If I hear one more company owner tell me they flushed away thousands of dollars on a web company that made big promises and did not deliver results, I am going to need to defragment my mental hard drive! Maybe there is an ashram for business people who need to cultivate compassion for crooks and scammers that give any given industry a bad name. But until we find that place to deal with these bad business practices, we have to exercise caution and remember the old saying, “Buyer Beware.”
If you are looking for a website refresh or redesign that increases your traffic, leads and ultimately increases sales through a digital marketing strategy, there are simple ways to verify that a web design and digital marketing company is legit.
Here are some things to look for:
Look at the company portfolio and actually OPEN the websites they claim to have built. Are they user-friendly? Next, open a separate search page and run an “organic search” to see how the website ranks.
EXAMPLE: Esotech built a website for Horizon Power Catamarans. If you Google “power catamaran manufacturers”, “power catamaran yachts”, “luxury power catamaran”, or “cruising power catamarans”, you will find the site is ranked on page one for these organic search results. In fact, this Esotech client has 10 words ranked in position 1 through 3 on page one and 47 words on page one.
- Go for the old-school route and ASK for professional references. Call one or two of their previous clients and ask them whether they have seen results.
- Beware of Barbie-site designers who only focus on the look of the site and do not take the time to properly build a web site that can rank on search engines. It’s great to have a “pretty” website, but if there is nothing under the hood working to deliver traffic it is like a car with a great paint job and a 4 cylinder engine that needs an overhaul. Google robots “crawl” sites to find out what the website is about and what keywords are relevant, and determine the quality of the site. These Google robots then use over 250 different factors to rank that site for various keywords. Google bots don’t have eyes so they are not looking at how pretty a site is, but how relevant the content is and how it compares to other websites for the same topics.
- Beware of companies who use ready-made templates to build your site. Our experience is that ready-made templates are not Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, friendly and are difficult to optimize for a particular customer application. This NEGATIVELY impacts search engine optimization.
- Beware of companies who promise instant results, such as “we will have you on page one in 60 days,” or “we can fix your Panda-Penguin problems in 30 days,” or worse, “we can get you page one results for $100 just per month.” These are scams!!! It takes time to build a website properly and get it to rank effectively for keywords. Don’t let stars of “going viral” get in your eyes. Look for steady incremental increase in your rankings and traffic starting in three to four months and with substantial results over approximately 6 months to a year.
These are just a few tips to help you steer clear of scams and crooks in the world of web design and digital marketing.