What I Hate About the Online Marketing Industry Today. I’ll Bet You Do Too!

Come on! Just like you I am tired of fielding phone calls from some irritating telemarketer telling me they can get me on the first page of Google’s search results!
Can it really be so easy that so many companies are doing it? Am I really the lucky business that this person has chosen to get me, and only me, to the top of the search engine results?
How did I get so lucky?

All I can say is please STOP! Stop calling! Stop emailing me! Stop lying to me!

Even worse, businesses must be falling for this crap or they couldn’t afford to continue, and all that does is give the entire online marketing industry a big black eye.
Millions of dollars are wasted by small businesses each year because of these scam artists. Millions spent that they thought were being spent to help them grow their business, only to find out that the results promised were never realized and the money wasted.

So here we are, an industry that on the low end, preys on small business owners, who really don’t know any better, with services that don’t have any real value to the marketplace. It’s embarrassing to me!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. The businesses that want help getting to the next level, by tapping into and dominating the search results, these businesses are the biggest targets of all! That’s right, these companies are the sweet spot. They have the money to invest in online marketing, but not the sophistication or knowledge to know if what’s being proposed is possible or even probable in the time frame given.

These good companies my friend, are the Holy Grail of SEO scam artists and agencies all over the world and they will promise results every month until several months pass and the business realizes the results just aren’t there and they’ve been scammed.

They forgot to tell these companies that currently in 2017 it takes anywhere from 6 to 12 months to gain a first page ranking for competitive keywords. Did they explain anything about the process beyond the benefits? Probably not, because then those businesses wouldn’t spend the money. Did they just promise more than they could deliver to get the business?

Finally, was qualifying the business with some “discovery form” to fill out the only research they did before proposing their custom program to get the business more customers? Why not just say - fill out this form so we know there is enough money to make scamming your business worthwhile? More embarrassment, more black eyes!

Fortune 1000 companies fare far better. They typically only deal with large proven, expensive agencies and have in house marketing professionals that understand the entire marketing universe and how the online world works. They have the budgets to try new things knowing they may fail. But they do it with their eyes wide open and their expectations in check.

Yes, this is dark. That’s because the state of the digital or online marketing industry is dark! It is flooded with people who don’t know what they are doing! They may not all be out to scam businesses, but without providing verifiable results what is the difference?

Without establishing a baseline on where a business is at online, and then proposing both short term and long term solutions based on the client’s needs, budget and timeframe to reach those goals, how can any agency honestly propose any product or service unless their motive is to gain a paying customer and worry about performance later? Run! Run away quickly! Just hang up the phone!

As an agency owner, Why would I write such an article? Education!

Professional agencies must step up and educate potential clients with proper expectations and yes, warn businesses that there are too many scammers and unqualified online marketing “professionals” out there in the marketplace.

The slide into darkness must be reversed, not for the sake of the online marketing industry, but for the sake of business in general. The telemarketing scams must stop!

Let the word go out to businesses of all sizes. Your business has NOT been selected for the top spot in the Google search results! Google won’t even promise you that unless you are the highest bidder for the number one spot in Google Adwords, Google’s advertising platform.

No agency can get your business to the top of the search results from nowhere for any search term that will bring significant new business in your doors overnight! Yes, they can rank “top red umbrella underwear” overnight, but “Dentist in Atlanta” is going to take time and money, and is based on where the business is ranking now and how much work the competition is doing. Nothing else, and every potential customer should know going in exactly what their competition is doing and what will be needed in time and money to outperform them. Period. That’s it!

That is how we reverse the slide! How we regain the trust of business that we have squandered by staying silent while we let scammers take over the markets we don’t service.
That’s how we get rid of the black eyes, the embarrassment and the perception of being an industry of scammers and thieves.

Some will say I am overreacting, so I invite all business owners to comment with your own experiences with online marketing companies. I am sure that most will agree with my perceptions because I hear stories of disappointment every day when talking to small business owners.