Do You OWN The Website That You’re Paying For?
It’s important to know what you are paying for. If you own an excellent elder care website, you own a valuable asset.
If you are paying for a website that you don’t own, for content that you don’t own, then you are just renting.
The difference between paying for a website and paying for a directory listing is sort of like the difference between buying a house and renting a house.
- If you are buying the house, then you own it and you can control what is done with it. you also receive the benefit from its increasing value as you invest in it over time.
- If you are renting the house, you don’t own it.
- If you stop paying the rent, you own nothing and you have to find a new house to rent.
- If you pay for improvements to the house, such as adding a room or building in kitchen shelves or cabinets, you have to leave them behind when you move out of the rented house and the house owner gets to keep them.
- The owner of the house can rent it out to someone else and benefit from the increase in value that you created by adding improvements to the house and performing maintenance on the house while you were renting.
How To Tell Whether You Are “Buying” or “Renting” Your Website
If you own your website:
There should be no wording such as “sponsored by” or anything like that on the website pages.
You should own the exclusive right to use the content on your website in any manner that you choose, and your website designer or services provider should not claim any ownership in that content. You should ask your website designer/provider whether they claim the right to use any of the content on your site for their own purposes or on other clients’ websites.
There should be a copyright notice in the footer of every page claiming exclusive copyright ownership in your name.
One other point – all the content on your website should be original and exclusive to your website. If it appears anywhere else, your site may be “rented” and not “owned”… and either way, your site content may be devalued by Google since it appears elsewhere. We’ll cover that topic in more detail in another article.
If you are “renting” your website:
There may be wording such as “sponsored by” or something like that on the website pages.
You don’t own the exclusive right to use the content on your website. You should ask your website designer/provider whether they claim the right to use any of the content on your site for their own purposes or on other clients’ websites.
Here’s Why This Matters
In order to protect your investment in your company’s SEO and online marketing, you should be paying for at least these two things:
- Ownership and control of the domain name under which your company’s website is indexed in Google’s database (and the other search engines’ databases).
- Ownership of the content, design, files and programming of your company’s website.
The problem with paying for a directory listing is that you probably don’t own either of those things.
- You do not have any ownership rights in the domain name owned by your SEO company. You don’t own your website’s Google ranking, your SEO company does.
- You may not own the content created for and displayed in your website, and the related design and programming used on your site.
Why does this matter? It may not matter, until:
- You decide that you want to change SEO companies
- Your SEO company decides that it wants to dramatically increase the monthly amount that you are paying or that it doesn’t want you as a client anymore.
- You decide to sell your company and find that your website, which is one of the company’s assets, really isn’t yours to sell.
Summary and Recommendations
What should you do? First of all, ask your current SEO company about this. See what they say.
If they say that what we’re saying is incorrect, ask them to put it in writing, both parts:
- Have them state, in writing, who owns the exclusive right to the content, design and programming on your site.
- Have them state, in writing, that you are better off with paying them to build the rankings for the directory listing instead of the search rankings for your own website.
We’re available to answer questions for you about this or any other elder care SEO topics, and we’d love to provide a free SEO assessment of your current internet presence, whether it’s a website, a directory listing, or anything else.
Photo by ♔ Georgie R
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