Marketers will use every trick in the book to mislead wide-eyed contractors for financial gain. Here are some of the most common ones.
#1 The Shell Trick
The shell trick started when “real SEO” quit being done. This occurrence took place around 2014 when Google’s algorithm raised its demands for what it took to rank a webpage online for relevant keywords. Fast forward to 2019, and implementing quality SEO is more difficult than ever. As a result, marketers have offered packages that breakdown costs into different shells. They will say that SEO costs x amount, mapping costs x amount, PPC costs x amount, etc. There is no all-inclusive packages with the shell trick which is its inherent problem. Big marketing firms will shame customers who are unwilling to invest in each shell. When SEO is done right, it includes all aspects of it and doesn’t need to be broken down into a bunch of different categories in its pricing structure.
#2 The Glorified Hosting Fee
Marketing companies often present their services as a detailed procedure involving in-depth website management and optimization. The reality for many is that their payment is a glorified hosting fee. You receive a decent-looking template website that is rarely worked on and are then sent monthly reports generated by 3rd party tools like SEMRush, AHRefs, MOZ, or others. Many of these reports are confusing but do enough to appease the average HVAC contractor for the time being. Not because the HVAC contractor is gullible or unintelligent but because they are being mislead by professional manipulators. Worse yet, big marketing institutions will shame companies who question the results of their services.
#3 Blackbox Billing
If you pay $5,000 to invest in a PPC campaign, many marketers will hold on to $3,000 of it, claiming that it is going towards your other parts of the shell in the aforementioned shell trick. Since you pay the marketer directly, and not Google Ads, you are at their mercy. There is no transparency involved with these transactions but it does cause HVAC contractors to get screwed out of their hard earned money. If you ask why you aren’t performing well, many marketing companies will shame you into spending more. The worst part is that the $3K being redistributed does not actually go towards quality work (in most cases) so there is really no advantage whatsoever to working with these kinds of SEO firms in 2019.
HVAC Webmasters: A Transparent Alternative
At HVAC Webmasters, we do SEO the right way. Never once have we utilized any of the tactics listed above, nor have we shamed contractors into believing that their lack of spending is the reason why marketing services lack quality. As an all-inclusive SEO agency, we perform everything from custom website design to full search engine optimization, which is all included in our SEO package. We even do custom coding, schema markup, content writing and marketing, as well as regular site work. Having worked with HVAC companies for the better part of the decade, we have built a great rapport with the industry and understand how to best market those services.