If you have a website, at some point you may have received a form submission (or many) regarding marketing opportunities to promote your business. Within the past 30 days, we have noticed a sharp increase in what we call, “Bait and Switch SEO” emails.
Generally, the email is formatted with language to concern you that your website is being outranked by competitors, suggesting you follow up to get a free SEO analysis. Don’t fall for the bait.
Below are examples of bait and switch SEO emails sent to multiple clients, the only difference, the website address was changed…clever
How Can You Tell it’s SEO Spam?
These emails are sent out in masses to tens of thousands of businesses, and often times, businesses might be inclined to follow up for more information, especially if it’s worded that their website is not performing well. At that point, they fall through the sales funnel to hopefully get hooked on some type of SEO commitment (i.e. 6 month SEO link-building campaign). Here are the two top ways you can quickly identify the email as being spam:
1. Where did the email originate from?
A quick way to find out if this is a scam, is to look at where the email originated from (the from address). If it did not originate from a company address i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org, then there’s a high chance it’s spam. A majority of bait and switch SEO emails are originating from @gmail.com addresses. The reason for this is that it’s free to setup a gmail account, and these spammers don’t want to use their own email server as there’s a high chance they would be flagged for spam. They send out emails in masses and if the gmail account gets tripped as spam, then it only takes a few minutes to setup another one.
2. The Email Signature
If you take a look at the signature, often times it’ll contain the name of the person sending the email, along with the company they represent. It only takes a few minutes to turn to Google and look up the company. Surprisingly, we have noticed many of these companies originating from outside the U.S. If you have a local business, would you trust a marketing firm in a different Country to know your demographics, competition, service locations, etc.? Likely not. We suggest moving on, and if you are interested in SEO, contact a local SEO agency in the Boston area.