporary advantage.
Stick with white hat techniques, good clean mobile friendly pages, with well organized and high quality content, and genuine backlinks from relevant sites.
Social Media Followers
While there’s some truth to the idea that the more followers or likes you have the more successful you will appear to potential customers, buying social media followers could prevent you from actually reaching them. Facebook for example uses an algorithm to determine what posts users see in their feed, and this is partly determined by the popularity of each post. If your page is liked by mostly fake users, they will not be interacting with the post and therefore it may not be shown to real users because it won’t be deemed popular.
There is no shortcut to online success and any reputable internet marketing company will focus on quality over quantity; formulating a long term strategy for organic success, rather than spam, non-converting traffic and black hat techniques.