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Roseville, Calif.- The good news is that Internet advertising can be a highly effective addition to your marketing mix. With the rapid decline of print advertising, many companies are looking for quality Internet alternatives to spur business in this challenging economic climate.

Beware, the bad news – it’s not always so easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys. While there are legitimate companies out there offering and providing legitimate local advertising services, there has been an significant uptick in reports of businesses preying on local companies in Placer County.

Here are a few quick tips you can use to protect yourself from unscrupulous marketers hawking Internet advertising:

  • Check the Better Business Bureau (some of the firms pitching ads have terrible ratings)
  • Verify if the company simply acts are a middleman using Search Engine Pay Per Click Tools
  • Verify how they rank in LOCAL organic searches
  • Learn the difference between organic searches and sponsored links
  • Did the salesman have to pay a multi-level marketing fee just to be able to sell you ads?
  • Ask and verify if the salespersons has ANY REAL Internet advertising and sales experience
  • Ask what the company’s track record is? Are they brand new? What local presence online do they have?
  • Don’t fall for slick sales pitches if they can’t be backed up with concrete evidence.

Here’s an example of just one of the methods we’re seeing hawked in Placer County:

  • Business calls and guarantees you a top spot on Google for a monthly fee $$
  • Using their OWN Google Ad Sense account, they create an ad for your business
  • They over-inflate their bid (temporarily to gain one of the higher placement)
  • This temporarily provides your ad with a top placement on Google sponsored links (not organic search results!)
  • Sell their services with an outrageous markup based on what they falsely suggest is their proprietary insider system.
  • They start collecting your fee and then drop the bid to increase their profits and drop your rankings

One of the most important things you can do in addition to the above suggestions is to contact other LOCAL business that are using the same services. Call a few up and inquire about the credibility, support and results of the service being offered.

With just a little due diligence, you’ll save your business both time and money from the companies just looking for a quick buck.

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