Spam Emails And Mass SEO Marketing

This is a subject I like to revisit from time to time.  I received this email and I’m sure it went out to thousands of businesses.

At SEO Liverpool we’re sick to death of this type of lame marketing exercise. This is potentially the most harmful type of spam, as it can destabilise new campaigns and usually results in lots of phone calls from clients.

Let me know your thoughts.

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Hello,

I hope you’re doing well!

I was surfing through your site where I saw that your site was not ranking on any search engines.

If you are interested we want to increase the number of visitors to your website, it is important that you have a top search engine position.

Our search engine optimization experts will run a ranking report showing you exactly where your website currently stands in all the major search engines. Then we will email you our analysis report along with the recommendations of how we can increase your rankings, and improve your websites traffic dramatically!

We strictly work on performance basis and can assure you of getting quality links with a proper reporting format for your site as well.

We wish you the best of luck and looking forward to a long and healthy business relationship with you and your company.

Please do let me know if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

****

Post:- Online Marketing Manager

Reply me:- 

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The main issue I have with this type of email, is that it reinforces a certain stereotype. The stereotype that people working within our industry are opportunists, willing to take on any work, and we’ll scare you into it. If you speak with web designers, developers and many other associated industries, they’ll tell you that search engine optimisation SEO has a poor reputation.

Sadly the companies that operate in this manner will promise the earth and very rarely deliver.

The reasons why I feel this type of email is harmful

  1. It isn’t addressed to anyone (this gives you a clue that they have just spammed an entire network)
  2. How can they possibly investigate your website and the potential keywords. Especially as we’ve worked out that this email has been sent to thousands of people.
  3. Good SEO/SEM firms do not advertise in this way and here is why…
  • It’s simply not ethical for an SEO company to work with more than one client in a specific industry.
  • It’s simply not possible to scale a business to deal with that many prospects and effectively evaluate opportunities.

No Two SEO Strategies Are The Same

Once a business approaches an SEO company, a review (almost a due diligence project) needs to take place for the following reasons…

  1.  Can you work in this area? Do you have the expertise? Is it ethical? Do you already have a client in this space?
  2.  You need to establish a base level of current activities.
  3.  Is it possible with a reasonable budget to get those identified positions

A responsible SEO company will evaluate…

  • Competitiveness of keywords.
  • Other competing companies.
  • A basic breakdown of what need to change or adapt.
  • Internal resource and departments involved in the web property.
  • Is their potential for a good ROI (return on investment)?

Return on investment is key when dealing with clients

If the level of investment in SEO, website changes and social strategies isn’t proportional to estimated traffic, conversions, profit margins and eventually scale-ability…  then it’s a no go!

e.g. The simple economic formula

If you make money by selling in volume ‘stack high and keep it cheap’ and search volumes are low, then it may not make business sense.

Acceptable Prospect

  • High Value Product/Service
  • Proportionally Good Search Volumes
  • Low Or Medium Keyword Competition

Difficult Proposition

  • Low Value Product/Service or Poor Margins
  • Low Search Volumes
  • Medium To High Competition

Most sites fall in-between and therefore a robust research piece should be your first port of call.

Conclusion

The inadequacies in such a poorly researched email wouldn’t fool anyone in the industry. On closer inspection this company hasn’t got a website that relates to the email address sent. Therefore, anybody who conducts a little research won’t be drawn in.

Unfortunately some SME’S will be fooled! Either way, the SEO industries credibility is under-threat as these type of emails are becoming more common.

 

 

 

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Social Media – Who’s It For?

My SEO Manchester friends and I on occasionally, get down the pub for a few pints and go over some FAQ’s, Tips and generally talk about our industry. I thought we’d go a little social today.

The use of Social Media.

  • To connect with people. Reach the people where they are in the way they are used to.
  • Keep brand positioning. Keep brand awareness to relay offline marketing campaigns.
  • Generate more traffic for website
  • Enlarge the targeted segment. Different types of people use different types of media.
  • Increase the use experience, testing and engagement
  • Plus leverage current marketing results, get better brand awareness, get better brand management, get better user stickiness, get better quality products, get more sales.

The requirements for Social Media

  • Global means local. Because we deal with communities we need to be close to them. The communities are still local, if you want to go global, you need to be where they are an in their language.
  • Resources. Community managers need to get more focus.
  • Consistency. The effort should start and last. Be sure to keep users with your community.
  • Content. The content should get more focus and be relevant.

