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.

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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 a 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.

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Fancy 3 months free hosting? We all like something free every now and then and what could be easier than referring a friend to Acceler8 Media? If you know someone who could benefit from a new website let us know and we will do the rest. If they come on board, as a thank you, we will give you a three month holiday on your hosting fees. If you send us four referrals that take up our services it would mean your website would be free for a whole year!
T’s & C’s – The hosting refund is limited to the standard monthly payment for a single website and does not include any additional services. Payment will be made once the referred customer’s website goes live. The offer is limited to a maximum of four successful referrals per customer.
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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.

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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.

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The simplest answer to the question, can I generate business from Social Media? is yes. For example, one can set up a store on Facebook, join an existing marketplace or casually mention the name of a business on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. While this is the case, it is important to adhere to all rules and regulations as defined and provided by site and page administrators.

Most business owners and marketing professionals think of these social networking websites to be most useful in brand building and advertising. For, it does not seem plausible that someone would buy a product off a picture or short tweet. While this may be the case, there are individuals currently using these outlets for generating leads in order to sell a number of products and services.

While these networking websites may have started more as a communication tool with regards to rebuilding long lost friendships and relationships, most provide far more than just a way to promote brands and market to current customers. For, when an individual can follow instructions, it is possible to use sites such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to generate new leads.

Using social media in this manner can also save businesses and marketers a great deal of money. In fact, this type of marketing has already reduced costs for forty-five percent of businesses advertising on these sites. Whereas, most have seen an increased revenue of over 24% when utilising social media.

When it comes to using these websites to make money, the first place to start is with branding and lead generation. For, once an individual has a branded product, the individual can begin lead generation on different social media websites. In some cases, individuals have been to known run a test trial before the branded product actually exist.

In doing so, individuals have been able to use different networking websites to gain an idea of how much interest there may be in a product. Whereas, those marketing the product can also discover which audience is the most interested, then frame future advertising toward the demographics of that specific audience. After which, it can be much easier to transform the audience and others into paying customers.

In the past, lead generation often included market research, surveys or getting readers to fill out a form in the back pages of a magazine. However, the internet has totally changed the face of business when it comes to advertising and selling products and services. For, businesses now use gated content, email, paid ad campaigns and product placement rather than spending money on market research, surveys or ads in newspapers and magazines.

Ultimately, social networking websites makes the lead generation process even easier because all the information about the product can be shared among contacts and friends. After which, those individuals then share with others and so on and so forth. As such, the number of people receiving the product information is much higher than in older forms of advertising. Whereas, people whom like the product can go to a product page and “like, ” the product which then promotes even more sales. As such, the answer with regards to generating money on social networking websites is a resounding, yes.

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Perhaps you just started your business or you are in need of a better website, so people can get more engaged with what you have to offer to them. We all heard about web designers and if you looked into working with one, you know the costs can also vary greatly. You may wonder why is that and what do they offer that calls for different costs. Mainly, the difference comes from how they create the websites – either bespoke sites or template based ones. Let’s see what is a bespoke website next.

First, you will need to decide if you want a website created using templates or a bespoke one. The first option will be cheaper and faster, and you may be able to alter the templates a bit, but it will not be original.

A bespoke website is a custom-made one, from scratch, exactly how you want it to be to suit your needs and vision. This term is widely used, mostly for clothing or computer programs, all adapted and designed for a specific user.

Secondly, you need to be very aware of the pros and cons of using a tailored page versus a customisable theme. For instance, if your site will require complex functionality or you are expecting high traffic, it is best to choose a custom-made website. However, keep in mind that this might take a bit longer to build and you need to consider the cost of this. Also, based on the complexity of your site, it might even require ongoing maintenance, which will add to the cost.

If you do not want anything special for your website, or are just starting out and want to see how it goes before investing in a more costly site, you may opt for a themed site. Moreover, remember that these types of websites can limit the functionality and design, in case you want some updated after a while. They also require quite a few plugins and you will need a developer for this. In the long run, it may even get to cost around the price you would pay for a tailored site.

There is also another option, which is basically a combination of the two choices from above. It starts with a starter theme of your choosing, which will have minimal coding. After that, you can start to design your website as you like by adding more code to it. It is particularly convenient as the cost will be lower than the one for a 100% webpage, and your site will only have the code that you need to use.

When deciding if you will go with a bespoke site or a customisable theme one, choose to talk to a web designer first. Tell him or her the ideas you have, the goals for the page, timeframes and budget, and you will figure out together which would be the best approach.

Make sure you do your research as well, as some developers may present you with a bespoke site, but in reality there is a theme imported and some alterations done. Ask to see various designs and be specific about what you want when choosing a custom-made site.

