SEO Email: DESIGNMEENA

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 Jesse who was using a gmail.com email, although a subsequent reply came from a Robert using a with a designmeena.com email.

Hello whychristmas.com,

I went to your website and wanted to shoot you a quick note. If you want I can make a few changes (aesthetically and/or SEO-wise) to make your site convert more visitors into leads and to get it placed higher in the organic search for a few of the select terms.

Do let us know, if you are interested to boost your online sales and bring huge revenue. We can help you identify the grey areas where you can improve on your website to rank higher in Google. On request we can forward our cost-friendly website marketing plans, fully based on latest search updates.

There is a simple equation that is applicable to the online world.
Ethical SEO -> Better Traffic -> Higher Sales

I would just need to know which (if not both) services you’re open to checking out information about, either web design or SEO. Would you be open to seeing more brief info / quote for what I would like to accomplish?

Internet Marketing Experts – We know how to make Google Happy

If you are not on Google page 1, your website is a waste. Getting your site on Google 1st page GUARANTEED.

Cheers,
Jesse tucker
Digital Marketing Executive

NOTE: *We are not Spammers and are against spamming of any kind. If forwarding this email has made an offense to you or to your company, then we apologize for the same. In order to stop receiving such emails from us, simple type “NO” in the subject line..

(hmmm their email says they’re not spammers and that they’re ethical, well, we’ll see about that!)

So I replied to Jesse and got a reply from Robert. 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 an email, which is shown below.

Hello James,

Hope you are doing good.

Thanks for your prompt response.

Please find my answer inline below:

Q. It sounds like you think you can do a lot for my site. I would be interested to see what your quote/report says about my site!

Ans- Please find the price link
https://designmeena.com/pricing_plans.php [Their pricing is from $199 a month to $1649!!!]

Please find the website analysis report below:

1.URL:-
1. Exact keyword not found in this URL
2. URL is not SEO friendly.

2.Meta DESCRIPTION TAG:-
1. Description tag needs exact keyword
2. Description tag should be 160 characters or less
The meta description tag is missing from your page. You should include this tag in order to provide a brief description of your page which can be used by search engines. Well-written and inviting meta descriptions may also help click-through rates to your site in search engine results.

3.Keyword ANALYSIS:-
1. Keyword(s) included in Title tag
2.Keyword(s) not included in Meta-Description tag
Your most common keywords are not appearing in one or more of the meta-tags above. Your primary keywords should appear in your meta-tags to help identify the topic of your webpage to search engines.

4.IMAGE ANALYSIS:-
1. Add exact keyword to an image file name
2. Add your exact keyword to an alt tag

5.HEADING TAGS:-
1. Add exact keyword to H1, H2, or H3 tag
2. Add a H1, H2, and H3 tag to this page
Your webpage does not contain any H1 headings. H1 headings help indicate the important topics of your page to search engines. While less important than good meta-titles and descriptions, H1 headings may still help define the topic of your page to search engines.

6.COPY ANALYSIS:-
1. You should have 2,000+ words on this page
2. Only use exact keyword 2-4 times
3. Bold, italicize, or underline exact keyword
4. Add your exact keyword to the first 100 words
5. Add your exact keyword to anchor text

7.CODE ANALYSIS:-
1. HTML is not W3C validated
2. Remove inline CSS
3. Text to HTML ratio is too low (< 25%)

Please find below details about our services:-

In our monthly Organic campaign service we will take care of site and will upgrade your website on page based on Google algorithm, we will suggest and target potential keywords to bring good business, We will generate back link for your website by our link building strategy and will also focus on strong marketing of your website through social media.

What we will do for your website during Organic campaign:

We will upgrade your website based on Google update algorithm,

We will analysis the best relevant keywords for your business too.

We will generate back link for your website by our link building strategy.

We will create network for your website and will do traffic generate by our Social media campaign.

We can rank your website on the top page of the major search engines & gain more traffic for your website.

We will do social media campaign.

Looking forward to hear from you.
Kind Regards,
Robert Smith
Senior Business Development Manager

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

1.URL:-
1. Exact keyword not found in this URL
2. URL is not SEO friendly.

My main keyword is ‘Christmas’. It’s in the url of the site (whychristmas.com) and that url is SEO friendly. So BOTH OF THESE ARE WRONG.

2.Meta DESCRIPTION TAG:-
1. Description tag needs exact keyword
2. Description tag should be 160 characters or less

The meta description tag is missing from your page. You should include this tag in order to provide a brief description of your page which can be used by search engines. Well-written and inviting meta descriptions may also help click-through rates to your site in search engine results.
There is a meta description tag on the page. It’s exactly 160 characters long. So again, BOTH OF THESE ARE WRONG.

3.Keyword ANALYSIS:-
1.Keyword(s) included in Title tag
2.Keyword(s) not included in Meta-Description tag
Your most common keywords are not appearing in one or more of the meta-tags above. Your primary keywords should appear in your meta-tags to help identify the topic of your webpage to search engines.

The word Christmas is in the title tag four times and in the description tag six times. So (yet) again, BOTH OF THESE ARE WRONG.

4.IMAGE ANALYSIS:-
1. Add exact keyword to an image file name
2. Add your exact keyword to an alt tag

Images on the site are appropriately named and alt tags are correctly used when needed. So… again BOTH OF THESE ARE WRONG. (Can you see a pattern yet?)

5.HEADING TAGS:-
1. Add exact keyword to H1, H2, or H3 tag
2. Add a H1, H2, and H3 tag to this page
Your webpage does not contain any H1 headings. H1 headings help indicate the important topics of your page to search engines. While less important than good meta-titles and descriptions, H1 headings may still help define the topic of your page to search engines.

