The Anatomy of a Bogus SEO Proposal

Business, by its very nature, is competitive and rewards those who are passionate and work smarter. But the easy path has an attraction, particularly when it comes to complex ideas that require time and energy to understand like Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Enter the “Bogus SEO Proposal”

I’m not in the habit of tearing down other people’s approach to marketing because I think flawed tactics will fail on their own merit but, I hate to see businesses duped with promises of search engine miracles. Search Marketing occupies a space that is exceedingly difficult. It’s a constantly moving target so it requires significant time and energy to understand in order to leverage it effectively.

But as is the case with anything that requires effort, there is always a belief that there is an easy path and the ”Easy SEO” proposal exists to take advantage of that. So, when I received the “offer” shown below I thought it would be a great opportunity to deconstruct it as a complete failure in truth and approach.

Here’s the message:

From: 1
Hello, my name is Curtis and I found your site online. I know you probably get emails like this all the time, but please read this entire email as this really could help your business. I’m a marketing consultant in San Diego, CA and I found your website online but noticed that for some of the major keyword phrases “Manassas Virginia flood restorationwhich gets searched over 1,500 times a month 2 you are NOT anywhere to be found on major search engines like I wanted to offer to put your website on the first page of Google and you DO NOT HAVE TO PAY any monthly fees unless I can actually get you on the first page for your keywords.
I know this sounds crazy, but I am so good at Search Engine Optimization I can make a guarantee like this. If you want more business from your website 3 then we should talk. I can also show you some of my happy clients who dominate Google. My prices are very affordable and there is NO RISK 4 on your part because if I FAIL to put you on the first page then you do not pay any monthly fees, as I take on all the risk. I can get you ranked for whatever keywords you want! I am sending this email to 27 other contractors in the local area and the first one to take me up this offer gets it 5as I can only work with one type of business per city. So if you are interested then please respond asap so you can lock in your city!

The Analysis:

These types of emails are a patchwork of half-truths and outright lies. Here’s some of the telltale signs of a ruse:

  1. It’s from a Gmail address — There is nothing inherently wrong with having and using a Gmail address, but when you use it for business correspondence it always throws up a red flag. This seems to be a favorite of the purveyors of faux SEO
  2. The keyword phrase in question — While the offer touts big search numbers for ”manassas virginia flood restoration” it actually has no discernible search volume. The number cited is a fabrication. This is the core of the ruse. They attempt to demonstrate their ability at SEO by producing first page results for a term no one is searching for.
  3. If you want more business from your website — Equating rank position of a keyword phrase to more business is a false assumption and one that business owners want to believe.
  4. NO RISK — It’s always reassuring to not have to pay until results are seen but the results these vendors push are useless. When they succeed at the ridiculously simple and useless task, they bill you.
  5. I am sending this email to 27 other contractors in the local area and the first one to take me up this offer gets it — Scarcity is a great motivator and the threat of your competitors getting this “special offer” makes it even more urgent. (You should hope they take him up on it)

These “easy deals” hope to capitalize on the jargon and misconceptions that exist around legitimate search marketing and often times they succeed. I have seen some very savvy business owners fall victim to these so if you have, you are not alone.

The best business decision you can make about one of these offers is to simply hit delete.

If you are interested in talking about search marketing options that actually work, contact us. We offer proven methods that grow your business using search marketing techniques like Local Search, Paid Search and Content Marketing.

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