Has your business ever received a call from a marketing company guaranteeing first page results in Google’s SERPs? Heck, we’re our own marketing company, and even WE get those calls, so chances are pretty good that your business gets them as well. But is there any truth behind what these cold-call marketers have to say?
First of all, if you only remember ONE thing from this entire blog, please let it be this:
NO ONE CAN GUARANTEE FIRST PAGE PLACEMENT ON GOOGLE. NO ONE.
With that being said, it’s important that you properly assess any marketing offer that comes your way. Before entering into any sort of agreement with a company that literally just calls you out of the blue, be sure to do a thorough background check on that company. Ask for their URL. Ask them how their own rankings are doing and if they can tell you about one of their better success stories amongst clients. Legitimate companies will always be able to point to past successes, while less than credible companies will merely try to fast talk you into signing some sort of deal.
As far as Google is concerned, there is no legitimate way to game the SERPs. There used to be! Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that it was always impossible. Years ago, there were a TON of shady internet marketing tactics that could give your website a quick boost in the SERPs. But, the important thing to keep in mind here is that that was YEARS AGO.
Today, the internet is a much different place, and search engines have become light-years more sophisticated than they once were. Whereas keyword stuffing and shifty SEO practices used to result in higher rankings, they don’t anymore. Google’s Penguin update took care of all of those sites, while its Panda update took care of all the rest of the sites out there with low quality content, questionable marketing tactics, and unnatural link profiles.
Another tactic that we’ve seen employed a few times, typically by spammy web directories, is the old “invoice” technique. In cases like this, businesses will receive what appear to be legitimate invoices in the mail, when in fact the fine print on them reveals that they’re nothing more than solicitations. If you call the number on the solicitation, the sales rep is ready and eager to process your payment and pay the invoice, but will typically hang up the minute the potential customer starts to question whether or not things are on the up-and-up.
Regardless of what type of correspondence you receive, remember to always read everything carefully, take every sales pitch with a grain of salt, and never enter into any sort of agreement without doing a thorough background check on the company offering you its services. If possible, check out consumer reports, online review sites, and contact one of their former clients to see how things went. After all, no one will be more truthful than a former client.
So, the long and short of it is that ranking well on the internet is much different today than it was just two years ago, and marketing companies that cold-call with promises of page one rankings are nothing more than remnants left over from that time. Fortunately, the number of cold-calls we and our clients receive has dwindled greatly over the past 12 months or so, but it’s still important to stay on your toes, be aware, and always remember that if it sounds too good to be true…it’s probably going to lead to a penalized website.
If you need help sorting through all of your “first page of Google!” offers, don’t hesitate to contact the internet marketing team at SLS Consulting. We’ll set the record straight and warn you if something sounds too good to be true! Call (323) 254-1510 for more information about how we can help your online marketing campaign.