Hi everyone, since this issue came up again today, I wanted to do a quick two-minute talk about it, just to try to clear up some confusion that people tend to have.
So, this issue is between renting and owning your website or your domain (or both). In today’s instance, there was a gentleman who called in and he was looking for us to do some SEO work— specifically some backlinks in some directories for him— which is no problem. We do that all day, every day. Very easy. But, in this particular case, he let us know that he was working with Yodle (now, it’s part of Web.com) to host this website, so we knew immediately that he does not own the domain and he does not own the website. And so, that’s gonna create problems into the future. As of today, no big deal. We can easily put these links out there and try to help him out, but he’s gotta understand that that’s gonna have consequences– whether it’s a year from now, two years from now, or longer in the future– whenever he decides that it’s time to make a change, he’s gonna have to deal with the consequences of today’s decision.
So, there’s a couple of scenarios that could play out if we promote the site that he’s gotten out– the phone number, the URL, everything— no problem. He’ll probably see some uptick in calls, things like that. But, if at any point in the future he decides it’s time to own his website, and he’s gonna go out and make a new one and start promoting that, he’s got all this other conflicting information out that is gonna have to be cleaned up and dealt with.
Now, another option is he could scrap this site now and immediately move to an ownership model, and that’s fine too. It just means up-front cost at the moment, and it isn’t what he was preferring to do, but that would be your best long-term set up ’cause there won’t be any conflicts later on.
Or potentially, the third option could be going down the paper click route, right? Because if he’s just paying for traffic, it doesn’t really matter whether he owns the site or not, it’s something he’s gonna get benefit now and it’s gonna be gone later, and that’s fine. It’s just… It’s gonna cost a little more and there’s no residual value.
So, when we initially figured out this rental thing was in play, we just wanted to make sure to flag to him that if he does decide to do all these back links and invest in this rental site, he’s in a situation where specifically with the vendor he’s chosen, he’s very unlikely to be able to retain ownership of a domain when he decides to leave. He’s gonna have to know that it’s almost like renting an apartment and deciding you’ve gotta have granite counter tops, so you pay all your own money to do that. You’re not gonna be able to take that when you leave, and what’s a little bit worse, (and isn’t captured by that analogy) is that in this case, more than likely that domain is gonna be reused on someone else’s campaign. So, he’s gonna leave, go out and get his own site, and then someone else in his market (A competitor of his!) is gonna come in and benefit from all that he’s invested in that domain.
So, that’s a bit of a concern that has to be weighed. I don’t know what the right answer is. It’s really up for him to decide for us, it doesn’t matter, but I raise this point because for one: On its surface value, I want people to understand the consequences of these decisions. But more importantly, it’s just important that you understand if your marketing provider isn’t looking to the future to warn you of particular problems like this or possible pitfalls you might face in the future, you have to just question a little bit— how much do they really care about your success? So, just consider that, make sure that your providers are doing that for you, and if they’re not, maybe look to make a change or at least pressure them to do that for you.
If there’s any information that you’d like on us, obviously our website is a good resource (prospectgenius.com) or give us a call anytime. Reach out, we’re always happy to talk to you. Even if we’re not the right fit, we’ll tell you that, and that’s okay. We’ll always just be glad we got to meet you, so until next time— thanks for taking the time.