How To Spot Scam SEO And Website Service Proposal Emails

EZ Marketing- Digital Marketing, SEO, Website Management, Web Design Gorey, Co. Wexford

How To Spot Scam SEO And Website Service Proposal Email

This is a topic that is very close to my heart as I’ve had one too many discussions with some of my clients, who are opening, reading and often falling for the numerous SEO Proposals, Poor Ranking Warnings [Scares], Web Development services, Website Audits and Domain Renewal Alerts that  regularly flood email inbox of every business I know, including my own.

Have you ever got an email from a plumber telling you that your taps are leaking, and that you need to employ them as soon as possible otherwise you will be flooded within hours and will end up living on the street for the rest of your life? No? Do you know why?

First of all, you know for a fact if the taps are leaking or not. Then, there is a big difference in a leaking tap and a burst pipe – you will not lose your home over a leaking tap (only if you get a massive water bill you that cannot afford to pay, but this is a story for another time.)

SEO industry is probably the least transparent area of digital marketing. It deals with one the world’s most complicated online systems, competing with millions of other businesses for the few top rankings on page #1 on most business related keywords. Unfortunately, often search engine optimisation (for organic rankings) results are not really quantifiable, your ROI cannot be measured in exact figures  and there are certainly no guaranteed deliverables within a set time-frame. (Definitely no short-term success can ever be achieved – this is a time-consuming, painstaking process, that requires long-term commitment and strategic planning and implementation. This is before hoping that Google will acknowledge the effort sooner rather than later.)

With Google algorithms evolving all the time, sometimes adapting to the changes might require a complete U-turn from what you were doing before. There is no “silver bullet” when it comes to ranking on page one on Google. Brian Dean from Backlinco has compiled the list of 200 factors that may affect your rankings, only a part of them you have control over ( like page-level and site-level optimisation) or any influence on improving (backlinks and user-interaction).  A large proportion of ranking factors you have little or no control of what-so-ever. All you can do is monitor them and do your best to adjust.

I set out to write this article to pull apart some scam SEO proposals to help my readers spot them straight away. ( I personally do not even ever open those- these emails are what that SPAM button is for. Reputable SEO agencies never send out unsolicited emails. When you even consider opening one of them – you have just wasted your precious time making a decision to look through an email like that already)

However, since you opened it – I would like to give you 5 things to watch out for to spot a scam marketing email at a glance.

Here an email I just got a couple of day ago, I highlighted the dodgy parts in red:

 

——— Forwarded message ———-
From: Tina Sharma <tina.css@outlook.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 1:02 PM
Subject: SEO Service – GUARANTEED Page 1 Ranking‏ !!!
To:

Hi,
Hope you are well,
I was surfing through your Website and realized that despite having a great design; it was not ranking on any of the search engines (Google Yahoo and Bing Twitter) for most of the keywords relating to your business.
We provide you SEO, SMO and PPC Services with the following essential parameters: –

01. Follow complete guideline of Search Engine.
02. Assured Keyword Ranking Top 10 Listing in the Search Engine.
03. SEO Weekly Report.
04. Complete Website Optimization.
05. No Hidden Cost.
06. Local Listing in Google/Yahoo/MSN.
07. Social Media Optimization.
08. Directory Submission.
09. Social Book-marking Sharing.
10. Oriented Article Writing.
11. Article Submission.
12. Classified Ads.

Please do let me know if you are interested and have any questions. Waiting for your reply!

Thanks & Regards
Tina Sharma
Online Business Executive

Note:- If this is something you are interested, please respond to this email. If this is not your interest, don’t worry, we will not send you email again.

 

  1. THERE IS NO COMPANY NAME IN THE SENDERS EMAIL ADDRESS OR SIGNATURE

Have a look at the sender’s email address (this one is from tina.css@outlook.com – I have actually received emails from people whose email address had one name and the signature – a completely different name! This morning I received a proposal for some web development from a guy with an email address combinationovens@gmail.com… Combination Ovens? Web development? REALLY????)

Funny, how an “Online Business Executive” [what is that anyway?] uses an Outlook, Gmail or Hotmail account for their business email address. Mail boxes are very affordable and often come unlimited with most hosting packages.  Let’s say Online Business Executive is a valid position within a company, but there is no mention of the company name or a link to their website anywhere in the email. (Even if there was something, the company that sends you any proposals out of the blue needs to be researched with suspicion before any reply is made. Again, reputable SEO agencies never send unsolicited emails. They advertise (pay their own money) to promote their services if they need to. )

Also this particular email was not even sent directly to us. See how there is no email address visible after TO: (it should have been addressed to info@ezmarketing.ie)?  This is simply because the list of recipients was entered in a BCC field (or using some dodgy bulk mail software) , which allows the scammers to send these scam emails to hundreds of businesses at once.

