One of the more recent trends in the website design world are companies that target certain niches such as dentists or chiropractors. Often these services include not only a website for your business but also social media management, reputation management, search engine optimization and perhaps most important to most businesses – content for the site. On the surface this might seem like a great idea but there are a few things to be aware of before going this direction.
- These services typically requires a monthly payment. While this may not be a big deal for some of you, in the long run you are going to be spending more money than if you just built a website that required a 1 time payment not to mention are you really seeing a return on investment? Also, these companies more or less will hold you hostage so you continue paying them monthly (more about this below).
- Social media management. This sounds great as a business owner – you don’t have to do anything and customers will come flowing through your doors. Unfortunately this usually isn’t the case. On top of it, the company you are working with now has all of your login info for your social media accounts (in many cases they setup these accounts on your behalf). You better believe they won’t hand you the login info for these accounts if you decide to discontinue their service which means if you leave them, you will need to start completely from scratch with your social media accounts. This is how they hold you hostage and ensure you will continue doing business with them. You are way better off delegating someone to spend a few minutes each week in your office to manage these accounts. I can’t stress this enough as we see this time and time again – do not give a 3rd party company exclusive access to any of your accounts unless you don’t want them back if you discontinue services.
- When it comes to search engine rankings – content is king these days. I find it a bit ironic that these companies offer search engine optimization services and content creation services. This is because the content they provide to you is 100% duplicate content. They give you the same articles that they provide to 100’s if not 1000’s of other companies. Duplicate content actually negatively effects your search engine rankings – especially with Google. If you want to rank well in search engines, one of the main things you can do is add fresh, keyword rich, unique content on a regular basis.
- Do you really need reputation management? If you are providing good quality customer service and a quality product or service, you really shouldn’t need reputation management services. Sure you will get the occasional bad review – it happens. The good reviews should naturally out weigh the bad reviews though. I suggest focusing your efforts on providing a good quality service as opposed to throwing money at a company that attempts to “manage” these reviews (and in most cases there isn’t much that can be done about the negative reviews).
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