Microsites & Dishonest Agency Tactics

microsite

See Through An Agency’s Dirty Tactics; Bad Hidden Truths About Microsites

Ethical and honest business practices are crucial in every industry, and digital marketing is no exception. Owning a small business means that your business structure is designed to thrive in developing close relationships with your customers. Knowing this too well, you pour all the energy, time, and effort constantly into the daily grind. Like you, we in the industry strive to deliver all that we stand for and keep an honest living for our specialties as well. That being said, we expect mutual exchange from the people we interact and do business with. But sadly enough, every basket has its bad apples. We are not safe at all from the scammers, the fraud, and the mendacious ones. Leeching off the hard work of people that are in good standing at the very least, is utterly despicable.

When you entrust your business and your brand to a marketing agency you expect them to represent your brand, enhance your business’ growth and above all else, be honest to you. Sure, they present you a hill after hill of data with so-called “labels” and then call it “transparency”, but are you certain that what you’re looking at are all correct, authentic, and free of any manipulated entries, or is it all just based on blind trust?

Well, I’ll tell you right now that what many people don’t know is that some agencies take advantage and prey upon the lack of knowledge of their clients in the field of marketing by charging for services that should be offered for free and applying certain tactics that are hurtful to your online digital presence. If you think you know an agency well enough, think again and take a moment to revisit what you already know and what you still don’t. By reading through this article, we will help you identify several warning signs you should take seriously if you want to save time, money, and ultimately your business’s health!

If you are a business owner, take heed and be wary of these indicators that you are being deceived by an agency. I assure you that it literally pays to be aware.

They Charge You For Free Services

Would you really pay for something that is supposed to be enjoyed for free? I sure wouldn’t! However, you will just be surprised by the many that fall victim to agencies who take advantage of their clients’ unawareness instead of educating them about these free services which they can employ at their convenience. Good examples of free services are your Google Analytics and Google My Business accounts. These are cool and awesome services that are sadly often being delivered by some agencies as paid services to customers. How awful is that? Certainly, a red flag if you’d ask me!

Your Google My Business account and listing are a crucial part of your online presence and your customers finding you online. This powerful listing is a dynamic snapshot of your business that highlights your best features and enables potential customers to quickly find, learn about, and engage with you and your business. In other words, it is an SEO powerhouse when it comes to gaining deep insights and analyzing how customers best reach you. And the best part, it is completely free!

You know deep inside that you should never have to pay for something free to you and your business – I urge you to follow that inner voice. If you think that it can be justified due to lack of knowledge, convince yourself otherwise. To learn how to create a google my business account and listing and how to optimize it to get the most out of this free tool, check out our other blog post: Promote Your Business on Google Maps.

They Claim All Web Form Leads Just Come From Them

A word of advice, if an agency claims that all ALL web form leads and traffic are coming from them and their work, take it as another sign to simply just walk the other way. Don’t ever let an agency take all the credit for leads and traffic going in and out of your website!

To put it simply, web forms are what make the digital world go round. Our interactions with a website such as entering user information, making inquiries about a product or service, buying products or employing services, downloading a paper or freebie, logging into an app or software, and many other web interactions are made possible through filing a web form. Find a way to get your customer’s contact information through one of these forms and you get a lead out of it. And the thing about web form lead generation is that it comes from almost EVERYWHERE. It is also not that hard to learn where these leads are coming from in just a few clicks.

Organic traffic is the bread and butter of digital marketing and if agencies fail to give credit where it is due, then they are outright being dishonest with you about the metrics that are supposed to show the work they are actually producing. That kind of characteristic speaks for itself and you should bat an eye the moment you suspect it. And in case you didn’t know, your Search Term Reports from Google Search Ads show you where your money is really being spent.

They Use Microsites (And What You Aren’t Told About)

Improving your business’ search ranking and building a microsite is like oil and water – they don’t mix. But before we delve deeper into why microsites are bad, let’s get to know them a little bit and why agencies sell this idea to you know even when they know it’s counterproductive.

What is a Microsite?

A microsite is basically what it sounds like, it is a micro or mini-site that has branded content that lives outside of a company’s homepage or actual branded URL. So in other words, if you have a microsite your company has two websites or even more depending on how many brands you intend to branch out from your main website.

What does a Microsite do to improve search rankings?

Na-da. Nothing at all. But why do agencies still lay this out on the table for consideration? Well, if you allow me to put up a picture for you to imagine, say, your existing website is outdated, not user friendly, and heavily disorganized – quite a mess, right? In your head, you might be thinking of an enticing solution to this problem – to start over and rebuild the site’s architecture, design, and flow management. But before you can say, “Eureka!”, you realized that this move is just too overwhelming and too expensive to pull off. So a quick fix in the form of a microsite is then proposed to you as a digital band-aid but no one really tells you how your business could suffer so bad from taking this route because why would they? It’s their dirty business – to sell microsites instead of building on their client’s real domain (easy peasy, money squeezy).

Why should you say NO to building a Microsite?

Does it make sense to have two websites? No, it does not! A lot of agencies trick businesses into purchasing a microsite because they state it will help them rank better. This is misleading because, in reality, it draws traffic away from your main website. This is not good when you are wanting to draw traffic into your main website that represents your business.

Google and its search algorithms have changed over the years, and you must follow their rules to obtain rankings. And having a microsite does not meet Google’s criteria! Search engines like Google are looking for trustworthy, well-established domains with content that are rich and unique. With that said, if a website possesses those criteria then a higher ranking is given. However, when a company has two websites – their main website and a microsite – oftentimes it happens that content is the same on both and gets flagged by Google. Then a cascade of events happens that will eventually result in lower rankings because it sees both websites as two separate entities. In simpler terms, you are bidding against yourself when it comes to keyword usage and dividing user landings.

They Steal And Recycle Your Domain

Do you know if you even own your website URL?

Another thing when you are working with a web design agency or digital marketing agency is to be sure you own your own website’s URL. We cannot stress this enough to be extremely important especially if you plan to switch agencies down the road. Take it as a precaution should ever the agency goes out of business at least you get to keep your website’s URL and all of the SEO and organic traffic associated with it. Because if you don’t, then everything including your precious investment will go down the drain, which can be painfully expensive. The agency should be able to grant you access to your domain. Be on the lookout if an agency gives you the option to buy your domain as this can make or break your online digital presence.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stop paying monthly for benefiting from Google Analytics, Google My Business, and other free services.
  • Leads come from all corners of the world wide web and traditional marketing. Don’t be fooled by an agency claiming it’s all because of them.
  • You do not need to have multiple websites. Microsites hurt you more than help.
  • The best way to increase your web traffic is to focus on your main website development.
  • Stay on top of things by owning your website’s URL and having complete access to your website’s domain.

The bottom line is, agencies should never hold websites hostage. As an honest business owner yourself, you and your customers deserve better treatment. If you need a hand in stepping up your game with peace of mind, just visit our website or give us a call to learn more https://ad-ios.com/

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Becca

I’m a beagle mom obsessed with all dogs. You can typically find me on the weekends taking my pooch out to the park or driving around with our heads out the window. I’m also nerdy and spend much of my free time playing D&D and getting excited about the next Marvel movie.

Lisa

I am a God-fearing mother! I love me some cats. My family keeps me going, I love to be in the sun and just really enjoy life wherever I am and no matter the situation!

Crystal

Mom of 3 and Nana to one grandbaby so I’m obsessed with my little family whether it be at the baseball fields or on the lake my kids keep me on the go 24/7. Anytime we get away from the kids we love to travel.