  1. THEY DO NOT KNOW WHO YOU ARE

This one is a little more complex, as the example above is a 100% generic email, but I often get some with the actual website address of my business mentioned. (Once in case of a client, who is an online retailer, the link behind their website name was actually leading to a completely different website of a furniture producer in the United States!)

How To Spot Scam SEO And Website Design Proposals Emails

The statement about you not ranking on “most of the keywords related to your business” makes my blood boil, honestly.

Our website is ranking #1 on page one on the keywords I optimised it to rank. And that’s that. I did it.

(Also what is “Google Bing”? Or “Yahoo Twitter”? Some new search engines? I only know Google. Bing. Yahoo. Twitter.) Seriously, are they just dropping the words we know in a random order?

It takes hours, days of research to determine what are the most important strategic keywords for your particular business type. You need to research your ideal client, your target location, audience, problems you might help the clients solve. Why would any professional spend all this time for free, just to send out an email (as they admit at the end of the email , they know you might even never reply to)? I know what this time costs and believe me – there is no way I would spend it researching a business that has potentially no interest in hiring me. Would you? Really?

  1. ESSENTIAL PARAMETERS

This is one of those lists of services/promises that crack me up… every time.

It is a collection of [often not even real] digital marketing terms you do not know, but most likely heard of something similar, so it makes the email look very serious. I love how they entered No Hidden Costs as a service and then mentioned Classified Ads and Directory submissions. Most of the ones that count are not free at all (especially Google Adwords), so there will be definitely extra costs involved. As for Submission to Thousands of Search Engines service that might be also included, over 95% off searches are made through Google, Bing & Yahoo, there is no point wasting time on small players, they will make no difference.

And by the way, the nonsense starts from number one – “Follow complete guideline of Search Engine” – this is the saddest part, seriously!

Wouldn’t it be lovely if Google released a complete official guideline for SEO (not to mistake with Backlinco blog post I mentioned before). However, I doubt it would make any difference- if you check Brian’s article, you will see what I mean – so many factors are completely outside your control.

  1. GUARANTEED PAGE #1 RANKINGS

This is a funny one. For a new business ( just a couple of years old), unless it is a niche business with low online competition level, appearing on page one will take probably a couple of years to enter page one, and this is with correct  page-wise and site-wise optimisation, regularly updated dynamic content and great user-engagement optimisation.  You need longevity and a bit of more history with Google to rank well.  The longer you are online the better your chances are (provided all your main URLs are unchanged too – again, this is a subject for whole new article).

  1. THEY WILL SAY ANYTHING TO SHAKE YOUR CONFIDENCE

I have to use a different Spam email example, that I received just as I was working on this article. Again this one was received from emma.adams@gmail.com and has no mention or a link back to her company website.

 

Dear owner of www.ezmarketing.ie

I’m sure you have been contacted in this matter many times before but our value proposition is much different. We show the client results before we ask for any further commitment.

As a business owner you might be interested to gain profit by placing your website among top in search engines.

Your website needs immediate improvement for some major issues with your website.
Low online presence for many competitive keyword phrases
Unorganized social media accounts (?????)
Not compatible with all mobile devices
-Many bad back links to your website

I have selected your website www.ezmarketing.ie and prepared a FREE website audit report.  This is for you, completely free at no charge.

If my proposal sound’s interesting for your business goal, feel free to email me, or can provide me with your phone number and the best time to call you. I am also available for an online meeting to present you this website audit report.

I look forward to hearing from you – thanks!

Best Regards,
Emma Adams
Marketing Consultant

PS: I am not spamming. I have studied your website, prepared an audit report and believe I can help with your business promotion. If you still want us to not contact you, you can ignore this email or ask to remove and I will not contact again.

If Emma had actually audited my website and social media channels, she’d see that we provide SEO services ourselves and we are not likely to respond to a contact form request for SEO help. And, oh yes! She is Spamming – if they want to show results before commitment, why didn’t they just email me the ” absolutely free SEO report” she insists she has prepared after studying our website? I could then see all the issues explained in detail and decide if I want to hire this company.

But there was no results shown before commitment. None. Whatsoever.

