doubledawnwriting

Advice for better writing and marketing

Posts Tagged ‘business outsourcing

Finding a Really Great Marketing Company

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For every bad marketer, there is also a good one. The good ones don’t advertise as heavily, because quite frankly, they don’t need to. Word of mouth and referrals drive the business, so don’t be afraid to ask around.

Much like the mechanic that never fixes his own car, don’t dismiss a marketing company because it doesn’t have a flashy website. Instead, ask for references, links to client pages and a detailing of the work they will perform. Be specific. Ask if they use paid traffic services. Ask how they do keyword research. Read the content on the reference pages they have supplied.

Be Careful What You Wish For

As in any endeavour, view all promises with a healthy dose of skepticism. By the same token, keep expectations realistic. I’ve known too many people who’ve been duped by underhanded marketers, simply because legitimate marketing companies could not meet their demands.

Never demand that you must have the number one search engine ranking. Never act like you’re doing the company a favour by bringing them business. Never act like seo marketing is easy, painless and really no big deal. Never set unreasonable targets and deadlines. Never try to dangle the carrot on the stick.

Why?

You will offend the legitimate marketers, and they will turn down your business. Honest and trustworthy marketing companies put effort and time into the jobs they do, and should be treated with respect. When you hire a professional, treat them with professionalism.

Legitimate marketing companies will have a strategy, timeline and will work with you for the overall goals of your website. They will discuss different elements of your website, offer suggestions to improve the quality and possibly the design. They will help you market your business itself, not just the website.

Marketing your business is the key that separates the good from the bad. The fact is, being at the height of search rankings doesn’t guarantee sales increases. The value of a company is based on how much revenue it can generate, not how well it ranks in search engines.

A good marketing company will improve ranking, but it will also improve the customer experience and sales conversion. Social media presence, interactive contests, newsletters and other engaging activities are a large part of promoting your business and improving your profits. Marketing is not about Google, it’s about making money.

What it comes down to is this: if your marketing efforts haven’t improved your bottom line, then it’s time to look for a better marketing and seo company. Results matter.

3 Red Flag Practices of Marketing Scammers

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It often surprises me how focused people become on earning the number one page rank results on search engines. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for page rank, but the obsessive desire to be number one often opens the door for predators and unscrupulous practices.

When to Walk Away from a Marketer

It’s easy to get lulled into promises of high traffic and high ranking. The fact is, most of these companies may actually deliver on what they promise. The trouble comes from a consumer who doesn’t really understand what type of service is actually being provided.

Obscure Keywords:

Less than professional marketing or seo companies will offer to give you first page ranking with a particular keyword. Take a close look at this keyword. While it’s true, you can do a search of that keyword and discover your website popping up on the first page, you must ask yourself a simple question. “Will my potential customers be using this keyword?”

Using obscure keywords lowers competition on that phrase and makes it much simpler for a marketer to improve a page’s ranking. However, there is no value in being number one on a search term that nobody uses. It’s a deliberate attempt to mislead the client. In other words, it’s a swindle. Take a little time to look up the proposed keyword and decide if it’s really going to help your seo efforts.

Paid Traffic:

Traffic takes time and dedication to build. Be wary of a sudden surge in comments and traffic, especially if the sales volume isn’t there. Websites like myLot and micro job sites allow marketers to post simple penny jobs to force traffic or comments to a site. They may offer a couple cents per comment, they may offer a few pennies to sign up with an individual email address, or maybe just to like or tweet something.

The website owner usually has no idea the increased traffic or comments are actually bought and paid for. They are hoaxed into believing the miracle marketer is driving traffic to the site. Reports showing individual (and completely valid) email addresses or ip addresses are used to confirm the so-called results.

Plagiarized Content:

Never, ever publish content without proofreading it first. There are some very basic indicators that the content is not original. You don’t even need copyscape to check it. Try typing the first sentence into a search bar and see what pops up.

When you see unusual words that interrupt the flow of the reading, it could be a duplicate. Article spinners randomly adjust various word within a page. For example, child might be changed to youth, minor or juvenile. If enough of these word are changed, the content will likely pass copyscape. That does not make it original.

Plagiarism is not just the actual words, but the intention. Changing a few words around and replacing others is still infringing on copyright. While many articles may use the same research or ideas, the structure should have a sense of uniqueness. Duplicated content may take a while to be discovered by search engines, but once it’s flagged, not only could your website be banned from search engines, you could find yourself in legal troubles.

In the end, it’s your money and your reputation on the line. The old adage rings out loud and clear when it comes to marketing and seo companies and the promises they make. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Your Guide to Quality Outsourcing

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The internet is a vast resource for finding skilled workers to perform smaller tasks for your business. Bookkeeping, administrative tasks and marketing campaigns are great examples of work that can be outsourced. Outsourcing reduces your payroll expenses as well as saving you time and paperwork.

Unfortunately, for every high level, professional service provider, there are about a hundred sub-standard ones. When it comes to running a business, you can’t afford to waste money on someone who doesn’t deliver exactly what you need. 

Volume Versus Value 

There are two ways to make money. One is to provide a product or service at an extremely low price, and pump out enough volume to make a profit.

Walmart is a perfect example of a volume retailer. Sure, the buttons pop off the shirts after one wash, the kid’s shoes will never survive to become a hand-me-down and the best before dates are quite short. Nevertheless, Walmart packs in the customers who are willing to sacrifice quality for the lowest price tag. This retail giant makes it’s money off volume, not mark up.

Sears, on the other hand, has built a solid reputation for quality and service. Online, by catalogue or shopping in person, the consumer naturally expects to pay more when shopping at Sears. This retailer has never engaged in the price slashing practices of other department stores, but instead focused on brand names and customer service. 

While Sears doesn’t have the volume that Walmart has, they have a reputation for quality merchandise, and offer price points that reflect this. Sears makes their money by making a tangible profit off each item sold, so they don’t need the same volume that Walmart does. 

Volume and Value in Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a business like any other. Freelancers who offer their services will either work on volume, pushing out as many assignments as possible for a low price, or value. Value providers set their prices to allow them to offer higher quality. 

The fact is: you will get what you pay for. If you’re only willing to pay $5 for a service, there is a good chance you will find yourself disappointed in the results. That’s not to say you won’t happen across some grade A service, but it’s a time consuming process to weed through the providers to select a good one. 

Elance and Odesk are popular outsourcing sites, but there are no quality standards for service providers. Anyone who wishes to bid on a job may do so. As a buyer, you are left to sift through the bids, most of which are inferior, to find a suitable provider. Again, another time consuming task which can frustrate the process. 

As a business, you need to look at your outsourcing needs objectively and weigh the cost of the task against your time and the quality you are looking for. There are indeed outsourcing sites that cater to business needs, by only offering higher quality service providers that have been adequately screened.

TaskArmy is a perfect example of a high value, professional outsourcing resource. It’s a smaller site, with a handful of service providers. Each provider submits a service they are offering, which is screened by the site before submission.

The prices are set by the freelancers, and reflect the time and effort that will be put into your job. You won’t likely find any $5 jobs, instead, the pricing indicates the level of professional service you will be provided with.

TaskArmy uses an escrow service for payment, so your business is protected. The 20% fee per task is taken from the provider’s end, so the purchaser has no additional costs to worry about.

In the end, choosing an outsourcing company will depend on the goals of your business and the budget. You might start out with low quality providers until you reach a level where you can afford to pay more.

However, if quality is integral to your professional image, outsourcing through professional providers and freelancers is cost effective. Even if you pay a higher price per project, it’s still less expensive than adding professionals to your payroll.   

Written by doubledawnwriting

March 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

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