I got an interesting (and amusing) email this morning through my website contact form, from an SEO professional pitching his services to help me rank on Google. It looked something like this:
Hi there, My name is Bill and I’m an SEO (search engine optimization) specialist. I’ve been looking through your site for a while and taking a look at your keyword rankings in Google and I believe we can easily work together. I help my clients receive greater exposure and more traffic by ranking their website higher in Google for targeted keywords. Google is the number one source of traffic on the internet and ranking high in Google equals gathering more traffic, leads and sales. I have created an all-in-one package that includes all these methods for a very affordable price at my website – http://Cold-Email-SEO-Guy.net (Note: I changed it from the real address). All you have to do is give me your keywords, sit back and relax, while you know that many quality backlinks are being created for you every day.
Take care – Bill
This is one of the reasons why SEO is a dirty word for a lot of web professionals. Please, please, please for the love of God don’t hire anyone that says “Just give me your money, sit back, and get to the top of Google!“. It just doesn’t happen…if it does work temporarily, it won’t be long until you are on Google’s blacklist and your online visibility efforts are severely damaged. Now there are probably some online schemes (scams?) where people try to scrap and rebuild again for quick scores, but for local businesses, organizations, and real people who have names and addresses, it’s just not worth it.
OK, so why shouldn’t I hire someone who contacts me through my website’s contact form?
I’m sure there are some honest people that do a good job that cold-email people through their website’s contact form, but here’s why I wouldn’t hire most of them.
Most of these emails don’t appear to come from reputable SEO companies
Next time you get one of these emails, do a Google search for their company (or their company+reviews). What comes up? I don’t want to call these emails scams, but a lot of them appear to be in that zone.
SEO has changed.
Gathering links from around the web through hundreds of directory listings and article comments, and spinning articles for “new content” might have worked 5-10 years ago, but Google’s algorithms are rapidly changing to devalue and penalize sites that engage in link-building tactics and other ranking-manipulation tactics. I don’t want to go into huge detail here, since it’s such a huge topic, but the new type of SEO asks questions like “Am I providing valuable information to people in areas related to what I do?”.
Work with a professional who you can trust and cares about your success.
It’s goes without saying that Bill obviously didn’t look at my website before contacting me, otherwise he’d know we were fierce competitors in the SEO world (I kid, I kid). I don’t know about you, but I like to work with people who I can trust, and who come recommended to me from friends and colleagues. I find that when I work with people who are passionate about what they do and passionate about serving others, things tend to work out well. I have no idea who Bill is, where he’s shopping around for links and submitting articles, and whether he has my best interests in mind or is just going to take my money.
Good SEO isn’t just a bag of tricks to make Google’s search algorithms like you. It takes hard work, content creation, and the willingness to put yourself out there. Whether you are contacted for SEO services through your contact form, your office line, or through your cousin that always gets you in trouble, make sure that you do some research on who they are, what their strategy is, and what success they have had in the past with clients. Google has a great guide on picking a quality SEO professional and there are lots of other pre-hiring resources out there on the web.
Feel free to drop a line in the comments section here with your thoughts and if you have any more questions. Also, I’m curious to hear if anyone’s had any good experiences working with SEO professionals who have cold-contacted them through their websites.