SEO Email: Charleston Digital Firm / Skylite Web

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.

Read some simple explanations of some of the SEO terms used on this post…


This email came from a Lindsey who was using an @charlestondigitalfirm.com email, although a subsequent reply came from James from Skylite Web. (charlestondigitalfirm.com isn’t a real site).

Hi whyeaster.com,

Hope you are doing fantastic.

I am Lindsey Wells Sr. Web Analyzer having 9+ years of experience in Search Engine Marketing, Social media Marketing, Content Marketing, Pay-per-click, Video Marketing etc.

While analyzing your website, we tracked some pitfalls for which your website doesn’t show up within top search results on search engines including Google. In addition to the same, we found that whyeaster.com is not able to achieve appropriate traffic/visitors for a couple of months.

I am quite impressed with your website – Business Concept, Content, Call-to-Actions and others. As a web analyzer, I can recommend few things to improve the website performance and

I hope my suggestions will help business & your website.

My suggestions:
• Publish Relevant Content (Blogs, Micro blogs, Article, Business Bio and etc)
• Update Your Content regularly for quick crawling
• Go for variation keywords and website optimization
• Update Best Title Metadata, Description Metadata, Keyword Metadata
• Go for Social media marketing for more engagement and social media traffic
• Work on Page Loading speed and fix it to load within seconds
• Go for Content marketing and Video marketing
• Implement Latest Industry Specific Schema so you stand out as compared to your competitors’

not sure, if you can understand all above technical terms or not. Not to be worried, I will help to make you understand about the above points with brief descriptions.

If you have a technical team then I will wish you to go ahead and work on the above factors or if you prefer then I can help you to work on the above points.

If you are comfortable to go for a online meeting then please let me know. If you need to know about the cost then please revert back to my email and I will be happy to send you the quote with brief recommendation.

Thanks, I look forward to your reply.
Regards,
Lindsey Wells
Web Analyzer

So I replied to Lindsey and got a reply from James. Although www.whyeaster.com isn’t as big as my Christmas information site (www.whychristmas.com), it’s still already VERY well ranked on Google.


Their Report & Recommendations

The report/audit I received from them was in the form an email, which is shown (truncated) below.

Hi James,

Thanks for writing back to us.

This is James from Skylite Web and I am the Digital Marketing Analyst and Marketing Consultant for Skylite Web.

We are a full service Digital Marketing company offering Digital Marketing, Web UX & UI, Content Marketing, Hosting etc. We are into the business since 7 years and we have almost 100+ clients from various countries mainly US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Mexico etc. We have happy customers worldwide and we intend to spread business growth to all small, medium & large companies.

We are based in Los Angeles, California and have partnership firms across Malaysia also. We want to have maximum presence to help all sizes of businesses – small, medium and big. Our website is skyliteweb.com and you can visit and check our portfolio.

I have analyzed your website and found the issues that needs to be sorted out:

Header Tags – Your page is not making effective use of header tags. HTML header tags are an important way of signaling to search engines the important content topics of your page, and subsequently the keywords it should rank for.

Amount of Content – Your page has a low volume of text content which search engines can interpret as ‘thin content’. It has been well researched that higher text content volumes are related to better ranking ability in general.

Image Alt Attributes – You have images on your page that are missing ALT attributes. We found 13 images on your page and 5 of them are missing the attribute.

Broken Links – We have found 1 broken link(s) on your page. Broken links are confusing to users and can reduce traffic and ranking ability of pages.

Friendly URLs – Some of your link URLs do not appear friendly to humans or search engines. We would recommend making links as readable as possible by reducing length, file names, code strings and special characters.

Your social media needs improvement – You appear to have a weak social presence or level of social activity (or we may just not be able to see your profiles!). Social activity is important for customer communication, brand awareness and as a marketing channel to bring visitors to your website. We recommend that you list all of your profiles on your page for visibility, and begin to build a following on those networks. Need to create social media channels where people can get to associate with you and can have much social media activity.

Regarding marketing, there are the factors that we would fix and work upon that would get you much better visitors and traffic i.e search engine. As you might know SEO caters to coming up higher in the search engine so much people could be very much aware of your business and you will get revenue from them. Also people are using paid advertising to generate leads probably from email marketing, referral and direct traffic sources. But SEO here, can get you free organic traffic for a lifetime if you can optimize the website well.

And as you might know SEO is an ongoing process. It’s a process where you need to fix the basic SEO errors/issues within your website, search for most searched keywords (Keyword Analysis) and optimize your website accordingly into the HTML codes (On Page SEO).

And after optimizing your website also, you need to constantly feed your website by building authority links (Off page SEO). Result of that, Google itself will grade you and shift your rankings up and higher. And it depends, because bad links will fetch you downfall in rankings and even sometimes your website will be sandboxed (not shown in Google results) and not shown in the search engine.