How you can use social media to benefit you in conjunction with or independently of your search marketing campaign?

Social media is really broad – Twitter, IM, Facebook, blogs, etc. We find the most viable part of social media is to increase your visibility, ranking, links to your site, etc.

Lets be honest, as an SEO Company we know all want you guys really want is a website that gets lots of relevant traffic. If you want a Google number one listing, the important factors are: Domain Age -  On Page Factors – links.

Links are much harder to get these days, especially with problems with getting paid links. Social media can really help you here with links, traffic, visibility, and branding.

How it  do it: create content on a section on your site, find specific communities that will react well to your topic (don’t put your political content on a dog site), and engage the people in these communities.People with blogs are looking for content and look at these communities. If you get your content on these sites, you get lots of exposure. People write about you, link to you, even talk to you outside of the web (TV, newspaper). You’re getting two types of links – community links (profiles showing what individuals voted on), and industry sites plus others that write about you. The second type usually has better visitors, and you get long-term influx of links (weeks/months).

Social Media Tips

  • Have a site that is social media friendly. Don’t plug advertising and marketing stuff. A week or so after you’re successful, then you can put advertising back on.
  • Pick communities you relate to. Research these communities, see what communities are appropriate.
  • Check what worked before. Do more research, see what was successful for others in your field.
  • Create high quality content.
  • Understand how to submit and push social campaigns.
  • Understand what to do with success.
  • Be social! Treat it like a real life social event.

 

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Pay Per Conversation

An SEO company knows that for marketers to become successful in their Search engine marketing efforts, PPC can no longer stand for “Pay Per Click” — it must stand for “Pay Per Conversation.” Many marketers agree that the current state of the economy is having an impact on their marketing plans.

That’s why every pound and click matters. Every click is a potential customer trying to engage you; will you continue the dialogue or have them bounce off your landing page just moments after they arrive? What you want to do is engage and persuade your visitors to keep taking the next click, all the way through the purchase funnel. To achieve that, you must demonstrate the value of your products and services in all your marketing, especially when sales are decreasing. You do that by planning content to improve relevance and test continuously until you have the best conversation.

The next series of posts will show you how to identify missed conversations and what you can do to improve them and your PPC ROI.

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How Do You Tell Your Client about the SEO Work You’re Doing?

A common question from a small business SEO

How does one who may sell SEO services for their SEO company in the future give away information without giving away too much information (and fearing that the client will run away with the proposed strategies and implement them himself/herself?)

That’s a difficult situation and one I think a lot of people find themselves in. They are compelled to sell themselves by proposing a strategy but are afraid it can backfire. However, many clients who solicit the advice of SEO services are doing it because they cannot execute that detailed plan.

A great analogy that should make you feel a little bit better about providing that information:

Here’s an example: We were recently at an arts festival watching an artist scultping a log with a chainsaw. Suppose that artist were to spend time with me explaining his technique and showing me how to do it – even what he was thinking when he applied his technique. Then suppose he handed me the chainsaw and told me to do it myself. I couldn’t do it. Because I would lack the basic understanding of the skills of using a chainsaw. And even though he explained the technique…I couldn’t do it. It’s a combination art, technical ability, and experience that I don’t have with a chainsaw.

That should alleviate those fears you have about giving away SEO ideas (unless the client is well versed in this area of marketing). Most people can hear your suggestions but have no idea about how to execute. In the end, giving out more information does seem to show that you have the expertise and indicates that you’re willing to help.

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6 common website mistakes that could be costing you money

As an SEO Company we’re always dealing with clients who seem to have a little bit of SEO PPC or online marketing knowledge. Here we’ve put together 6 really common website mistakes and get they could be costing you money.

1. JavaScript or other crawler-unfriendly navigation that may impede indexing. Most newer sites don’t have this problem, but there’s almost always at least 1 site we review in every class that has its main navigation pretty much invisible to the search engines. If your navigation basically doesn’t exist as far as Google is concerned, then it’s very difficult to get all of the pages of your website indexed.

2. Navigation that buries important pages within the site architecture. The deeper that pages are buried within the website, the less importance they are given. For SEO, as well as usability purposes, it’s often helpful to showcase important sections of the website up an additional level in the site’s hierarchy. This can usually be achieved via a search-friendly CSS mouse-over menu.

