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 Ritu using an @aol.com email, although subsequent replies have come from Ankit via an @tbsinfotech.com email.
We’d like to inform you a very important issue regarding your website, which is the reason why you are losing lots of traffic.
Your website is great in terms of design and content. However, it doesn’t follow Search Engine Guidelines. So, it has a very low visibility in search results.
We’ve done a thorough SEO audit of your website and found that it has a big potential to generate more revenue than what it might be earning at the present. And yes, we have generated a report for the same as well.
We’d be glad to share the SEO audit report with you so that you can check it yourself and find out what should be done to make it SEO friendly.
So I replied and got a reply from Ankit. Although Ritu had said they would share their ‘SEO audit report’, the first email I got from Ankit was basically a price list for their services. It’s below (truncated for your sanity…)
Thanks for your mail
My Name is Ankit, Director, TBS InfoTech. We are an Online Marketing Company based in New Delhi, India.
We provide complete SEO services, which include Social media activities as well. As Google has changed its algo and now gives more importance to social media and good content based links, you will find our SEO packages as per Google guidelines.
We would like to propose our Bronze SEO package to optimize your website on google and other search engines.
At the moment we are offering below mentioned Bronze SEO package in US$160 per month for which the original cost is US$225 per month
We will be doing the following SEO and SMO activities on a monthly basis to bring some top results:
There was then a long list of the all the things they’d do for me. Pretty much all of the items were things which this site already has, and they could have found, if they’d spent any time looking… (There were also some links, to their case-studies and their customer portal, which I won’t post for security reasons.)
As they didn’t sent me the SEO Audit report, I politely asked for it…
I was expecting an ‘SEO Audit Report’ as that’s what Ritu said I would receive in his initial email – not just a price list!. Please can I see the SEO report?
Their Report & Recommendations
Ankit then sent the report – as a PDF file – with a one sentence email, with no explanation of how their services would ‘fix’ any of the issues on it.
There report was actually from an automated report done using the SEOptimer site (https://www.seoptimer.com/) – I know this because I know what that site looks like! (SEOptimer is free to use but there are ‘white label’ pay for plans, TBS Infotech would have used one of these…)
SEOptimer breaks their report into different sections, with automated ‘scores’ for each and then an overall total ‘score’.
My site got an overall score of “B+”, with the following section scores.
- SEO = A (nice!)
- Usability = A (nice!)
- Performance = A- (nice!)
- Social = D- (oops! but more on that later)
- Security = A+ (really nice!)
The only real issue is with ‘social’. (If you watch a SEOptimer report loading, the ‘social’ section is the last to be done; until that, my site was A+!)
It gave me a score of ‘D-‘ for social because the tool couldn’t find any accounts for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or YouTube. Well, I actually have a Facebook Page and YouTube account; but as I only update them occasionally, I haven’t linked to them! And no, I don’t have an Instagram or LinkedIn account – because I don’t want them! Twitter is the only social network I really use – and that’s fine!
Out of all the sections of an SEOptimer report, ‘Social’ is the LEAST important for SEO things…
So basically my site is really rather good SEO wise!
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.tbsinfotech.com
As they just seemed to have used the SEOptimer tool, let’s see what their score is on it! It’s B – so a (little bit) worse score than my site! But when we look at the sections, it gets more interesting…
- SEO = B (Oh dear, they’re an SEO site and have worse SEO ranking than my site!)
- Usability = A (The same as my site!)
- Performance = A (A bit better than my site – although the way SEOptimer works this out is interesting…)
- Social = C (So a bit better than me, but not much…)
- Security = C (Oh dear – this is NOT GOOD!)
Performance wise, there are several other tools you can use. With the GTMetrix tool (which uses both the Google and Yahoo speed tools)…
my site gets: A 95% / B (85%)
their site gets: B (81%) / D (68%) so my site is a good bit better performance wise!
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, my site has 0 errors – their site has 9 errors.
For an SEO company, they also have a few serious SEO issues with their own site. Their main logo has NO alt information and it’s a link – this is terrible for SEO and accessability! They also have no ‘Heading 1’ on the page – the most important type of HTML heading tags. (Their home page has 3 ‘H2s’, 4 ‘H4s’ and 1 ‘H5’ – that’s just a very odd way of doing things!)
But the most worrying thing is their ‘C’ for security. Their site doesn’t use HTTPS/SSL (having the padlock). Having a padlock is not only ‘proper practice’ on the web now but it’s a ranking factor for search engines – you’d think an SEO company would want to do all they can to be ranked wouldn’t you…?
I wouldn’t use the services of an SEO company that seems to rely on a free SEO scanner and then seems to be more interested is selling you their packages than actually explaining anything they would actually do.
The fact their own site is ‘worse’ for SEO than one they say needs help (!) and that their own site also has some big security and privacy issues isn’t good!
But as ever, the choice is yours… (but the delete button is probably a better option)