I get a lot of spam emails from companies offering SEO services. The emails are annoying, but more importantly the quality of the services that they provide is questionable at best and damaging to your web presence at worst.
The offers can be tempting; $125/month for a huge list of SEO activities – how bad can it be?
At ThriveHive we regularly see customers who have enlisted the help of so-called SEO experts who are not experts in any sense of the word. More often than not the work that was performed was either temporarily effective, completely ineffective, or we need to help our customers undo what has been done because it’s against best practices and is actually hurting their results.
Although it’s difficult to know if an SEO expert is really an expert simply from his or her email solicitation, there are certainly some tells. Completely false statements, indications that they need to spam a lot of people to get business (good SEO services don’t need to spam to get clients), and a general lack of attention to detail are all bad signs.
To help small business owners avoid what are essentially SEO scams, we put together the following 8 flags to help you sniff out emails from low quality SEO services. All of the excerpts below are from actual emails trying to sell SEO services.
1. They guarantee rankings – nobody can guarantee rankings:
2. They spend more time using different colors, fonts, and font sizes than they do on the content of their message:
3. They use strange punctuation and spacing to try to avoid email spam filters:
4. They tell you that your website isn’t on the first page of Google for any relevant search terms when it is:
5. They use three levels of PostScript at the end of the message including 1 that claims that they found you through your online advertisement when you don’t advertise online:
6. They feel the need to go into a lot of detail regarding why their email is CAN-SPAM compliant:
7. They talk about “automatic” link exchange:
8. They talk about SEO and then talk about Flash in the next sentence – Flash is the last technology any SEO expert would use to develop a website: