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The Good, the bad and the ugly in web marketing
It is almost 2017 and as strange as it may sound, we still find traces of the junk from the yesteryear of search engine optimisation being peddled as the Holy Grail at exorbitant costs. Gullible customers who are recent entrants into the world of SEO are being taken for a ride and being scammed of their hard earned money.
Let’s make one thing very clear before we even begin. If you are being promised ‘top 10 rankings for ‘n’ number of keywords’ for $200 a month, it’s a huge red flag.
The number of people who we speak to on a daily basis who have undergone a bad SEO experience has skyrocketed in the past few years.
For some people, the bad experience creates a dissent so strong towards web marketing, that it becomes almost impossible to convince them that SEO is hands down one of the most profitable forms of marketing in the world.
After much deliberation, we decided to create this blog post to voice our angst and also clear some air about what works and what doesn’t in 2017. Without mincing words, here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of web marketing for you.
Let’s start with the good part.
If you are not marketing on the internet, then you might as well shut down shop and focus on some obsolete form of business that is primarily run offline. It is estimated that 50% of shopping decisions will be made online.
70% people read reviews online before deciding whether to buy a product or a service.
Web marketing brings tremendous potential to the table provided that you get the right service partner who understands the frequent changes and updates that happen in the SEO landscape. If you have had a bad experience, the its probably because you hired the wrong person to do business with.
In simple terms, the SEO Company you hire will make or break your online business. So, take your time before you swipe that credit card.
If you are a DIY guy who prefers to learn the ropes himself or someone looking to understand how SEO techniques will affect the performance of your website in 2017, then here are three things that should be at the top of your plans.
- Updated SEO techniques: Old school SEO doesn’t work anymore. Period. Google has been constantly evolving as a search engine and the number of changes that have happened in the past one year alone are staggering. The first and most important thing is to keep yourself updated about the latest SEO techniques. Did you read our SEO guide for newbies in 2017?
- Keyword research: The importance of keyword research has risen manifold in the past couple of years. It is no longer as simple as finding high search keywords and stuffing your website with it. Keyword research is slowly becoming more intent based. It is one of the most important parts of SEO in the time to come.
- Quality links: The keyword here is ‘quality’. Cheap and inexpensive links will only get you so far. If you are on the internet for the long run, then you must absolutely think about acquiring quality links only or hire someone who can do it for you. Do not pinch pennies while building links because it will only get you garbage.
- Great content: This definitely deserves to be on the top of the list of good things in web marketing. Have quality content on your website and in your marketing plans and you have won half the battle. Create content for your website user and not for search engines.
- Testimonials: Have a service that everyone is raving about? Show it to your potential customers. Testimonials can have such a significant impact on online businesses that it would be a crime not to tap into them. All it takes is a follow-up email asking a customer to review your business or service.
The bad part of web marketing is dominated by sleazy SEO corporations who masquerade their services and fool potential customers. Make no mistake. It’s a minefield out there and you have to do your due diligence before you hire any service provider or use any type of service.
- Poor quality SEO packages: If you believe that low-quality SEO such as automated link wheels with poorly spun content is going to get you on the top of SERPS, then you couldn’t be more wrong. It will at best land you a penalty ending your chances of ever ranking successfully. But how do you spot a poor quality SEO service? Anything that ‘guarantees’ a ranking for any amount is a red flag. If there is one thing that experience teaches you, it is that there are no guarantees in SEO.
- Spun or copied content: Never, ever use spun or copied content on your business websites. It is a guaranteed penalty coming your way sooner or later.
Last but not the least; we come to the ugly part of web marketing. This is turf that you never want to venture into no matter how lucrative it sounds. Claims like ‘Buy our package to make $5000 a month’ are common in the world of SEO. Stay away. If someone could make $5000 a month, why would they sell it to you?
Spamming is a criminal offence in most countries in the world and it is used only by the real black hatters on the internet who either sell counterfeit drugs, pornography or spread malware. Any kind of unsolicited message or link building package can be termed as Spam. So you’d want to tread very carefully while dealing with any SEO company that knowingly or unknowingly uses spam to promote your website.
What’s the best way to derail your competitors business? Spam it to death of course. This technique has been quite popular among fierce business rivals in recent times and it has even earned a nickname for itself, ‘Negative SEO’. The only way to prevent your hard-earned rankings from getting tanked due to a spam assault is to ensure that your site is termed an authority one. Think spamming Wikipedia will drop it out of search results? No. That’s because Google views it as an authority site. The only way to become an authority site is to use what we mentioned in the Good category here. Tons of good content, lots of social signals, naturally acquired links and time. Eventually, your site will be teeming with authority that Google will be forced to acknowledge.