I cringe when I watch videos on YouTube of people being scammed – cars on Craigslist, broken computers by Geek Squad types, Insurance scammers running into cars, gas pilfering, etc.
But I am learning that “scamming” by definition is certainly open for interpretation.
I have talked to countless numbers of lawn and landscape business owners who are unhappy about the results (or lack thereof) they are getting from their websites.
If you are a small business owner chances are you have received phone calls from companies telling you that they can get you to the top of Google and/or other search engines and that is where the “scam” usually begins.
They talk about Google Local, directories, citations, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, reviews and all kinds of other strategies necessary to make it to the top of the search engines. The average business owner is rarely aware or understands what they are being told. It sounds technical enough and the assumption therefore is that it must be legitimate.
Then on top of all of this, the salesperson works hard to convince the business owner to spend money on “Google AdWords” so they are definitely found at the top.
I am talking about people being charged $400 to $4,000 per month for this nonsense.
And of course after some times passes and the owner’s website is not found at the top or anywhere near the top of Google they start to panic and get frustrated. They contact the salesperson (who is usually much harder to get a hold of now) and tell them they are unhappy. The salesperson assures them that progress is being made and to be patient because it is a process.
This is true – it is a process to get to the top of a search engine. But if the right research is performed and the right steps are taken, results should follow soon enough.
Are there companies out there providing these services legitimately that produce results? Sure, but notice I said they produce results. And even then, the prices being charged for these results are often outrageous.
They can and do charge these prices because they know the average business owner knows they need to be online and they know they need to have a strong presence. But because the process sounds so technical, they assume that the inflated pricing is justified.
I actually had a business owner laugh the other day when I told him I charge $99 a month to build, update and rank a website. I thought he was laughing because he felt it was too much money. He was laughing because he realized that he had spent over $18,000 in the past year to get nowhere with his website.
Be careful. When these people call, write down what they say, offer and promise and then e-mail me. I can tell you if their offer is reasonable and I can tell you what you can expect.