This is one in a series of posts reviewing and looking at how some of the SEO companies which use bulk emails/spam with ‘we can help your terrible site’ type emails really can (and actually mostly can’t!) help your site.
This email came from a Nick using an @digitallyaheadteam.com email, although subsequent replies have come from Sara via an @theseocompanyusa.com email. (digitallyaheadteam.com isn’t really a site; it’s just an email sign up form; theseocompanyusa.com is the real company’s site).
Hope you are doing well.
I am a digital media expert representing a very successful South Carolina based Website design & SEO Company.
This e-mail is a part of completely free website analysis program offered by certified web-analyzers – neither a fake nor a spammed e-mail, so please read it before you make a decision.
We have a proven track record of generating qualified leads for our clients through online marketing. All of our clients have one thing in common, their brand is visible on the first page of Google, and they dominate the competition.
My marketing research team came across your website whychristmas.com and made a competitive analysis within your web segment. With no surprise they found some generic aspects of online promotion that has been broadly ignored. I wanted to share a few major issues I discovered that are currently harming your website search rankings:
Some of the aspects given below:
Due to poor Back links
Due to errors and issues present in website
Errors in the coding part of your website
Less index pages and improve page loading speed.
Area of Improvement:
Improve your sales and brand value.
100% satisfaction guarantee or your full money back.
Hummingbird recovers and secures your website from next Google updates.
Increase your traffic flow.
Target your local market to increase business.
If you are interested to know your website needs, we would be glad to provide you the complete analysis report of our expert team with further detailed analysis, which would be completely free of cost.
Discover how we can help you capitalize on this new and valuable market. Please contact us back to discuss further…
Nick Anderson | DM Consultant
Team SEO Company USA
So I replied and got a reply from Sara. This SEO spam was for my big Christmas information site (www.whychristmas.com). During each December it gets millions and millions of visits and is #1 on the whole of Google for a huge number of Christmas searches – so any SEO advice about the site is always ‘interesting’…
Their Report & Recommendations
The report/audit I received from them was in the form of another email – no attachments this time. The email is below.
Thanks for going through our last email and asking for further details!
My name is Sara and I work with The SEO Company USA LLC
We are a full-service digital marketing company that offers innovative digital marketing solutions and creates custom strategies for each of our clients based on their requirements.
You can visit us online at http://www.theseocompanyusa.com/
While analyzing your website whychristmas.com I found lots of technical errors that need to be taken care of in order to make your site error free as well as Google friendly. Let me share few of the important errors below:
Your page has a low volume of text content which search engines can interpret as ‘thin content’
Your page is not making effective use of header tags
Your page’s main keywords are not distributed well across the important HTML tags
Broken links found
Some of the URLs are not search Engine friendly
Images are poorly optimized
HTML errors found
Duplicate links found and many more
What we plan to do:
Our focus is to get you more online business and that can happen only when more prospective customers will step into your website. So, we will target the right audience from your targeted market/geographical location and get them into your website.
We will place your website on Google’s 1st page for most of the popular search terms/keywords so we can get maximum visitors to your website.
We will promote you on Facebook to reach out to maximum people there and drag them back to your website.
We have a strategic process which we implement in order to accomplish the above task. Once you join us, my technical team will take you through the entire process and will keep you updated with timely reports.
I would appreciate if you could let me know your convenient time so that we can have a brief discussion regarding your requirements and how we can help you with the same. Or else you can reach me at 702-430-6263.
Please let me know if you have any further query, I would be glad to help you with the same.
Awaiting your response.
So let’s look, in some more details, at the issues they say the site has…
Your page has a low volume of text content which search engines can interpret as ‘thin content’ – Although it’s the home page of the site, it’s actually one of the least entered pages via search engines. The site has A LOT of pages about Christmas, and that’s how most people actually enter the site using search engines (like going straight into the page about Christmas Trees).
Your page is not making effective use of header tags – Again, the home page is a landing page. It doesn’t have many HTML heading tags – it doesn’t need them. All the pages on the site use HTML heading tags as appropriate.
Your page’s main keywords are not distributed well across the important HTML tags – Considering the site is about Christmas and the word Christmas is on the page 15+ times, I think that’s pretty good. (And I’m not sure what ‘important’ HTML tags are…?!)
Broken links found – If you use a link checker tool, there is a SINGLE ‘broken link’. I know about that. It’s the sharing link for sharing a page of the site over WhatsApp. It’s hidden on Desktops/Laptops and it won’t actually work on desktops as you can only share to WhatsApp in mobile browsers!!! (So it doesn’t matter…)
Some of the URLs are not search Engine friendly – Hmmm, I’m not actually sure what this could mean. All the pages on the site have relevant urls (links). The link for the page about Christmas Trees is https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/trees.shtml – seems pretty search engine friendly to me!
Sitemap missing – There’s a link to an HTML sitemap in footer on every page of the site! There is also an XML sitemap of the site – it was in a slightly unusual link (but that was ok); it’s now in a standard location.
Images are poorly optimized – Well, according to Google’s speed tool, all the images on the site are just fine!
HTML errors found – This is WRONG – there are no HTML errors!
Duplicate links found and many more – Well, having duplicate links is perfectly fine (in fact it’s normally a good thing)! And I don’t know what the ‘many more’ might be so we’ll ignore that for the moment!
So out of the nine ‘issues’, four were wrong and the other five were rather meaningless statements and/or irrelevant.
Looking at Their Site
With SEO spammers, I also like to look at their sites, to see if they practice what they preach (I mean would you trust a plumber who had leaking and rusty pipes all over their own house?!); and also to compare their site with a site they say they can help…
Their site is: http://www.theseocompanyusa.com/
For HTML Validation, their site has: 3 Errors and 6 Warnings! (There might be more errors as the validation checker gave up due to the kind of errors there were) – my site has none!
On Google Pagespeed their site gets:
Mobile: 20/100 (THAT’S TERRIBLE!!!)
My site gets:
Mobile: 98/100 – so both considerably better using Google’s own speed testing tool!
On GTMetrix their site gets:
A (91%) / C (76%)
On GTMetrix my site gets:
A 98% / A (90%) – so my site is better!
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, my site got a clean bill of health – their site has 38 errors and 8 alerts that’s REALLY not good…
For an SEO company, they are lacking one of the key security features on sites these days – their site doesn’t use SSL/HTTPS (having a padlock). Using SSL/HTTPS makes the site more secure for anyone, especially if you’re filling a form in via the site (which they really want you to…). A few years ago setting up SSL/HTTPS was a bit of a fiddle and normally costed. But now there are several free (and simple) ways of getting a site to use SSL/HTTPS!
Although this is actually one of the ‘better’ SEO spam emails I’ve had (in terms of not using jargon and scare tactics), the fact that they “a full-service digital marketing company” yet are not using SSL/HTTPS for their own site is rather concerning.
And in their follow up email they say “We will place your website on Google’s 1st page…”. However, Google’s “Do you need an SEO?” article [https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291?hl=en] states “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google… Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings…” hmmmm
But as ever, the choice is yours…