'Niche marketing' site experts can really hurt you
Most companies know how hard it is to find a web design company to help promote them, and definitely to make them visible online without costing an arm and a leg. Many businesses try several times before finally finding someone who can actually help them.
The main reason it is so difficult to find a good web company is simply down to over-saturation in a very limited market.
As I have written before, unfortunately all a person needs is to have a computer, know some tech jargon, and download free templates, and they can call themselves a web designer. It is very hard for business owners to determine how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
One big issue I have come across several times recently is a surge in self-avowed niche marketing experts.
The niche marketing idea is simple. You pick a business field, for example dentistry, create sites for a few dentists, then either mass-email or visit dental seminars and conventions and tell the attendees how you are a dental practice marketing expert.
Unfortunately, the people who present themselves as this type of expert often have little or no practical experience, or qualifications in that field; they just see that area as a good potential money maker.
This is purely why the niche marketers usually attach themselves to high income fields, like medical and legal.
Furthermore, it is easy for people to set themselves up, as there is often very little start-up cost. There are places online which will sell them ready-made templates with pre-written content for almost any field.
The sad thing is that while this can be a cash cow for the niche person or company, this is not the case for their clients.
The main issue with niche marketing is that because the marketing experts often have limited experience in that field, any content is short, generic, and has nothing to differentiate your business from hundreds or even thousands of their other clients.
Just this week, we have been approached by two local dental practices in identical situations, but different dental website marketing expert companies.
Both were concerned that their websites were not helping their business. Sadly, in one case, their previously very good search results had already been affected. Where they had been #1 just three months ago for searches, they are now falling.
Apart from both sites looking like mass produced templates, another very simple check showed why they were dropping.
In both cases I went to random pages from their services menu. I copied the first sentence of each and pasted it into a Google search. Pages of results came up for other dental web site using exactly that same wording, even the smiling people pictures were the same.
In real terms, this can spell disaster for the client's site. The search engines see your site as having nothing original to say, nothing to make it stand out from the many other identical business sites. As such, they will downgrade your results accordingly.
This is why we do not niche market, nor do we write clients' content for them. It takes skill and experience to write great marketing copy, and simply put, you shouldn't trust it to unqualified people. We encourage our clients to write their own content or work with a writer who is a true expert in writing about their field.
If your business is approached by such a company, it pays to check them out. Visit some of their clients' sites and do the clone content test I did. Also, see if you can even find that client on Google for simple searches like 'dentists in their city.'
If you have concerns with your web presence, now is the perfect time to look into our WebUpdate system sites, which take advantage of advanced marketing, SEO and promotion features to give your business the best competitive edge online.
What our clients are saying ...
It has been a pleasure working with you on our new and improved site. We have received many, many compliments on the design and user friendliness of the site.
The biggest compliment to your company is that within two hours of the new site going live we received our first mobile enquiry.
With the new site, the client was able to send an inquiry directly from her phone with one click.
I will certainly recommend your company to our business partners.
Thank you again for a job well done!
- Ann Christie, Vice President
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design,
the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.
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