Chapter in this post:
For my customers in the area of search engine optimization, I always carry out free yellow pages entries. As a rule, nobody looks up these business directories, but the links to the domains help a little so that the customer pages are better placed by Google in the search.
Yes, you read that right. I'm used to the fact that some yellow pages want 100 euros for a permanent entry, but there are also a few business directory operators who are not satisfied with that and prefer to rip off customers.
Digi M… GmbH, based in Delaware (USA), calls up a total of 899 euros per month and obliges its “customers” directly with a 2-year contract, so that one comes to 1798 euros - net of course.
Now you can say that everyone is free to book what they want, because nobody has to buy a Maserati if they don't want one, but the way this company wins its customers is very questionable.
In this way, all possible companies are simply written to and received a "proof copy" as a PDF. Even if you've never entered them in the company's business directory, you'll get these spam emails. I strongly assume that you simply get the company's data from the imprint of domains that you can find online.
The bottom line is that this action is a cheek in itself, but the way in which you then get the job for the industry entry is particularly borderline.
As a company owner with some domains, I am on the company's radar myself and of course I also received one of your emails, so that I can report here first hand:
You receive an email asking you to look at and check the company data and then sign and return the "offer".
Dear Sir or Madam, Please check the information below to ensure that it is correct and, if necessary, correct or supplement your company-relevant data for the correct entry in our business directory and, if accepted, send the signed offer back to the fax number listed above.
At first glance, it sounds like just confirming that the data is so ok. Many company owners will skim the sheet, put their Klaus-Friedrich under it and fax it to the number mentioned.
What many will miss is this paragraph:
The registration fee for the business entry is € 899 net per year and the minimum term is two years.
By sending the sheet back, you have - in most cases unintentionally - booked a 2-year contract for a completely overpriced entry in the industry.
Why overpriced? Because you will never win even one customer through this business directory. If you look at the domain of the business directory in the SEO tool ahrefs you can see that it has about 86 visitors per month and only ranks somewhere on page 1 with the term "business listing". This might give the operators new (stupid) customers, but none of the registered companies will win any customers.
Anyone who actually wants to spend 1800 euros to generate new customers should find out more about search engine optimization. With this amount you can move much more in this direction and you even have more visitors in the long term.
If you have any questions about SEO, feel free to get in touch. I've been dealing with it for almost two decades and have already helped a number of companies on a small budget to get more customers.
As a little insider tip for SEO do-it-yourselfers, I can recommend two products that are definitely worth the money:
Both are only associated with one-off costs and ensure noticeably more visitors if you take the time to work off something from the lists.
The two links are affiliate links, but I bought both products myself and use them actively. You really are a recommendation.
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Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.