Talking with a client this afternoon, I was inspired to write this post. As I’ve mentioned on other places on the Insignia site, everyone seems to be an expert in SEO and Social Media Marketing. It’s easy to claim you’re an expert when the field you’re claiming expertise in is a new and constantly changing field- and because most people don’t know any better, they will often believe you.
Here’s the issue with this. Companies, so-called “SEO” companies are taking advantage of people and small businesses who don’t know any better. Small business owners are usually getting by, and don’t often have loads of extra money to spend on SEO and marketing, but do know enough to realize that it can be a wise investment. The problems come when they seek out internet marketing experts who claim to know what they’re doing and then take their money and give them little to no results.
Another thing I’ve seen an alarmingly large amount of recently is duplicate content on sites, stolen content, and website design “professionals” (and I use that term loosely) who design a site, and then refuse to provide FTP access to the client. Yes. Seriously- I’ve seen it about 6 times in the last 2 months. Talk about unethical. This usually occurs when they’ve claimed to be experts and are afraid of being exposed for what they really are- crooks who take advantage of people, steal their money and provide no results. As a small business owner, would you promise something to a customer or client and then not deliver? Of course not, but that’s what we’ve seen with some of these web design and internet marketing firms.
As a small business owner, you should have access to all of your website usernames and passwords- this includes FTP access, hosting control panel access, content management system (CMS), and all your social media outlets too! You should be able to choose your hosting company (We use and recommend Inmotion Hosting and they’re awesome!). Many web firms are now offering their own hosting, which can be dangerous if they ever go out of business or disappear, what’s going to happen to your site? It will disappear too.
There’s a lot of great web design firms, social media marketing firms, and internet marketing businesses out there. We suggest doing your research before choosing one so you don’t end up being taken advantage of. It’s easy to say you’re an expert in something, but it’s not nearly as easy to prove you’re an expert.