Ever see something like this in your inbox?
We noticed your website is not ranking very highly on Google Search results. Because of this, you are not receiving enough traffic, which could be costing you customers who are choosing your competitors instead.
Here are some problems with your website that are preventing it from ranking well and that we can help you fix…”
Followed by a laundry list of things you had no idea were wrong with your website – things that these individuals apparently took the time to check out and find for themselves.
Sure does sound intriguing, doesn’t it? Makes you wonder if you should hit reply and take these folks up on their offer to make your website picture-perfect…
Let’s hit the brakes right there: the truth is that you can safely ignore these emails, put that “Delete” button to use, and move on with your day. Here are three reasons why.
1. They’re Only Out to Sell, Sell, Sell (Without Your Best Interests in Mind)
Yes, sales are the bottom line for most businesses, and the reason for most forms of networking – but a successful sales pitch usually leads to the creation of some sort of custom plan that’s tailored to the needs of the client. Unfortunately, “custom” is the last thing you’ll find with most – if any – businesses that are sending you these types of emails.
First off, that message you received was completely cookie-cutter, and (not to make you feel any less special) probably one of one hundred sent out that day to other companies just like yours. Yes, they included your website address, and yes, some of those problems probably do exist on your site, because no web property is perfect, but overall what you’ve just read was a copy and paste job.
Second, even if you did decide to move forward and accept their services, you’d probably be getting the same thing as every other client they sign (more on this below). There’d be no plan in place with regards to your business, your audience, and your overall needs and goals. In marketing, a custom-tailored strategy is absolutely essential to success, and if the agency representing you doesn’t make any effort to create one for you, it’s likely they’re a waste of time and money.
2. They Probably Didn’t Actually Look at Your Website
You may be flattered and impressed that this agency took the time to look through your site, identify its problem areas and make you aware of them, but – again, not to make you feel any less special – chances are they didn’t.
As we discussed above, these are likely generic, cut & paste emails, with the only thing that changed the name of your business and website. And as we discussed above, your website probably does have some underlying issues that could use fixing, but that’s because most sites – even those with a solid SEO strategy – have problems that need addressing from time to time.
That said, regardless of whether or not the laundry list of issues in that email is real, this company probably didn’t find them. In fact, Google themselves has said that they receive these emails as well (sidenote: that link is a great resource for knowing what other red flags to look for when an SEO agency sends you a sales pitch). That should give you an idea of how little attention these companies are paying to whom they’re sending these.
Any company that sends you a generic email listing problems like “bad links” or “on-page errors” without specifics probably doesn’t know anything about what kind of work your website needs.
3. They’ll Likely Engage in Bad Tactics That Will Hurt Your Site More in the Long Run
Here’s a little more information on how these companies won’t put a custom plan in place for your website: if you agree to let them help you with your SEO strategy, the tactics they’ll implement are likely “black-hat” – shady, deceptive, and not compliant with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. They’re also bound to create a bad user experience and scare your customers off.
How do we know this? Let’s look at items 1 and 2: first, it’s pretty obvious that this is, above all else, a simple sales pitch, and it likely won’t lead to anything that’ll actually help your bottom line. Second, judging by the fact that even Google gets emails about how to rank higher on Google, these companies are probably sending these out without a second thought to who’s reading them, and may even be using an automated system.
Does that sound like the type of company that would engage in transparent tactics that will actually help your business? Probably not. More likely they’d deploy the type of strategies that used to work in the early days of search, such as links with no mind to relevance or value, keyword-rich content that repeats the same phrases over and over, and promises of thousands of “SEO-friendly” directory submissions.
These tactics usually result in a huge boost in rankings at first, followed by an equally huge overnight drop once Google catches on to what you’ve been doing. The worst part about this is that your rankings will depend entirely on bad SEO strategies, meaning you’ll have a ton of content and links that will need to be removed and you’ll have to start from scratch. This is a very long, difficult, and expensive process, and it’s very difficult to recover once your website has been hit.
The Bottom Line: These Emails can be Safely Ignored and Your Website won’t Suffer
These types of emails may not be on the level of fear-mongering, but they’re designed to instill mild curiosity and even panic in the business owner who read them, making them wonder if their website really does have this long list of issues that need fixing in order for them to rank higher. No, your website probably isn’t perfect, and yeah, it might need some work as far as SEO goes, but nothing these types of agencies have to offer will do you much good. Let’s review why:
1. They only care about selling you a service, regardless of whether or not it does you any good
2. They probably didn’t look at your website, and even if they did, they probably didn’t do so for long enough to find anything wrong with it
3. Their strategies are likely “black-hat”, full of deceptive tactics that will only hurt you in the long run
So the next time you get an email that starts like the one above, you can likely delete it without a second thought – your website won’t be any worse off.