As a business owner you get a lot of calls, mostly from internet marketing companies, we know, but that will change once your company is ranking and marketed properly on the internet. When these marketing companies call, they promise the world, the moon, and the stars.
We get it, as a business owner you need more business, you need new clients calling you and the internet is where they are looking! Hey, we are a small business as well, we need new clients calling us!
Read the Fine Print Before Signing Up for Marketing!
Lately we have run into a few problems with other marketing companies such as HomeAdvisor and Townsquare just to name a few. Both these companies have been around for a while and have fair reputations.
Townsquare works to build satisfying websites and often has good results with their SEO services. However, their main problem lies in their management and poor customer service.Like many marketing companies, once you have a certain number or clients you will be required to hire additional team members to be able to sustain a successful and reputable service. Now, unless you hire the right personnel and have a system that works 90% of the time, you will ultimately run into problems servicing clients.
HomeAdvisor is a lead generation company the sells leads to contractors who have a non-existent internet presence and often times, don’t even have a website. To solve this problem, HomeAdvisor will provide you a web page as part of their service. Additonally they will even register a domain name for you such as, www.donkeywhisperer.com or any domain name you can come up with.
So what these marketing companies are doing is essentially holding domain names hostage once you cancel. As a marketer, I can tell you that if you have a domain name that has been around for awhile there is a lot of value there for SEO purposes. Not only that, most of you have this domain name on your business cards, letter heads, invoices, etc!
Are you beginning to see the big picture? If you are an established business this can become an huge headache causing you a lot of grief and even in some cases sleepless nights. Imagine working with a company for three years, they build you a website, they do all your marketing, and one day you decide it is time for a change and when you try and move on, they have your hands tied.
How to Protect Your Company and Yourself
My name is Ryan Goering, and I am one of the owners of Creactive, Inc. I am a small business owner like yourself. I have owned other businesses outside of marketing and quickly learned that I needed to protect myself from these types of scams. I learned top rate protection skills from some very successful individuals. These are some very basic tips that will protect your company from falling into dire straits with your website and domain name.
Register Your Own Domain Name!
If a marketing company needs to include one of your keywords in the domain name of your website, they are not worth your time. You should always try and use your company name or initials followed by “.com” if available and “.net” as a secondary.
Make Sure You Own The Website
It is crucial to make certain that if or when you decide to cancel your services with a company that you have full ownership rights to all content and pictures on the website. Keep in mind that the older the domain is, the better when it comes to Google.
Make Sure There are No Cancellation Fees
This is very important. We have had several clients who have worked with HomeAdvisor. When they went to cancel they services, they got charged a $500 cancellation fee that was not disclosed when the initial sign up occurred. This lack of customer service is not only apparent during the initial sign up, but continues all the way through the cancellation process. HomeAdvisor has roughly 100K clients that they are suppose to be attending to. However, there is only ONE individual who is there to handle all domain name transfers. How can one person handle it all you ask? It doesn’t get handled, because this person is consistently “out of the office” or “away” leaving customer in limbo.
What does Creactive do differently?
For starters, Creactive doesn’t do kitchen remodeling or carpet cleaning. We are a small business who places great effort into providing small businesses like ourselves with real, organic rankings. The domain names and websites that we create are simply used for the benefit of the client. If a client wants to move on or just doesn’t want to continue on with marketing, we ensure the transition, if any, is quick and easy. We do not charge for transfers of websites or domain names. We make sure the domain name is in our client’s name, not ours.
Our company is not perfect in anyway, but at the same time, our main goal is to bring your business more new clients from the internet. Sometimes that is easier said than done. I feel my team works harder than just about any company around keeping our clients expenses at an affordable rate. Search engine marketing, link building, blogging are just some of the steps that we take to ensure ranking. These things can be expensive and take time, but the end result is always phones calls from potential clients searching online.