I see a lot of companies promoting online marketing services to small and medium sized businesses. The engineering company I am involved with gets emails every day from companies offering adwords optimisation or SEO (search engine optimisation) services.
How many of these companies actually know what they are doing though? I would hazard a guess at next to none of them. Why would they? If a guy can actually rank a website at the top of the search engines then he can do it for himself for simple sites with ads and go sit on a beach for the rest of his life. Why would he waste his time “helping” you for a one time fee of $99?
The truth is that anyone that is really good at online marketing can quite easily make a lot of money working for themselves while living a dream lifestyle. The only people that are going to be interested in selling you online marketing services are people who have absolutely no idea how to effectively promote your website/brand/company.
SEO companies are a great example here. The best question you can ask is where does your company rank for a competitive term like “SEO”. I bet anyone cold calling you wont rank on the first ten pages. And if they can’t rank their own websites why would you want to employ them to mess with yours?
It’s exactly the same for companies offering paid search advertising consultation. They normally take a percentage fee of your adspend or charge a flat fee for setting up your campaigns on Adwords and Facebook. Either way what are you getting? The expertise of someone who can’t run competitive campaigns on paid traffic networks. If they could they could be making their own small fortunes running affiliate offers, teespring campaigns, clickbank products etc.
If you want SEO done properly google SEO once a month for a year and see who consistently ranks in the results. Here’s what was ranking in the UK in April 2012 when I first had the idea for this post 🙂
Dragging myself back on-topic basically don’t trust anyone who offers you online marketing services. The top guys in most industries get head hunted and don’t need to go searching for work. Online marketing takes it to another level where the top guys are simply unaffordable.