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Search engine optimisation is a term that all business owners are guaranteed to hear at some point in time. This ongoing and multi-pronged process is vital for ensuring that brands and companies are able to get their fair share of online attention. If you have every asked the question, “What is SEO and how does it work?”, keep reading to learn more about this process and the numerous benefits that it can provide.

The web contains a very vast amount of information. In fact, there are so many websites, blogging platforms, sales platforms and informational directions among many other things, that the human mind simply cannot conceive the true volume of data that’s available. Moreover, if it is weren’t properly organised, indexed and catalouged in some way, it would not be possible for people to access the specific info they need, and when they need it.

Fortunately, search engines have taken on the daunting task of indexing, organising and cataloguing the available data. As such, people can turn to these popular platforms whenever they want to shop around for something specific. Rather than already knowing the exact web address of the company or info site that you want to visit, you can enter in search terms that are relevant to your needs. Then, the search engine that you use will provide you with a list of results that match your query.

This is the most seamless, effective and efficient way to manage online information. For companies, however, it means that there are steps that must be taken in order to ensure that a place is secured at the top of search results. After all, few consumers actually take the time to scroll through the often countless pages of results that are presented. In fact, if your business is not listed on the first or second page of results for the search terms that you wish to target, it probably won’t be seen at all.

When it comes to optimising for search engines, your goal is to provide obvious value to web users, while additionally showing search engines that this value exists. This means that you will have to take both a human approach to optimising, and a very technical one. There are a number of steps that this process invariably entails.

For starters, businesses have to make sure that they are regularly publishing plenty of timely and insightful content. This is content that will help web users get the info they need when submitting queries. It can come in the form of expert-level, industry-specific articles, or on-site blog posts. Quality content has always reigned supreme in the overall SEO process.

Before you start publishing content, however, you also have to make sure that your website is SEO-ready. The best sites are attractive, diligently maintained, and responsive. A responsive site will be visible and viable on any type of device that consumers use to connect. This means that people should be able to view and use your pages whether they are connecting with laptops, tablets, standard PCs or computers.

Establishing a social media presence and building high-quality links is also an important part of these efforts. Ultimately, the more that you build your online presence, the easier it will be for consumers to find you. Given that this is such a vast and integrated process, however, company owners often do best to outsource this ongoing project to top-rated online marketing and web development companies.

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Imagine trying to look for something on the web without having a clear idea of what you are looking for, or the web address of the company or organisation that you really want to connect with. No imagine trying to find what you want without the benefit of any formal search tool. If you have ever asked the question, “What is a search engine?”, you’re soon to learn that rely on tools like this one all day long, each and every day.

Search engines are platforms that are designed to help web users navigate the Internet. At their most basic, they are systems that generate lists of needs-specific responses based upon simple queries. For instance, if you are looking for a plumber in your area, you might key in terms relating to this profession along with terms that are specific to your geographic location.

At their inception, these platforms were quite simple and ran on very basic and easy to manipulate algorithms. Many company owners found that through manipulation, they could easily get their websites to the top of results so that they were most likely to be seen by interested prospects. This, however, did not provide a lot of value to consumers given that most search results pages were littered with info from unethical or otherwise undesirable companies.

Now, however, the algorithms used for this purpose are incredibly complex and constantly changing. Efforts to manipulate the way to the top of search results pages are ineffective and likely to land businesses with painful penalties. When web users take advantage of these platforms, they now have the benefit of truly needs-specific results and a lot of high-value and reliable information.

In fact, these platforms have also made a concerted effort to provide consumers with value in other ways. For instance, not only can you use them to look up websites according to search topics, but you can also receive ratings and reviews of different service and information providers. This makes it infinitely easier to make informed hiring or purchasing decisions, even with limited or no prior interactions with specific online service providers.

Major engines are the platforms that people go to automatically when in need of info and when lacking definite site addresses. There are, however, small engines that are available on individual websites for those who wish to continue searching for and accessing info while remaining confined in a tightly confined niche of ideas. Some of these smaller engines are branded by and run by major ones.

Not only do these tools make it easier for you to find what you are looking for, but they also make it unnecessary to browse the web by only entering in exact addresses. As such, users have access to a far more expansive range of options. They can see more information, connect with more companies and consumers, and have a greater impact in the digital realm overall.

For a company owner, understanding what search engines do for consumers is vital for implementing an effective online marketing campaign. When you know the value that people expect from top listings, you can make a concerted effort to provide this same value. Just as major engines are committed to helping web users find what they need, they are also designed to support ambitious, legitimate and high-value businesses in their quests to connect with targeted markets.

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