Every time you receive an unsolicited email sent by a self-described SEO expert from a faraway land promising to unlock the secrets of search engine optimisation – beware. Odds are the helpful sounding new service is email spam and an SEO scam.
OK, it’s not exactly like the Nigerian prince who emails you in broken English to explain that you can get rich quick by helping him transfer millions of dollars out of his war-torn home country.
Instead, the all-too-familiar SEO scam goes something like this:
An “SEO expert” or “online strategist” emails you with news that he or she has analysed your website and noticed that it is underperforming. They often mention unspecified “problems” or “errors” that are causing your website to underperform – but don’t worry, there’s good news.
They say they can easily rocket you to the top of Google search results for your most important keywords.
You’re told you’ll gain more traffic and more online customers if you just reply to the person. The Problem is, the vast majority of these unsolicited emails are about as legitimate as the Nigerian prince and his royal fortune.
So how did the SEO spammer find me?
If you’ve received one, or more likely many, of these emails recently, chances are excellent that it was not a personal note to you but rather a piece of spam generated in bulk by a software program.
The messages may range from grammatically ridiculous to personalised and legitimate sounding pitches. In reality, it is almost certain that no one has spent any time analysing your website.
The usual strategy is that if you contact the sender to discuss web services or search engine optimisation, they will run a quick analysis of your site and then try to sell you a contract for SEO that builds zero long-term value.
Though you may have received a personalised email with your name and website address, the message(s) most likely arrived at your inbox through the magic of automation.
The software systems behind the scam are capable of using publicly available data to generate lists of websites, website owners and contact emails; then add the boilerplate text and send out the mass mailings. Alternatively, your contact info may have been on a list purchased by the spammer. With this minimal labour scenario, even a negligible conversion rate can yield viable leads.
But the SEO spam email seems tailored to me?
The email sender may greet you by your first name and might even identify your website by name. However, you’ll notice that most of the rest of the message is generic. And though it is common for prospects to be told that their site is failing to rank for important keywords, the keywords are never usually identified.
It also may seem tailored to you because, as a smart online businessperson, you are acutely aware of the importance of search engine optimisation and very interested in using SEO strategies to boost your web traffic and then turn those visitors into leads and customers.
It may also seem tailored to you because, who wouldn’t want to have their website pop up on page one when people search for their products or services on Google.
The easiest emails to identify as fake are the poorly written ones or those that sprinkle in lots of extra hyphens where hyphens don’t normally appear. However, others are actually well written and may even make reference to actual ranking factors.
It is very common for the spammers to conclude their spam pitches with the line, “PS: I am not spamming.” Three of the most obvious red flags are:
The correspondence is unsolicited.
The company is not named.
You receive an identical pitch from multiple senders.
Humorous evidence of the generic nature of these spam emails comes from Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s web spam team, who posted a message received by a colleague at Google, offering to make “a few changes (aesthetically and/or SEO-wise) to make your site convert more visitors into leads and to get it placed higher in the organic search results.” If this email came from an actual human being, he or she must be a very stupid one (“Duh, Dear Google – If you pay us, we’ll help Google rank higher on Google”).
Here at Acceler8 Media, we get these pitches all the time even though we publicly identify ourselves as offering a range of SEO services. As such, any SEO consultant who made a quick visit to our website would realise that emailing us was a waste of time.
Our clients regularly get these emails too, and sometimes ask us if they are worth looking into.
Should I consider SEO services from an unsolicited email?
No. No. No. Just ignore, delete and report it as spam.
Not only are such offers not worth investigating, they actually serve to undermine the credibility of legitimate SEO service providers. The black hat SEO spammers want to scare you into paying for a service they invariably never deliver.
Far better to stay focused on sensible, measurable SEO goals by working with a legitimate provider.
One reason these scams are still operating is that SEO strategy is complex and, done right, quite time-consuming as well. Due to the power of wishful thinking, it’s not surprising that some of us may be tempted to respond to such an email. But there are no easy fixes or short cuts when it comes to ranking well on Google.
If you’re still not convinced, ask yourself the following question: Do I really think that hiring someone I don’t know, who reached me through an unsolicited spam email, is a wise investment in SEO strategy?
Real SEO – part art, part science – is a painstaking process that takes time and cannot be automated. Contact us today if you’d like to talk more about the crucial role of search engine optimisation in a successful digital marketing program.
Everyone should be familiar with how important SEO is for business. The goal is to enhance your visibility, traffic, and rankings within search results of Google. The ever-changing market and Search Engine trends have brought something new to the fore – Google Local SEO.
Google local SEO is where you use your My Business page on Google to appear on the first page of search results for your services as a mapped location.
There are basically three reasons people use the internet: for entertainment, solving a problem, or looking for service or business. Your business or someone else’s can be the solution to someone’s problem.
With some hard work and SEO optimisation, you could rank well in the search listings. The best way to rank well is using Google local places. Along with SEO, digital marketing services and campaigns, a simple Google Places listing boosts your online presence proving to be invaluable to business – Google Local SEO.
GOOGLE LOCAL SEO IN 2019:
Google maps help in directions, and if you know about Google maps marketing, you are already familiar with the concept of Google places. When your business is searched, it adds a box to the right side of the search results displaying all the necessary details. Google Local SEO shows on the Google maps. The most beneficial aspect about Google local SEO is the improved search ranking.
Google is the key place people go to look for answers. 3.5 billion searches happen every single day. On average, approximately 97% of consumers browse for local businesses online. Through both organic and paid searches. Google can substantially impact your brand awareness and customer traffic.
With increasing competition and businesses popping up, the need to know about businesses in the area has become a necessity in 2019. Google places let us see what we need near us. Google Local allows your business to be verified on Google places. It gives trust and confidence to Google that you are a legitimate and trustworthy company that provides its services.
