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Got an email from an SEO Specialist? Think twice before you reply…

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October 5, 2016

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Internet Marketing

Over the years, I’ve received questions from my clients about “SEO specialists” that sent them an email about their website rankings. Should they email them back? Are they legitimate?

I can say with 99.9% certainty, no make that 110% certainty, that you should delete the email and not bother with it. These are SEO scammers, and more often than not, they won’t be able to provide proper marketing services. In fact, they can be detrimental to your business.

These scammers purchase a large database of contacts, then send a mass email to everyone on the list. They cast a wide net hoping to catch as many victims (er, customers?) as they can.

Best case, they aren’t very good at what they do. Worst case, they will take your money and run – or even damage your website or reputation.

 

Ok, what do these scam emails look like?

The pitch varies, but they all carry a similar narrative. The email is convincing at first, after all, it is addressed directly to you or your business. But make no mistake, the rest of the email is simply automated.

Dear [insert name here],
I came across your website recently, and found you are not doing well in search engines because of X/Y/Z. Don’t worry, because I can help you boost your rankings. I work directly with Google and can get you on the first page for your most important keywords. Contact us today to receive a personalized marketing plan for your website.
Kind regards,
Some Guy
with no company name

 

Most scams have one or more of the following warning signs:

1. Unsolicited
The email is unsolicited spam, and that means it belongs in the trash right off the bat.

2. “Problems” with your website
They try to scare the recipient into believing there is something wrong, and they need to act right away to fix it.

3. Outlandish promises
They know someone at Google, or have secret tricks to get you to the very top of Google results. This is the oldest scam in SEO. In reality, Google trusts their secret algorithms to no-one!

4. No company name
There’s no company name listed on the email, and even if there is, you could probably Google them and find they are not a legitimate company.

 

But what if there really is something wrong with my website?

Rest assured, the email scammer probably hasn’t even looked at your site, and hasn’t done any research in your marketing niche to back up these statements. They are not selective in whom they email – they send these messages to everyone.

Case in point: Every SEO and web design firm receives these emails too, JT Website Design included. Even Google receives these scam emails, as Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s spam team, has lamented on his blog. As if Google needs help showing up in Google’s search results!

 

But I could really use some SEO improvements…

Absolutely! What business couldn’t use more search engine exposure to gain potential customers?

But this particular “SEO expert” is trying to get your business by sending you a spam email. So before you hit reply, consider this:

1. If they were so great at SEO, wouldn’t clients be finding them on Google?
2. Would you trust a random spammer with a login to your website?
3. If that’s how they do business, will they spam your customers too?

You would never trust an unsolicited email from a furniture salesman, or a pharmacist. So think twice about these SEO specialists.

If improving your online presence is a priority, then you owe it to yourself, and your business, to do your research and hire the right SEO expert who will provide top quality services to you.

Jackie Taferner

Jackie Taferner has over 15 years experience in website design and development. Jackie has a wide range of expertise, from PHP code development to marketing strategy, and enjoys working on challenging, creative, and unique projects.
 

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