3. Duplicate “pages” getting indexed under multiple URLs. While Google has, for the most part, worked out many of their canonical issues of the past and now generally realize that www.example.com/index.php is the same as www.example.com, many content management systems (CMS) take things a step further and provide a whole array of URLs for any one particular page of content. Sometimes this is done purposely for tracking reasons, as with session ids or tracking links appended to the end of URLs; but other times, it’s simply done because the CMS was never designed with search engines in mind. This is not a good thing, as it can cause the spiders to be so busy indexing the same content that they miss the more important stuff.

4. No keyword phrase focus in the content or conversely, keyword phrase stuffing. It never ceases to amaze me when people claim to have optimised a page, but there are no keyword phrases anywhere to be seen within the content. I suppose this might happen because they’ve put them in the keyword meta tag and assume they’ve optimised. (It’s a good thing they’ve come to our class when this is the case!) On the other side of the coin, there are those who seem to think that 4 instances of a keyword phrase in one sentence must certainly be better than just one! The fix, of course, is to provide a balanced focus on the optimised keyword phrases so that a trained SEO would know what the page is optimised for, but the average reader wouldn’t find the copy repetitive.

5. An optimised home page, but that’s it. While optimizing just the home page is better than not optimizing anything, it’s not going to increase the website’s search engine traffic by that much. Without fixing all the issues on inner pages and optimizing a number of them for their own set of keyword phrases, the site will basically be leaving money on the table.

6. Additional domains owned by the company are not properly redirected. In the old days, it was fine to park any additional domains that the company owned as an alias of the main website; however, today it’s much better practice to 301-redirect all additional domains to the main website. This enables the company to control which domain is the one that the search engines index, and avoids any splitting of link popularity between the different domains.

These 6 are by no means the only website mistakes we see. I’m going back through the sites we reviewed, I found tons of additional mistakes which I’ll save for a future article. My hope is that at least one of these may ring a bell to you as something that needs to be fixed on your own website. Once you take the time to correct the issue, you should find that your website will start gaining a lot more targeted search engine traffic, and ideally start making you more money!

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Does Google Conduct Minor Toolbar PageRank Updates Between Major Updates?

Summit Online Marketing are asking the question most people who participate in search forums ask themselves. Does Google, on occasion, update the toolbar PageRank score of a particular web site between the major and mass toolbar PageRank updates that are reported?

As an SEO company, why do we ask this question? Well, if you visit enough blogs and forums, you are bound to see a thread or five with the title, “PageRank Update.” These threads are fairly noticeable and we find spot them on a fairly recent basis.

Real Webmasters involved in SEO outsourcing are noticing updates to their PageRank scores in the Google Toolbar. This happens all the time, and then they jump to the forums to be the first to announce the next PageRank update. But then you see a mass response of replies saying, “no PR update here.”

So is it possible that what that SEO Webmasters have noticed was a true toolbar PageRank update for his site? Maybe. There are a few possibilities, the most likely is that he or she is hitting a different data center with different PageRank scores. But I would not rule it out that Google does push minor PageRank scores to the toolbar between major updates.

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Some Excellent Search Marketing Advice

Some quick tips for budding SEO company or in-house SEO’s

Strategy deployment and competition

Check your competition… simply try and have more content rich pages than them. Assuming you have the same amount of content and same amount of links. Treat it like a head to head race. Then improve your navigation and architecture to get the edge.

Assume we all have healthy marketing budgets to allocate towards these strategies. What do we do? We allocate a % towards each strategy. Because we know it works, and have demonstrated this. That’s what the bigger firms do. Implement as many strategies you can within that budget. Choose the ones based on looking at your competition. Not hard to find out the strategies they’ve deployed already. If you conduct good research, you won’t need to deploy all these strategies. Implement as many as you can afford and make sure you have conversion processes.

A bit about conversion.

Create a measurable goal for each page. Lots of pages have great filler and content, but don’t compel readers to take action. Capture an email, lead, sale, etc. Have a clear call to action at the end of the page to get to the next step. Put an phone number on there, or a simple a link that advances the process. Don’t make users search for the call to action.

When collecting personal info, make people feel secure about it. Get a security certificate. Some laws require it. Make the contact page have multiple mechanisms of communication. This is your opportunity to increase conversion rate.

Your ideal SEO team:

Designer
Web Developer
Content Writer
Marketing Manager
Wiz Technical Manager
Expert SEO Specialist
Expert Strategist that’s done it more than once

SEO Liverpool would appreciate your feedback

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