The rest of the email went on to contain their prices. I won’t put the details in this post – but they’re all over $150 a month!!!

So let’s look, in some more details, at the issues they say the site has…

Header Tags – Your page is not making effective use of header tags. HTML header tags are an important way of signaling to search engines the important content topics of your page, and subsequently the keywords it should rank for.
The home page of my Easter site 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.

Amount of Content – Your page has a low volume of text content which search engines can interpret as ‘thin content’. It has been well researched that higher text content volumes are related to better ranking ability in general.
Although it’s the home page of the site, it’s actually one of the least entered pages via search engines. The site has lots of pages about Easter, and that’s how most people actually enter the site using search engines – like going straight into the page about The Easter Story (Which is #1 on all of Google for ‘the easter story’ out of several hundreds of million of results!!!).

Image Alt Attributes – You have images on your page that are missing ALT attributes. We found 13 images on your page and 5 of them are missing the attribute.
That is simply wrong. All the images have ALT attributes on them. But not all image needs content in the ALT attribute. Where images are simply decorative, and have not ‘content meaning’ on the page, it’s actually better for them to use empty/null ALTs rather than having something like ‘spacer’ as the ALT. This is what I do – best practice.

Broken Links – We have found 1 broken link(s) on your page. Broken links are confusing to users and can reduce traffic and ranking ability of pages.
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…)

Friendly URLs – Some of your link URLs do not appear friendly to humans or search engines. We would recommend making links as readable as possible by reducing length, file names, code strings and special characters.
Again, simply wrong. All the URLs are simple. There are no code strings or special characters.

Your social media needs improvement – You appear to have a weak social presence or level of social activity (or we may just not be able to see your profiles!).
Well, yes the site could have its own Social media accounts. However, I use the social media accounts for my Christmas site for Easter things as well.

In their other recommendations, listed in their package pricing, they also say the site would be added on ‘local’ business listings and have ‘local’ keywords added. However, if they had spent more than two minutes on the sites, it would have been obvious that this isn’t a business with a ‘business place’, so it’s pointless being listed on local business listings or having local keywords.

Their original email was titled “Re: Google “Panda” algorithm refreshed for whyeaster.com”. ‘Panda’ was the code name for a set of Google algorithm updates which took place between 2011 and 2015. So they’re also trying to help my protect my site against something which happened four years ago at the latest!!!

So out of their six main recommendations, two are simply wrong, three are irrelevant and one could make sense, but I’m already doing it in another way… (and in their pricing they have other irrelevant recommendations.)


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: https://www.skyliteweb.com/

For HTML Validation, their site has 2 errors & 7 warnings. My site has no errors!

On Google Pagespeed their site gets:
Desktop: 37/100
Mobile: 10/100 (that’s TERRIBLE!!!)

My site gets:
Desktop: 100/100
Mobile: 99/100 – so both considerably better using Google’s own speed testing tool!

On GTMetrix their site gets:
B (81%) / D (64%)

On GTMetrix my site gets:
A 94% / A (94%) – so again much better!

Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, my site got a clean bill of health – their site has 38 errors and 65 alerts that’s REALLY not good…

Their site takes over 8 seconds to load – my site takes about 280ms – so over 24x faster!

Also looking on their site, they have several ‘mixed content’ SSL/HTTPS loading issues. This leads to their site not loading the fonts properly and so not looking quite right. This is a simple fix – but the fact that is hasn’t been sorted isn’t exactly encouraging…

There’s also several bad code practices. Their logo had the ALT ‘logo’. That’s terrible – it should ‘Skylite Web’. They have several <H1> tags one their home page; best practice is to have one with other sub headings tags as appropriate. They also don’t have any ‘OpenGraph’ tags in the code (which search engines and places like Facebook can use to display information about your site) which of course my site does!

Another ‘interesting’ thing are the photos on their About and contact pages. They seem to have just left the default photos in the site template (a quick reverse image search shows that they are stock ‘people’ photos which come in several different web templates…); what’s really interesting is that they’ve got names on the about page which lead to some interesting non gender-traditional names sitting next to the stock photos…!


Conclusion

I always find it rather disconcerting when companies use a fake domain without a site to spam you, rather than using their actual company name.

I also find it disconcerting when basically all of their recommendations are irrelevant, their site has HTML and accessibility errors; bad code practices and that they can’t even be bothered to put proper photos in their site’s template.

They also claim to be based in Los Angeles, yet their domain was registered in India and their site is hosted in India! They also have an Indian address on their site (which is their Google Business listing address!). And the address in LA is in a very suburban area, whilst the Indian address is in the business district of Bhubaneswar. I don’t have anything against companies based in India, but I do take exception to ones that claim to be big USA based firms, when it really seems that they might well not be!

So I’ll probably not be using their rather expensive services…

But the choice, as ever, is yours.

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