Everyone has heard the stories of retirees who fall victim to scam artists – losing their life savings to what they think is a reputable company. Are you aware that scammers target businesses as well? Think you’re immune? Think again. As a successful dental practice looking to grow through digital marketing and social media, you’re a prime target for unscrupulous SEO agencies. Keep your wits about you. There are a few things you should know that will keep your practice from getting taken advantage of.
There is no such thing as a first-page placement guarantee. Some companies out there will actually tell you they can guarantee first page placement for your practice. We’ve said it before and we will say it again – SEO is not a quick fix. Anyone who guarantees a specific result is misleading you. Google is actually suing a company in California for making false claims that they can guarantee first-page placement in Google search results.
An effective SEO strategy takes an intimate knowledge of your target audience, your practice and your competitors to do it well – and that takes time.
Be wary of anyone claiming to work on behalf of Google. This might seem extreme so let’s give this warning some context. Google does not make automated sales calls; ask you to claim your website; ask you to update your listing; or ask you to pay to be included in Google Search. This information is clearly posted on the Google website. And even Google says you should beware of companies or people who “allege a special relationship with Google,” and/or advertise VIP placements or priority submissions (Google).
Google will not send you unsolicited emails. If you’re receiving unsolicited emails that claim to come from Google about your website’s poor search engine results, read them with a dose of skepticism. Reputable SEO and Internet Marketing companies will clearly state who they are and stand behind their own branding. They have no reason to claim they are Google.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you receive an email offer, solicitation or guarantee, check to see if it’s actually Google or a Google Partner. If the email is from Google it will be from an @google.com address and the return path should also contain an @google.com address. Also check to see where the links in the email are directing you. Do they go to a google.com page or someplace else?
If you receive a telephone call, ask the representative to send you an email and look for these same signs.
Verifying whether the company that contacts you is a Google Partner is relatively easy as well. Just look for them at this Google Partner search page. Google partners are agencies, marketing professionals, and online experts who have been certified by Google to manage AdWords accounts (Google).
Don’t be scared away by the shady Internet characters or stories of unscrupulous scam artists. If you’re interested in expanding your practice’s visibility and growing your patient roster, SEO and Internet marketing is a great option for you. It offers a strong opportunity to reach your preferred target audience with low cost and high return. A qualified Internet marketing company can help guide you through the Internet confusion safely by defining your marketing goals and developing an SEO strategy to help you reach them.
As a Google Partner and experts in the dental profession, ProSites is happy to help. Call 888-932-3644 for a personal consultation.