Recently, a customer renewed their phone book listing in their local area and got a “screaming deal” on it. The phone book rep included $600/month in web ads for the same price as they paid last year for just their phone book ads! This sounds awesome, doesn’t it?
Here is what they do:
1. They run your ad campaign
2. They develop a proxy site that is a copy of your website (for tracking purposes)
3. They give you a special phone number, called a tracking number that will tell them how many calls were received from their ads
Sounds great! They do all the work, you see all the reports, the phone starts ringing and the money comes rolling in…
But, my fellow small business owners – what happens when Google indexes their proxy site instead of yours and it comes up in organic searches? And what happens when Google sees that there are more than one phone number for your business?
The short answer is this: You are taking a risk with your Page Rank with Google. If you have ANY kind of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on your website, especially if you have paid money to have someone do it for you, then you might be diluting that work.
Google’s mysterious algorithm takes into account about a million things that include data integrity, reputation, keywords, links and more. A proxy site and tracking phone number, if indexed by Google, will deteriorate your internet “reputation” in Google’s eyes.
You have many options but two quick ones you might consider are:
1. Run your own AdWords or web ad campaigns.
2. Have the same firm who does your SEO or website run your campaign (or a company with SEO AND AdWords experience).
If you do decide to go forward and have the phone book people run your campaign, then make sure they use NO FOLLOW code on their landing page or proxy site.
Contact me if you have any questions!