A question about your website

March 27, 2014

Do you often receive emails from SEO specialists asking “A question about [your website]” offering to “gain organic traffic” or provide “integrated marking help”? Well so do I, for many of my websites.

The format of these emails are often the same:

“I thought you might like to know some reasons why you are not getting enough Social Media and Organic search engine traffic for your website.”

“I’ve noted down some important things as I looked at your site.”

There’s one sentence that appears in all these emails which I find to be particularly vague:

“Your website is not ranking top in Google organic searches for many competitive keyword phrases.”

Clearly they aren’t actually checking the relavant keyword phrases for my websites. I’d be interested to know what they are calling competitive phrases. If ‘High-definition television’ is a competitive phrase then I’d hope I’m not ranking well for it since it’s completely irrelevant to any of my websites. Find out how this could do more harm than good by reading about bounce rate.

Some of these emails go into a bit of detail explaining how important TITLE and HEADER tags are and that some of these are missing from your website. It’s all very generic information that can apply to any website and is indeed helpful and useful advice. After receiving the exact same email on a few domain names, with differing levels of optimisation, it’s clear that these companies are not even looking at the websites they are targeting.

There are a few other clues that make me question the integrity of these emails. They often come from gmail addresses – doesn’t seem very legit for an Internet professional.

OK, so perhaps some of them are legitimate companies just trying to market their business. Most of them offer a free website audit and a chance to discuss the “notes they’ve made”. However, I’m still sceptical about the ones that guarantee to get you on the first page of Google. The only way to guarantee a top position in Google is with paid advertising. Paid adverting has no effect on organic search results. Remember that once a paid advertising campaign finishes, your listing is gone and people will stop finding you, leaving you back at square one.

The final significant thing that strikes me about these emails is that they are from completely random companies who I’ve not had any previous contact with before. So how did they find me? Well one of them revealed all:

“I found your site using Google search and after having a look over your website I recommend…”

If you are regularly receiving such emails then ask yourself this; if my website is ranking so badly, how did you find me to tell me? It’s really easy to check how well your website is doing by searching on Google for yourself. Make sure that you log out of your Google account first to avoid any skewed results. If unsure, ask a friend to search for you and see where you come up.

Remember that technology evolves and Google constantly change things, so keeping your website optimised is an ongoing task. There will always be improvements you can make; in a way these emails are spot on. I’d love to know what you think. Are these targeted emails or would you class them as spam?