By Margaret Ousset
If you are looking to embark on a marketing effort for your company, you start to Google a few things, right? Before you know it - wham – all the digital talking heads are barking that they can drive leads to your website or better yet give you leads on anyone who has even visited your website. Even if you have a marketing clue, all the jargon and industry tech speak is enough to make your head spin.
In these digital times, it can be a little complicated. What the heck is the difference between those low monthly fee websites and a custom website for your company? The low price tag and the slick looking templates seem like a great deal. Until you realize your entire investment in time and money is locked into their closed system. Gottcha! It’s smoke and mirrors. Literally.
The vast majority of digital marketing, website or directory companies build or let you build the website and all the search engine optimization surrounding that website on an exact looking duplicate of your website. In geek talk they might call it a mirror website or a proxy website or some other cute cliché name that really means you are paying a fortune to rent, not own, your website.
Even some of the most reputable companies from Yellow Pages and Squarespace to Thomas Net and VRBO have adopted this business model to keep you coming back and running all your digital services through their closed systems. It’s the new generation’s way of forcing customers to buy overpriced products from the “company store.”
It’s the digital Wild West out there. They have figured out how search engine optimization works and rather than perform the service on your real website, they perform the service on the look alike website. So, when you stop paying for their monthly service, all the lead generation around that websites ends with it. That’s zero ROI for all your time and money investment. As marketing and sales professionals have begun to figure this out, some advanced tech companies have figured out how to suppress their domain name to ease fears. Don’t fall for it!
So, that is the basic difference between a professional service and most digital marketing companies. A professional service will build a custom website for your company, using your domain name on a server of your or the website builders choice. They should have an in-house team of writers, designers and developers to create custom effective marketing for their clients, not cookie cutter designs.
The work should not be sub-contracted out or outsourced offshore.
Be sure to use consultants that build your website properly from the ground up.
Keywords should be embedded and page names, page titles and meta tags should be optimized to maximize your organic search results. And if you agree to a paid search campaign (ie: Google Ad Words), the keywords should not be suppressed as way to trick you into buying more advertising to generate leads.
Bottom line is you should use professionals who will build and optimize your website, not a mirror site or a third party landing page, meaning you would own all the content, creative and optimization that was developed for your account.
That’s the best way to an organic lead generation through your website.