There is a Heading 1 tag on the home page. And throughout the rest of the site, heading tags are used correctly/appropriately. So (can you guess what’s coming?!) BOTH OF THESE ARE WRONG.

6.COPY ANALYSIS:-
1. You should have 2,000+ words on this page
2. Only use exact keyword 2-4 times
3. Bold, italicize, or underline exact keyword
4. Add your exact keyword to the first 100 words
5. Add your exact keyword to anchor text

Having 2000+ words on ANY page is A LOT. And having that many on the home page is rather astonishingly odd advice! About the longest page on my Christmas site is the one where I tell my own version of the Christmas story – that has about 1300 words on it – and that’s the whole of the Christmas story! (Their own home page has about 400 words on it and that is a VERY wordy home page!)

Using keywords only 2-4 times is again odd advice. Words you be used as needed and appropriate. It’s not a good idea to ‘keyword stuff’ but limiting to 2-4 time is simply daft.

Bold & italicising can be helpful. But underlining should ONLY be used on sites if it’s a link. And bolding/italicising words simply because they’re ‘keywords’ is again very odd (and not really correct) advice!

Having keywords in the first 100 words is good advice – and I do it… (THEY GOT SOMETHING CORRECT!!!).

And having keywords in linking text (where appropriate) is also good advice – and I do it… (ANOTHER CORRECT THING!)

So only three out of the five are WRONG.

7.CODE ANALYSIS:-
1. HTML is not W3C validated
2. Remove inline CSS
3. Text to HTML ratio is too low (< 25%)

The site has valid HTML (which is more than their site does as we’ll see below!).

There is no inline CSS on the page! (That’s when CSS is in the HTML file rather than in a separate CSS file.) And sometimes having inline CSS can be an elegant way of speeding up a site; so saying you should never have inline CSS is not good advice…

Text to HTML Ratio is about how much ‘real text’ there is on a page. Some people also call having not much text ‘thin content’. Having lots of content is normally a good thing! However, in this case 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 Christmas, and that’s how most the vast majority of people actually enter the site using search engines – like going straight into the page about The Christmas Story (Which is #1 on all of Google for ‘the christmas story’ out of several hundreds of million of results!!!). So this is not actually applicable in my case.

So I’ll be generous and say that only two out of the three are WRONG (although the other one is not applicable).

So out of their eighteen ‘errors’, fifteen are simply WRONG, one is not applicable and two are correct advice – and I already do them on my site! It makes me wonder if Robert actually visited my site or if this is a standard reply to send to everyone using scare tactics – if that is the case, that’s even worse!


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://designmeena.com/

On Google Pagespeed their site gets 86/100 on Desktop and 82/100 on Mobile – that’s actually pretty good. But as we’ll see, it’s about the only good thing on their site! (Oh, my site gets 100/100 on Desktop and 99/100 on Mobile…)

Their site has A LOT of HTML validation issues. In fact, the official automated HTML validation site couldn’t initially even scan the site for validation as the code on the site is so odd (well wrong…). But when I got the validation tool to work, it says there are 94 errors and 12 warnings!

Their sites also has lots of accessibility errors; these include having many images with no alt tags. Remember they said in point 4.2 “Add your exact keyword to an alt tag”; they haven’t got ANY alt on their logo image – THAT’S TERRIBLE!

And remember in point 5.3 they said “Add exact keyword to H1, H2, or H3 tag”; well, the ‘Heading 1’ tag on their site is “What We Believe” – again THAT’S TERRIBLE!

In their site’s footer, there are links to four social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+). However, only the Facebook link works. The Twitter & LinkedIn links don’t go anywhere and the Google+ link does go somewhere, only Google+ closed over six months ago! Oh dear…

But there’s some more big issues on their “Whar Our Client Says” page (yes it says that on the page – oops…).

One of their ‘clients’ (Itoe Basalingi) really has the photo of ‘Leland Yee’, a former California State Senator who’s currently in prison for racketeering and bribery!

Another client (Solomun Kullom) really has the photo of ‘Yothin Dumnernchanvanit’ a prominent Thai business man. (And this same image seems to been used as the avatar of a scammer trying to sell large amount of printing paper – REALLY!).

So I find it hard to believe that their other clients might be genuine either…

The meta codes say they’re based in India and ‘New York’. Although on their ‘AboutUs’ page (yes it’s one word in their navigation) they say they are a “fully professional SEO agency in India”. The US phone number on their site is indeed for New York. However, the ‘US Office’ address, on their contact page, is for a suburban house in Algonquin, Illinois (on the very outskirts of Chicago).


Conclusion

On their about page they say “DESIGNMEENA is a fully professional SEO agency in India established on the principles of honesty, dedication, and determination to make our clients’ business a resounding success.” and remember in Jesse’s first email he said they were ‘ethical’ and ‘against spamming of any kind’. BUT…

They spammed me from a Gmail account; they didn’t even spam using a proper company email – that doesn’t seem very ethical or honest. Nor does blatantly having photos of different people on ‘testimonials’ (although sadly they’re not the first SEO spammers we’ve seen do this…)!

Basically all of their recommendations are wrong and their site has some horrendous (and VERY BASIC) HTML & accessibility errors.

In Jesse’s email he also said “Getting your site on Google 1st page GUARANTEED.” BUT…

So if you get an email from DESIGNMEENA, I would take Google’s advice and beware of them!

But the choice, as ever, is yours.

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