Buyer Beware: Two common scams that website owners face—
and how to avoid them
You want to do everything possible to help your Etsy shop grow online, and you may even be willing to pay some money to have it happen. Good for you. Theres wonderful paid services that can help (BeesWax being one of them). Theres 2 common”services” available to new website owners that wont do anything other than burn a hole in your pocket. Lets talk about them and separate myth from reality.
Heres what you shouldnt do. You shouldnt pay money for this stuff.
Everything we just mentioned, you can do, yourself, for free. You dont need to hire a tech guru to tell you what your keywords should be. Use Google Analytics if you have any doubt, but generally your keywords should be”handmade” and/or”vintage” , and short descriptions of what youre selling. Think of keywords as listing tags. Put a few (at most 20) into your page meta description (its right there on your dashboard), and be done with it.
Google pays way more attention to the content on your page than it does to the keywords you put in your metadata, so your priority here is writing some good descriptive content. If youre stretched for time, make your homepage is descriptive and relevant to what youre selling. If you have about an hour a week, start a blog. BeesWaxs simple blogging tools are built-in and powerful. Thats keywording in a nutshell. You didnt have to pay a dime.
The next evil SEO scam that refuses to die is directory listing and search engine listing scams. Weve seen clients shell out as much as $200 a month for this useless baloney. Stop paying the crooks! At least 70% of online searches are done on Google. Submitting a URL to Google takes 30 seconds, its free, and easy enough for your 5-year-old nephew to do before naptime. Why would anyone pay money for this?? Even better, if you dont list your site on Google, theyre almost certainly guaranteed to crawl your URL eventually anyways (Google is amazingly efficient at this stuff). Paying money to get your site crawled is like piling dollar bills onto your backyard grill and setting them ablaze. Dont do it!
The rest of the search traffic is pretty much just Yahoo/Bing You can submit a URL here. Again, free. Thats it. The remaining 5% of traffic consists of thousands of search engines youve never heard of and nobody ever uses. Dont waste your time on those.
In fact, dont waste your time with any scammer who promises you to get you listed on more than 2 search engines. Its a sure sign theyre up to no good.
This isnt to say there arent great SEO shops in the world. There are. But theyre not the ones who are cold calling you. The good ones and spend most of their time working on analytics, content creation, and landing page design. Theyll never call you or send you a spammy email. They dont need to.
2) Cheap domain name scams
At BeesWax, we support URL transfers for all legitimate domain name registrars (GoDaddy and Namecheap, for instance). These are companies that sell you a domain name at a flat, reasonable rate (usually 9-11 dollars/year).
if you find a website that promises you the URL of your choice for free (or 1.99/year), read the fine print very carefully—its probably not what you think it is. Were aware of several major companies (one of which rhymes with Deb-Snot-Mom) that make big promises to provide the cheapest domain names in town. What they dont tell you is that theyre renting those URLs to you at a”trial rate” that will go up astronomically within just a few weeks. If you ever want to transfer away from their dodgy services, theres a big fee waiting for you. If you ever want to move on in any way, theyll offer to sell your domain to you at a price that will make you see stars. You thought you bought it, but you didnt. Youre a tenant farmer and theyre the mustachio-twirling landlord. Dont fall for this horse hockey. Buy your name at the market rate (again, its only about 11 bucks a year) from a good company (GoDaddy, Namecheap, Hover), and be the rightful owner of your URL.