February 2013

Welcome to our February 2013 Great New Zealand newsletter.

In this newsletter:

  • Not Quite SEO Scams Salutary Tales!
  • Social Media Update
  • Email Marketing

Not Quite SEO Scams!

Have you had calls from overseas companies attempting to persuade you to do various SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) work or Google Adwords programmes with them? If they promised that your site will be on the first page of Google, was it clear that they will be doing this using Google AdWords (which costs you extra)? SEO alone may not get you there.

These offers are not necessarily scams, but do require understanding and caution if you are considering them.

We have recently heard of 5 poor interactions with different companies here and offshore. Salutary tales! This is how they went…

Company A contracted a UK company to do SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) work including link building for them. Their site was subsequently penalised by Google Penguin updates and they discovered that quality of many of the links sites was very bad. So they asked the UK company to undo everything they had done. The UK company did undo the work but Company A had to pay again to have the work undone!

Company B contracted an Australian company to do SEO work for them. They were contacted for a regular monthly payment. A very simple report was prepared in the first month. Company B contacted them to see what other work had been done for the money paid. The Aussies ceased communication at all. Company B is still receiving bills for the monthly contract because they have not provided 4 weeks notice to cease the contract. They have been unable to do this because the Aussie company does not reply to emails or calls. So far all they have had is a very basic report.

Company C was cold called by a UK company and after several very long “pressure” sales calls agreed to them doing some ongoing Web Marketing work for them, Primarily this was a kneejerk reaction to a downturn in bookings. The UK company prepared a brief audit report for GBP230 which was seriously incorrect on a lot of points but “looked good” to someone with little knowledge. A very quick automated pdf report. Company C is not proceeding as they now know that the UK company was just going to do what had already been done for them. Also the keywords the UK company was targeting would never have been specific enough for the local business. Company C is yet to receive a refund for the poor report and cancellation of the contract has not been confirmed.

Closer to home, Company D is having an Adwords campaign managed for them by a large NZ company. However their campaign is not set up under their own account and the company managing this is not directing the Adwords clicks directly to company D’s website. So Company D is unable to get important information about the success and cost of the campaign in order to decide if it is worth the monthly cost. The information they are not getting includes what keywords are being targeted, number of clicks, and cost per click for each keyword. Standard information that is normally readily available from an AdWords campaign. This is vital for measuring the success of the campaign. The setup also creates some duplicate content issues (which Google does not like) This contract is locked in for another few months still.

Company E had a quote from a NZ company for an AdWords campaign at $250 per month ($150 for the Google clicks plus $100 pm management fee). The company stated that they were guaranteed to be “on page 1 of Google for every single day of the campaign”. But for $150 they would probably have to set a daily limit of $5.00 in order to not go over what the client was paying. That most likely means that the advert would be on the first page of Google very early in the day but would disappear totally off as soon as the $5.00 daily limit was reached (probably very quickly). Also they were going to target keywords that the website already was on page one of Google for in the organic results – a waste of money!

Being on the first page of Google every day is not necessarily the same as being on Google first page for the whole of every day! Clever and misleading wording!

The Internet has changed. All of these companies are promising magic bullets that look full proof. But much of it is just “marketing spin” And yes, AdWords will get you on the first page of Google but you might pay heavily to ensure this happens. You need to know that upfront and ensure it relates to a good Return on that Investment. (ROI).

Sorry, but the reality is that there are no magic bullets. But there is sensible work that can be done to help your website to perform and make more money for you

This work is far wider reaching than just “SEO” or “Optimisation” or Ad Words campaigns. Companies like ours do this work but also take a much wider view of your Internet requirements in order to maximise your returns. We do much more.

If you want to know what can be done to assist your online presence, ask us about the range of services we offer our clients. And be wary about cold calls, especially from overseas companies promising the world and flashy reports or corporate speak! If you don’t really understand what they are saying, it is probably because they are putting some corporate spin on something simple in order to sound impressive. Sadly this tactic seems to fool many and is often combined with real pressure sales calls.

Social Media Update

Google is continuing to make a big push to have all users on Google +. They really, really want you to use this instead of other Social Media options.

Meanwhile Facebook continues to grow slowly but many users are reportedly suffering “Facebook Fatigue”. They are finding it just takes too long to keep their pages maintained and to sift through the amount of useless information (including advertising) that they are now getting from all their friends. Or they worry about privacy issues. So many are either taking breaks from it or stopping using it completely.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10863984

Pinterest had great growth in 2013 and the fastest growing Social Media markets were India and Indonesia. Access to Social Media via mobile devices of course continues. Instagram apparently has more mobile users than Twitter. For the full article see
http://www.socialgo.com/blog/social-media-trends

If you would like someone to organise a Social Media Strategy for you or show you how to really use various social media options well, please contact us. We can help you or refer you on to our specialist Social Media associates.

Email Marketing

If you think you should be running email marketing campaigns but it is all too hard to manage, we can also recommend someone who does a great job at this. Contact us for information.

We hope there is useful information in here that will make sure you are not “duped” by flash marketing. We want to make sure you get the “best bang for your marketing bucks” on your Internet strategy. Contact us to find out how.

Call or email us about anything in this newsletter, web marketing or your listing on our websites.

Best regards

Ron, Judie, Sue & the team at
Net Action Ltd and Great New Zealand Ltd
07 866 3929