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Advice for getting good visibility on the Internet

Being visible on the internet - that's what everyone with a website wants most of all, to stand out and be noticed. Everyone wants to grab some of the traffic that search engines can provide without having to pay for it.

What is required to appear on the internet?
To really be seen on the internet requires some special skills and in the wake of that it also often seems so complicated, lots of companies have emerged that offer more or less reputable services. This will help you determine whether you should hire those who contact you or not.

One day, your phone rings:
Ring, ring, ring.
When you answer, it's a company that wants to help you be more visible on the internet. They have the world's best offer “right now” and you'd better hire them now, because soon their capacity will be filled for this year. Do you recognize this?

And have you read articles in magazines where sad entrepreneurs express their anguish at having been tricked and received promises that have not been realized? Don’t worry, it won’t happen to you – not now when you have ammunition in the form of a few questions to ask the next time the phone rings.

Being more visible on the internet - all you need to do is to carefully evaluate the callers with these nine sneaky test questions:

1. Can you guarantee a top ranking on Google for all the keywords we want? If they answer yes, just hang up because no one can guarantee a top ranking in Google, except for paid ads.

2. Why should I hire you to be seen on the internet - do you have any special secret trick to make my site climb higher? If they say yes, hang up because special tricks are sooner or later always detected by the search engines and then you're history.

3. Do you as a search engine positioning company have specific contacts with the search engines which makes it easier for you to place a website higher? If they answer yes, hang up because no one has special contacts that will give them an advantage with the search engines.

4. Do you know the search engines' secret requirements for what they want from a website to be put up high in their rankings? If they answer yes, laugh and hang up the phone because this is the search engines' best kept secret. Search engine positioning is strictly about educated guesses, nothing else.

5. Do you use your own software to get a website to be seen on the internet? If they answer yes, hang up because you need a company that makes your application manually, just like the search engines want it.

6. How many search engines do you work with? If they answer hundreds, hang up because there are a maximum of 10, and by that I really mean 3, that are actually important.

7. If I hire you – do you need to install special software or anything else on my website to get it to appear on the internet? If they answer yes, say goodbye because there is no need for any special software to get the job done. The only reason there could be for this is not only to make the job easier for themselves, but to also make it harder for you to switch search engine positioning companies later. You will be locked into their solution.

8. Are you willing to sign a contract that you won't use illegal methods for search engine positioning, where I get some compensation if it's found out that you have done so? If the answer is no or if they hesitate, say goodbye. A couple of years ago there were several scandals in which search engine positioning companies used cross linkages between established businesses and porn sites to pull up the volume of traffic - lethal methods for credible companies to be linked up with.

9. Am I paying for a one-time solution or do you charge me per year? If the answer is that they have a subscription form, say goodbye. (It's common for small business owners who don't understand this to really believe that they must have a subscription to search engine optimization). Never sign up for any subscriptions. It's enough that they work on the page once and you pay for it once. When you need to change it and need more help, you can hire them again if you like.

Homework: Practice a suitably condescending smile to deliver over the phone the next time someone calls and tries to tricks you.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.