The aim of all businesses is to be ranked among legitimate and trusted companies.
Be found in local search
Businesses need to create a place for themselves in the Google Local results with the growing competition and keep up with it. Google Places help you in creating a true online presence. It is an online tool allowing your local businesses to be listed on Google Maps and display information about businesses to their customers.
Take an example and search for a specific restaurant. You will see that the left side of the browser shows all the details – address, contact number, opening hours, website and direction to the place. No business, be it retail, dining or anything would want to ignore the chance of getting listed.
Google maps can make or break your access and reach to potential customers. Apart from getting listed, using Google Local SEO can display reviews of your services as well.
Local SEO Is Key For Mobile Traffic
Anybody with a smart device or any platform can access Google maps. According to stats, 85% of small setups and businesses value local traffic, but only half of the companies have updated local listings online. Therefore, the majority of firms that have been checked do not have correct business information.
With the help of Google local, customers can find you easily and much faster. Often, Facebook or Google business pages are used by customers to find solutions to their problem. When you optimise each of your online profiles, it contributes to your overall Google local SEO.
When search engines like Google see the use of consistent information across the online platforms, it is taken as a high ranking factor for their search results. Google Local pages for businesses often appear at the top of Google’s search results page.
What Does Local SEO Do For Your Business?
Optimising your Google Local SEO not only ranks you in top search results but secures and protects your online business brand identity.Read More
As the owner of a small-sized or micro-business, creating a website for your operations is critical. Even though you are working on a minute scale, all of your clients and prospective clients will likely be internet users. You’re going to need a platform that they can use to learn more about your products and services, inform their purchase decisions, and even complete important transactions. Understanding this, you may be asking the question, “What is a self build website?”. Following are several important facts about these platforms that can help you determine whether or not they’re right for you.
This is a website that you will be building on your own. The good news is that there are a number of companies that have broken down, simplified and streamlined this process. As a result, people are able to create the functional platforms they need for their businesses, even though they might not have a lot of IT knowledge or experience.
Every site needs a hosting service. This is the company that will make your site go live. When choosing a hosting provider, find out about its level of overall reliability. Most companies advertise themselves as having 99 percent uptime or higher, but the reality is that most of their website and services go down at some point. You can read ratings and reviews for these companies to know more about their actual performance and to see whether or not this lines up with their marketing claims.
Many hosting companies offer tools to assist their clients in these efforts, particularly when purchasing hosting packages. In fact, you may be able to find an all-inclusive hosting plan that includes a domain name and many other resources and features that your site is ultimately going to need.
There are also third-party services that offer comprehensive self-build tools for ambitious business owners. These are often the most cost-effective choice given that you will not need to work with any additional providers. You can easily calculate the total upfront cost of these projects.
When using services that specialise in the provision of self-build tools, however, you should know that you will likely be choosing from a very limited range of potential site designs. Even though there will be a number of templates at your disposal, it won’t be long before you run into a website that looks almost exactly like your own.
For company owners with unique web pages, it is generally best to work with web design companies. You are not going to get the same level of originality, aesthetics, or overall site functionality by attempting to do this on your own. Design companies have in-house teams that can handle ever aspect of this process with expertise. Using these entities, however, is going to be far more costly than working on your own.
Another thing that you have to think about when deciding whether or not to self-build is the need for technical optimisation. When sites are coded properly from the very outset, it is much easier and cheaper to optimise these platforms for search engines. The costs of correcting minor coding issues further down the road can be quite high. Moreover, built-in errors can make it much harder for you to get your web pages published at the very top of search engine results.Read More
There are a lot of ambitious company owners who are learning just how easy it is to take care of the majority of the start-up process on their own. After all, even with a very limited amount of money, it is possible to establish a fully functioning business. This is all the more true if you’re willing to handle the intensely technical process of designing and building your own professional website. There are some very important things to know about website security before getting started.
You can find packages and products that are designed to give you the basic framework for your site so that you only need to customise it to suit your purposes. At a very nominal cost, you can create a functional platform for connecting with your clients, educating them, and ultimately converting them. With a few artful and functional additions, you can also create a secure space for capturing customer payment information.
One thing to know about these packages and products, however, is that they are only secure at their core level of functioning. This is what often gets business owners confused, especially if they have not had any web design experience in the past. Ultimately, this means that when you use these tools, their security is only guaranteed when you opt to start with and maintain the most basic of service options.
As soon as you start adding in new widgets and other attractions and capabilities, new security vulnerabilities will arise. That’s because these additions do not provide the same level of assurance that the basic platforms offer. Although these things can be seamlessly integrated into your design, they do not always arise from the same source and they are not always safe either.
This is a vital consideration to bear in mind when you intend to make your professional site the hub for your business. For instance, if you do not have a brick and mortar location for your company, this may be the only space for actually completing individual transactions. As such, you want it to be as secure as it can possibly be.
When security issues do exist, there are certain ways that customers and prospective customers can find out about them. As an example, a site that lacks secure socket layer protection will alert users that their personal details are not secure, even before these are entered in. Failing to ensure the highest possible levels of security can result in a loss of potential transactions.
There is also the fear of having collected information become compromised. It might seem like a top priority to obtain a functional platform that you can start marketing from for your business. Over the long-term, however, if you cut corners in any areas of the actual design process, you can wind up facing a number of costly liability and legal issues.
If you do not have the technical skills for resolving the individual vulnerabilities that each site add-on will invariably introduce, you should definitely think about outsourcing this particular task. Knowledgeable and experienced business owners know that it can be far cheaper to simply outsource web design from the very outset. Doing so will prevent the costs of having a substandard platform repaired and improved, along with the costs of any possible information breach.Read More