Here’s a fact you probably already knew; businesses no matter how large, are looking for ways to save money.
As a business owner, I understand the need for cutting costs in order to stay afloat, but what I don’t understand is why so many landscaping and lawn care businesses are willing to buy cheap services in order to save money. One of the corners cut by most lawn care businesses has to do with paying for online marketing. They buy cheap services and are subsequently surprised by the lack of results, the negative toll these services take on their reputation, or by the fact that their business websites have been blacklisted by search engines.
As a business owner, I know it takes a lot of startup capital to get a business going. One of the main areas in which you need to invest for a startup is the company’s website and everything it entails—designing, launching, maintaining, and marketing it. Why take all the time, effort, and money to build a website and then buy a cheap, nearly useless, online marketing strategy?
If you’ve given your blood, sweat, tears, and best daylight hours to build a lucrative landscaping/lawn care business, then it deserves better than cheap online marketing services. Along the same lines, bear in mind that an online marketing business that offers cheap services might be looking to scam you out of your hard earned money.
So why is it a bad idea to pay for a cheap web marketing strategy? Here are a few reasons:
You Get What You Pay For
This old adage still holds true today. “You get what you pay for” means that if you pay little money, you should expect to get cheap services.
Example #1: When you pay for cheap link building campaigns, you get upfront and personal with Google Penguin.
On April 24th, online juggernaut Google released their new anti-spam algorithm. This algorithm, generally known as Google Penguin, is designed to sniff out link spam, target it, and eradicate it. That means that if the marketing company you hired uses blackhat spam link building strategies, your website may be eliminated from all of Google’s search results, which if you rely on the internet to get new clients, means NO MORE NEW CLIENTS. Your landscaping business deserves better than that, doesn’t it?
Example #2: When you pay for cheap online content you stand the chance to meet Google Panda face to furry face.
In 2009, the idea of using written online copy to increase Google rankings shifted into overdrive. Companies hired non-native English speaking ‘writers’ to create content, stuff their pages with keywords meant to drive Google spiders to their sites, and post those articles in article databases all over the web. That was a popular and useful tool for some companies, but many people looking for factual and useful information online were met with link after link after link of barely coherent keyword ‘mashed potatoes.’
The February 2011 launch of Google Panda put an end to poorly-written, keyword stuffed, content junk piles. That means that if the marketing company you hire bases their content marketing strategy on overflowing article databases, you might find yourself with a pile of unusable copy that cost you hundreds of dollars.
Cheap online content is a waste of money, but if you create a blog or forum and hire competent and talented copywriters or bloggers to write your online content, you’ll soon find that your website has become more popular than it used to be.
Example #3: When you pay for cheap web design and development, you discover the ugly world of errors, lax security, poor conversion, and aesthetically offensive websites.
The goal of your landscaping or lawn care business is to make homes and businesses pleasing to the eye, to add curb appeal and give visitors a good impression of the business or homeowner. Designing and developing a website is no different – you want your website to be pleasing to the eye, so that people who visit it get a good impression of your business and, in time, come to want to stay a while (hire you to make their lawns look amazing). Not only that, you want visitors to be able to navigate your website – they click an aptly named tab and are taken to the appropriate page.
Any cheap ‘marketing strategy’ company can buy a domain name and Frankenstein a website by using the services of a website building business. However, a high quality marketing company will have in-house website designers and developers, who will design and develop a website that caters to your tastes, business needs, and budget (hopefully NOT cheap).
Do you want your website to look bad, crash constantly, leak vital information, and get you kicked out of the search pages of Google results? No? Well, spend a little extra on higher quality marketing.
Example #4: When you pay for cheap SEO (search engine optimization), you get slapped in the face by Black Hat SEO strategies, over-optimization, and no results to speak of.
I agree that high quality SEO can be expensive, but paying for cheap SEO service, typically offered by Black Hat SEO companies that use less than scrupulous means to market your business, can turn into a website killer. Real SEO takes more than a few days to see results, so when a marketing company promises fast results for cheap pay, you need to keep walking.
A high quality, and higher cost SEO company will take a little longer to get you results, but they will use only the most effective and up-to-date methods to get the results you need – and you don’t have to worry about Google looming over you, ready to strike.
Example #5: When you pay for cheap SEM, you inadvertently get to learn all about banned accounts and fake followers.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are incredibly useful tools when it comes to marketing your landscaping or lawn care business. Using social media as a marketing tool is easy, right? You just set up a business account, right? Well, if you have time to pour into maintaining the business page, monitor comments, answer comments, provide updated statuses, and run a working ad campaign, then by all means do so, but you might want to spend the money on a high quality SEM professional to do the updating, Tweeting, and acquiring of fans.
Can cheap marketing professional or company do a good job with social media marketing? Chances are they will take as much time setting up and monitoring your social media accounts as you would, while also getting PAID for it. Also, they are less likely to care what your statuses and comments say about you, your business, or your reputation and that might result in your account getting banned.
In today’s social platform driven world, if your business can’t be found on Facebook or Twitter, it is invisible – spend a little extra money getting REAL friends, followers, and page subscribers, so that your business actually builds a reputation through social media.
These five examples of ‘what you get for what you pay’ are just scraping at the top of the iceberg. The bottom line is that when you pay for cheap marketing for your landscaping or lawn care business, you are more likely to get ripped off, than you are to get Google-ranked.
Take some time, save up some money, and pay top prices for high quality link building, content writing, SEO, web design and development, and SEM. The cost may sting in the beginning, but once you see the website visitors rolling in and the conversion rates climbing, you too will understand what I understand – you get what you pay for.