by Lorraine Hart
President Ideal Consulting Services, Inc.
516 826-6725, www.IdealConsulting.net

With the advent and growth of the World Wide Web many companies and services have been jumping on the band wagon. There is undoubtedly opportunity on the web, but there are also significant land mines out there. Before you jump in or if you are already in, before you commit to some of the promises being made, please use just a little caution.

Recently I have come across a number of situations where promises have turned into problems. Following are some cautions.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t good. Beware of the free website offers. In the cases I have seen, the web developer either links you to your competitors or ends up charging you a huge monthly fee to maintain the free website. I have seen fees as high as $281 per month for a free website.

Regarding linking to other websites, I just want to say be careful. Links are or can be good, especially links to you, but beware of linking to a site where your prospects can find your competitors.

If you are new to the web or if you are expanding your presence on the web, make sure you own your own domain name (that is your address on the web). Just because you pay for it doesn’t mean you own it – so just check it out. Sometimes a third party will offer do get you more visibility on the web. Some of these companies will purchase a different domain name, duplicate your website and then send prospects to that website. If you decide to cancel your services with that company, they own the new domain name that has been getting all that traffic and has built up a presence on the web.

A similar situation occurs when your web developer has your website directed to their website. It is common for web developers to use this while they are developing your site, but once your website is completed, it should be found directly on the internet, not as a “sub-domain” of another website. To find out if this is the case with you simply type in your website and then look in the bar at the top when your website comes up. If it starts with anything other than your website name you are part of another’s site.

I am seeing more and more promises from companies to get you top listing on the web. I am also seeing promises of key-word clicks. Some of the services are excellent, but unfortunately many of the services are not what you think they are. The one many of my clients have been telling me about is the offer to get high placement or promise that you they will be listed “first or second, etc.” Often this is not quite what you think it is. Instead what they are promising is that you will be first or second in their directory. This, of course means that your prospects have to first find their directory and then they can find you.

Earlier I mentioned duplicate websites. There are a number of ways that this is being done and an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages is beyond the scope of this article. With the internet becoming the place to go for information and because of constantly changing rules it is difficult for anyone to stay fully informed. However there are certain cautions that you must know about.

For more information, please email or call Ideal Consulting.

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