In fact it was full of lies. EZ Marketing website ranks well as I mentioned before on all important for our leads generation keywords. We simply have no bad backlinks; it is easy to check your backlinks – there are so many free online tools available online to check your backlinks and basic SEO score too.

“Not compatible with ALL mobile devices” [that ALL sounds very scary]. Our site is highly mobile compatible. Most of my clients use their mobile devices to browse the internet, I know how important it is for my website to look good and be easy to navigate on the phone (or I will never get any enquiries)

THE SUMMARY

  • A respectable Digital Marketing company, SEO agency or Web Developer will never reach out to you first. Use a Spam button on anyone who does.
  • Any chance of a new domain reaching the top of page #1 when it comes to organic listings one fast are practically non existing. In our experience only domains with 5+ years history with Google can really benefit from an SEO push and rank in the top 4-6 listings.
  • SEO results will show within the next couple of years, minimum after 6 months.

SEO cannot be just about your website – digital marketing must address the business as a whole, know and understand the target audience and business goals. It has to be all about generating more business with your website and sometimes it is not just about your position in Google search listings, but much more about direct marketing and strategic paid traffic acquisition.

P.S.: Please use that Spam button more often!

 

 

Web Design For Better Online Business & Marketing

Web Design Gorey, Co. WexfordWhy Choose Us?

There are many options available when you need a website or are in need of upgrading your existing one. There are many professional companies available for hire and even several free DIY online website builders, so why choose us?

We design websites that are fast, beautiful and most importantly, aimed at sales and generating leads. Because we work with many small businesses hand in hand, we understand that the only important goal for the website is – TO SELL [your products or services].

SELLING ONLINE has little to do with fancy features, complex elements and even the look and feel of the website. But it has everything to do with how quickly the buyer can find what they need and how hassle-free and securely they can check out and pay.

This is why all our customers, even those who didn’t consider changing their website, turn to our web design service. The results speak for themselves!

We offer web design for any type of business, and we will approach every job with your best interests and NEEDS of your customers in mind. Everything else is an add-on!

 

 Websites designed by EZ Marketing lately:


Website Optimisation, SEO & Training

Are you losing traffic due to poor visibility?

SEO Website Content OptimisationSimple things, such as missing or not well-worded meta tags will result in lower search result listing positions. URLs that are confusing or include too much strange information, like routes and various numbers are not liked by the search engines and any changed to the URLs will mean starting from scratch and losing all previous rankings for that page. Websites that are not regularly updated will be forced to stay at the bottom of the list.

How Do You Get Found On Google?

Correct search engine optimisation will improve your online visibility, bring the right kind of traffic to your website and contribute to better online sales.

We will research the best keywords for your niche. Sometimes you will be surprised what people are searching for in order to find you or your products. Do not assume you know what keywords to use- a proper research is always the way to go.

We will “invite” Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. to come and “crawl” your website – it means their automated programmes (bots) will attempt to index (scan) the content of your website looking for text and metatags and create listings based on what they see. We will fully optimise every page and every URL to make sure the bots are seeing the information the way you want them to. This

The result is better rankings on listings, as they are shown to the people who search for this particular product or information. These people are likely to be buyers (those who intent to purchase already) or shoppers (those who research product to buy online or visit your place of business) and not just visitors (anyone browsing on the internet).

In short, LET US DO IT FOR YOU or get us to train you on what needs to be done!

Have we piqued your interest?


Website Management & Marketing Packages

Website Management PackagesDid You Know That Websites That Are Not Regularly Updated Lose Their Rankings?

 

Your website is a virtual shop window for your business. Even more often than buying online Irish customers will visit your website before doing business with you. Making sure your site is up to date is your number one priority. Showcasing your best products is vital! Most of the current websites have a content management system (CMS). It lets you update the content of your website yourself. But sometimes there is just not enough time in the day. So the website gets put to the end of the list. Plus, if you are not very tech-savvy yourself, these tasks can feel very confusing and difficult to comprehend.

We can free your time. We will showcase your busines to your visitors so that they will want to come to you!

If your website is based on the following CMS platforms, you can avail of our services:

  • WordPress (we specialise in WordPress web design)
  • Open Cart (we specialise in Open Cart web design)
  • AbanteCart (we specialise in AbanteCart web design)
  • Magento
  • Joomla
  • Custom-built Content Management Systems

Often it is not practical to hire or train a member of staff to take care of the maintenance and development of the website. It might take too few hours a week to create a dedicated position on the pay roll. Or too much time to assign an existing staff member (especially if they are not purposely trained, so it will take them much longer to do it and their main duties will be affected).  A fashion stylist in the boutique, for example,  might be great at coming up with short updates and snapping fab in store pictures… but editing them, adding branding, optimising with keywords, adding links and posting on the numerous websites will take a couple of hours, during which sales can be made on the shop floor.

