Last week one of my local search mentors, Mike Blumenthal, posted an experience that the owner of a small custom furniture maker has had with marketing his business on the Internet. I was reminded of the many conversations I have had with other small businesses that have had, and continue to endure, the over-selling and under performing of various local Internet marketing factories. You know, the robo calls from “Google” (it isn’t Google) that scare you into thinking that your business is about to disappear from its search engine. Or the Yelps and Yodles that charge a steep price and then claim completely bogus results.
The small business owner, Marc Reisner of Reisner Construction, has been pretty naive in his digital marketing journey. Heck, as far as I can tell he doesn’t even have a website instead relying on his Facebook page to establish his local digital footprint, a bad idea. Then he gets the phone calls from Yodle and Town Square promising a “free” website and high ranking on Google for a large fee. The results were negligible and he cancelled.
Next, Yelp (The Evil One) calls promising position and phone calls. They load him up with lots of “calls” at $6+ each only to find that all but one came from “NOT a working number”. Marc got out of that relationship but at an additional cost of $450.
Most local small businesses I talk to acknowledge that establishing a solid local digital footprint is a process and takes time. Yet so many continue to fall for the “Get Rich (or rankings) Quick” pitches. Local search marketing is not so easy anymore, and it continues to get more difficult every day. So when that unsolicited call comes in promising something that seems too good to be true, it is.
Instead, work with a local search consultant or agency. Someone you can sit down with, strategize with, look into their eyes and hold them accountable. Just like you want your customers to deal with you.