It’s no secret there are many digital and search marketing companies that are really just a scam. From fake reviews to promising position ranking on a search engine, some companies will promise the world only to not deliver results. Worse yet, others break search engine and internet regulations and put your website, email, and business at risk for blacklisting or other penalties. Recently, Google provide a list of five best practices for working with third parties along with a list of common deceptive behaviors. You can find the full list here.
Below are a few items we thought every funeral home, cremation society, or cemetery owner should be aware of:
- First and foremost, Google admits that working with a third party can provide added value to your company. “While Google My Business is free, third parties often charge a fee to manage your listing. They can provide valuable services like keeping your listing up to date, providing you with customer insights, answering your questions, and responding to reviews.”
- Google warns against any type of guarantee in rankings. If a company is guaranteeing an increase in rankings then it is probably too good to be true. “It is not possible for third parties to influence the order in which your business appears on Google Search or Maps.”
- Google warns against people claiming to work for Google. Client often tell us, “Someone from Google has called me and says that my business data is incorrect! Should I call them back to fix it?” More likely than not, these are actually search companies posing as Google. Now, Google is providing questions to ask spammers: “If a third-party representative claims to be employed by Google, ask for their name and request that they email you from their @google.com (not @gmail.com) email address.” And keep in mind—if a company has to get your business by posing as another company, how trustworthy can they be as a provider?
- Google advises business owners to trust experience. MKJ Marketing is an industry-leading marketing company that works only with businesses in end-of-life care industries. Doing this makes us extremely knowledge about the specific needs of your company. We’re also a Google-Certified Partner, with successful digital campaigns for funeral homes, crematories, cemeteries, and death care vendors across the U.S. “Companies that have managed hundreds of businesses on Google are more likely to have expertise with Google My Business. Before you hire a third party, you should talk to them to understand their previous experience managing businesses on Google.”
- Finally, Google asks business owners to be selective. “Ask these questions when selecting a third party to work with:
Have they managed business listings before?
Have they managed businesses with similar budgets or target audiences?
What other services can they provide to grow your business?
Are you wondering whether you’re doing enough with digital marketing? Have you been approached by, or done business with, a search marketing company that you’re concerned may not be ethical? Ask us for a free audit of your website and digital brand—we’d be happy to talk to you about how we can help.