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Facts vs. Brash Sales: a little Insight into the SEO & Online Marketing Scene

Does this situation sound familiar to you? You are at an event (some are taking place again), you get into conversation with various people, you network and have a positive exchange with like-minded people. You might also exchange ideas with an online marketing expert about various online marketing and SEO topics.


If you are not an online marketer yourself and have a website of your own, it is quite likely that the online marketing "expert" will chuck sales arguments right into your face - some more, some less aggressive ones. You might find this uncomfortable and sip your glass of wine before finally running off.


online marketing networking

In the digital environment, the reach is of course much greater: It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to receive spam mails from online marketers they don't know, informing them that this or that would not work on their website or that the website would not even be listed in the Google search engine - without even checking out the website beforehand.


This scam is often even used to sell a website analysis, which should show whether there are any errors on the website at all (which of course speaks against the website error statements in the email altogether).


What do you think how the result of such an "analysis" looks like? Especially when it fully automatically arrives in your mailbox after just a few minutes. Hello scammers. (This is a sales method that's even taught in coachings here and there.)


Sometimes certain error messages are correctly (well, coincidentally) spotted, but mostly it's just a sales tactic to scare people - in most cases completely unjustified. In our opinion, this is a brash, impolite and, above all, unserious method to get new customers.


email marketing

Rarely, but about every four or five years, it also affects some of our website clients - funnily enough, always at the same time within a few hours, before it's quiet again for several years. Some of our website clients forward those spam mails to us and (understandably) don't know what to do with them. Each time it involves untrue statements and claims that are proven false. Of course, our website clients understand very quickly that it's a scam - yes, we have smart clients :-) - but it's still as annoying as a mosquito on a tropical night. We then create a short screen recording to reassure the client and show that all the "errors" the online marketing "expert" addresses, do not exist and are fictitious.


Proven facts beat aggressive sales - the truth always wins in the end.



BUT WHY SO AGGRESSIVE?


But why are some online marketers so nervous? Certainly, there are always such and such - but the greed for profit really makes some people go very (well, too) far.


In our opinion, the reason behind that aggression is another one: Artificial intelligence, machine learning and smart, digital algorithms are on the rise and are optimising the performance of many advertising campaigns. And yes, the Internet giant Google has also brought even more acceptance into this sensitive topic with machine learning and the release of Google Analytics 4 ("GA4").


online marketing with artificial intelligence

Some online marketers feel obviously forced to act increasingly aggressively, because intelligent 360° solutions and more and more artificial intelligence are making their existence less and less justified.



SEO PERFORMANCE OF RENOWNED AGENCIES


In the research for this blog article, we dug into the deepest depths of the SEO, keyword and ranking analyses of various well-known advertising, design and online marketing agencies. The analysis results are all based on key figures that were evaluated on the independent SEO platform by Neil Patel (the SEO guru par excellence - and no, this is not a paid advertising link) for the location "Germany".


website seo and google ranking

The result surprised us a little bit. The most renowned design and advertising agencies in Germany hardly rank on the 1st Google page for keywords that are most relevant for them and have a high search volume (e.g. "logo design"), and are far behind in the ranking.


These agencies rank for.....drum roll.....the names of their clients! It's important to mention that these are not backlinks, but ordinary text on the website in which the customer is mentioned. Undoubtedly, well-known agencies have well-known clients - it kind of reminds us of the chicken and egg principle.



QUALITY BEFORE QUANTITY


Once again it shows: SEO is important, but not everything. Not even the best or most renowned design and advertising agencies in Germany manage to get into the top Google rankings for the relevant topics and keywords, despite the greatest SEO knowledge and a high marketing budget.


SEO is not a sprint but a marathon that requires endurance and time. Even the big, renowned online marketing agencies are increasingly distancing themselves from "the main thing is high keyword density and technical tricks" and are marching in big steps towards holistic approaches like "regular quality content".



SEO SERVICES FOR OUR CLIENTS

In general, all websites we create are indexed in Google within 1 minute after going live. Our SEO setup service is included in all our packages and covers the most common SEO basics. From a technical point of view, the website has a good basis for a good Google ranking and can be read and indexed by Google without any issues.


Our SEO advanced service goes even further, optimises the entire website even more deeply (on-page search engine optimisation), also in terms of Google Rich Snippets.


Our SEO services are continuously adapted and improved to get the best value for our website clients. But it should also be said here: These are technical basics that do not replace good content on the website. Remember the marathon!



FACTS UND NUMBERS FROM OUR WEBSITE CLIENTS

We like facts and transparency. The following images give you an insight into the SEO performance for our website clients that booked our SEO services:



The graphs show by what percentage the performance of various SEO parameters in the same country, in the same industry and in the same period of time outperforms that of competitors. The larger the blue area in the graph, the better the performance compared to the competitor.


A quick insight into the SEO performance of websites that have not booked our SEO services:



(Source: Wix dashboard, benchmark analysis)



ONLINE MARKETING WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Our website clients who want to advertise on Facebook and Instagram benefit from machine learning and advertising that is enriched with artificial intelligence and optimised fully automatically. The artificial intelligence gets the maximum out of the advertising budget, executes all tests independently and in real time in order to permanently improve success on Facebook and Instagram.


This way, the online marketing budget can be adjusted flexibly, our clients are not tied to any restrictive contracts and they save a lot of money on top of that.


The advantages of artificial intelligence are impressive.



OUR EXPERIENCES WITH SEO, SEA & ONLINE MARKETING

We have invested a 5-digit sum in advertising, marketing and sales for HCG corporate designs over the years and have been able to gain a lot of valuable experience. In the early years, a lot was done on our own (for budgetary reasons), later this was outsourced to online marketing agencies in order to optimise the ROI (return on investment). After all, we, too, only want to work with professionals!


Our conclusion: We should not have done certain things. But marketing is always such a thing, you know. There is no magic formula that works the same for everyone. Some sales strategies even backfired on us (funnily, the most expensive ones). And yes, a lot is measurable. But a lot is also not measurable. After all these experiences, it would sometimes have been better to listen to our own gut feeling than to some strategists from outside. But that's life.


In conversations with several entrepreneurs who we are friends with (from small to medium-sized companies to big global players), we got a similar picture: “Don't even start with Google Ads unless you have a budget of 3,000 to 5,000 euros per month and can run those campaigns for several months in a row. The result for us: The ROI (return on investment) was unfortunately only a small fraction of the money we invested.”


Take some time to mentally digest that. It was hard for us too.



CONCLUSION

Different things work differently for different businesses. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.


At HCG corporate designs, we believe in great content, a high level of quality and service, continuous SEO optimisation on our own website, organic backlinks, interesting blog articles, a strong presence on social media and, of course, recommendations from our clients, who probably are the best advertisement for us.


In short: It is a colorful bouquet of many things - and has been for 12 years so far. Remember the marathon! ;-)

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