An email lands in your inbox or your junk folder and you don't recognise the email address or the name of the person sending you the email, and the subject line may look like this (and make you worry):
"Your website isn't coming up on Google - I can help you"
"I found a number of errors that are harming your website"
"I can get you on page 1 of Google"
"Organic SEO with guaranteed results"
At first glance of these subject lines, you might think "Oh no, what's wrong with my website?!" and even appreciate that someone had the time to look at your website for you and give you this free information.
But really? Nobody looked at your website.
'John Smith - Executive Sales Manager' doesn't actually exist.
What actually happened is that your email address was found online, put into a database, one email was created for the hundreds/thousands of website owners (which is why your name wasn't inserted in the intro of the emails - "Hi sir/madam" or no hello at all an straight to the fear tactics), and they hit send in the hopes that some of the random people they spam emailed would fall for their gross tricks in order to shame you/fraud you into willingly handing over your money to them to "fix your website and SEO".
The spam email probably looks like this:
Let's point out all the red flags, shall we?
1. Guaranteeing results
Guaranteeing results in the subject line before they even start pitching - nobody can guarantee results!
2. Unprofessional email address
They have a spammy, unprofessional email address and they don't bother to find out or use your name. They also use poor grammar.
3. They don't introduce themselves
Rather than tell them their (actual) name and what company they work for, along with details of their business or company, they skip this and go straight for the fear tactics and hard sell. They also don't explain how they found me.
4. Contradicting information/the don't make sense
They say he won't give me a bunch of points then proceeds to give me a bunch of points...
5. Vague information
"Flexible marketing" - what does this mean?
6. Confusing or technical words
They use technical or 'big words' to confuse you. There's no such thing as "off page optimisation"
My top tips to spot a spam email like this one in your inbox
1. Do your research
If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.
2. Remember that nobody can guarantee TOP results with SEO
Be wary of what type of 'results' they're promising - results could mean ANYTHING, so ask for specifics.
3. Check the email address
If it looks unprofessional such as the one in the example then block and delete. If there's also no website address, if they don't bother to use your name or introduce themselves... trash it.
4. No decent SEO agency or consultant etc will EVER cold email people
It's gross, it's a well-known 'SEO cowboy' tactic, it's impersonal, unprofessional, not to mention it stinks of desperation. If they have to bulk email random people trying to find work, how good are they really at SEO? 😏