Business owners often share with us that the time spent updating and monitoring the “health” of their website could be better spent developing their business.  Outsourcing provides a perfect solution and is more cost-effective in the long run.

Our website management packages start from just €150 per week for e-commerce and even lower for informational websites. Plus the packages cover services that often are very expensive to avail of, like web development, hosting. digital marketing and SEO.

It is simple. Just send us the content you want to go up on your website, such as photos, new product updates, category managements, special offers, blog posts, etc. We guarantee they will be uploaded and optimised for best results in search engine rankings in no time! Meanwhile, your website’s “health” and security will be monitored and any issues addressed immediately.

We can also help create a clearer branding message, set up a website marketing strategy to ensure your visitors get a clear idea of what your business is about. We make sure that all website channels to sell your products or services are utilised. So you can go about looking after your business and customers, confident that all your online management and marketing commitments are looked after.


Have we piqued your interest?

Let us know what would you love to see when we work together – Click here to contact us now!

Graphic Design, Logo Design & More

Graphic Design GoreyYou have probably already seen our work!

Although graphic design is not one of the main services available from EZ Marketing, their artistic touch is quite prominent around the Gorey area. They have been involved with numerous landmark business names. Award-winning destination boutique La Crème Boutique and their sister store LC2, the highly popular Eco Restaurant & Pizzeria, Mags Browne Hairdressing Academy and even Gorey’s famous annual fashion event Boutique Boulevard’s event posters.

Every major national wedding magazine in the last five years has featured our ads designed for La Crème Boutique, Gorey. All Active Hunting Ireland’s current branding has been designed by us, as well as fast-growing online retail outlets SouthEast Wetsuits and SouthEast Hot Tubs. The latest addition is a full brand creation for the Wexford based wheelie bin cleaning service Wheelie Kleen Bins.

These businesses all sport a beautiful logo design, provided by Juliette Esper.

graphic-design-sample-facebook-cover2EZ Marketing has provided sharp, high impact web graphic design for Gorey businesses like VoiceGrid Ireland, KIBO Shoes, Browns Hairdressing, Fairway Football and Muckyhound Dog Training. All our clients are happy to parade our work on their websites and social media profiles.

If you are looking for some graphic design for your website, social media, Google Display ads or print advertisement, contact us today.

We will be happy to discuss what your business is about and do our best to reflect it in your online and offline artwork.

Here is what we do:

  • Social Media artwork
  • Website banners
  • Landing pages
  • Newsletter banners/imagery
  • Product imagery creation (photo shoots)
  • Product imagery correction/post production

We enjoy working with local businesses and particularly specialise in website creative design. A lot of webmasters can easily put together a generic website, we make sure it has an impact on your visitors, easy navigation, sharp images to stand out and call to action elements throughout.

Custom Graphic Design | Web Images | EZ MarketingAt EZ Marketing we understand the importance of having a strong and recognisable brand. Maintaining brand consistency across all channels such as a storefront, website, all social media channels, print media, business cards and stationery helps your customer recognise and relate to your business.

Social networking has quickly become one of the best ways to market your company and it’s important that your brand remains consistent throughout your entire social network. This includes your blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and any other social networking site that allows for branding. Each platform has its own preferred image dimensions and if not followed your graphics may appear distorted, therefore damaging the impression they’re supposed to make.

EZ Marketing can help you put your best foot forward with custom graphic design for online and offline brand presence.

Facebook Cover+Profile picture design

Web Images | EZ Marketing Custom Graphic Design | Web Images | EZ Marketing  Web Images | EZ Marketing

Web Images | EZ Marketing

Website banners:

Custom Graphic Design | Web Images | EZ Marketing

 Web Images | EZ Marketing

Web Images | EZ Marketing

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Web Images | EZ Marketing

Newsletter Graphics:

 Web Images | EZ Marketing

 

Graphic Design for Print:

Custom Graphic Design | Web Images | EZ Marketing Custom Graphic Design | Web Images | EZ Marketing Custom Web Images | EZ Marketing

Posters

Custom Web Images | EZ Marketing    Web Images | EZ Marketing

     Web Images | EZ Marketing Web Images | EZ Marketing