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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.  There’s wonderful paid services that can help (BeesWax being one of them).  There’s 2 common”services” available to new website owners that won’t do anything other than burn a hole in your pocket.  Let’s talk about them and separate myth from reality.


1) SEO scams


At BeesWax, we love SEO.  Good SEO.  We believe in the power of relevant, fresh content and longtail keywords.  We think you should list your URL on Google and localize your search results, if you have a brick and mortar shop.


Here’s what you shouldn’t do.  You shouldn’t pay money for this stuff.   


Everything we just mentioned, you can do, yourself, for free.  You don’t 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 you’re selling.  Think of keywords as listing tags.  Put a few (at most 20) into your page meta description (it’s 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 you’re stretched for time, make your homepage is descriptive and relevant to what you’re selling.  If you have about an hour a week, start a blog.  BeesWax’s simple blogging tools are built-in and powerful.  That’s keywording in a nutshell.  You didn’t have to pay a dime.  


The next evil SEO scam that refuses to die is directory listing and search engine listing scams.  We’ve 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, it’s 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 don’t list your site on Google, they’re 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.  Don’t do it!


The rest of the search traffic is pretty much just Yahoo/Bing  You can submit a URL here.  Again, free.  That’s it.  The remaining 5% of traffic consists of thousands of search engines you’ve never heard of and nobody ever uses.  Don’t waste your time on those.  


In fact, don’t waste your time with any scammer who promises you to get you listed on more than 2 search engines.  It’s a sure sign they’re up to no good.  


This isn’t to say there aren’t great SEO shops in the world.  There are.  But they’re 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.  They’ll never call you or send you a spammy email.  They don’t 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—it’s probably not what you think it is. We’re 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 don’t tell you is that they’re 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, there’s a big fee waiting for you. If you ever want to move on in any way, they’ll offer to sell your domain to you at a price that will make you see stars. You thought you bought it, but you didn’t. You’re a tenant farmer and they’re the mustachio-twirling landlord. Don’t fall for this horse hockey. Buy your name at the market rate (again, it’s only about 11 bucks a year) from a good company (GoDaddy, Namecheap, Hover), and be the rightful owner of your URL.

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