Using a contact form to send unsolicited, bulk emails to businesses is one of the most popular marketing strategies used by shady companies in the past few years. The quality of mass email lists has declined, and there is a wealth of information online describing why you should avoid them. In addition, using them can be difficult or impossible as email providers crack down on illegitimate lists.
Since we set up contact forms with a trusted email address for the sender, you can’t use a SPAM filter to weed out SPAM submissions. Furthermore, bots send messages that seem like genuine submissions, so it can be hard to filter them out even if you tried.
The most common bulk contact form solicitation may be about your website itself. Something like this:
“Hello, it’s my job to look at websites, and I have to say, I went through your site, and it looks great, but I noticed it’s not on the first page of Google. May I send you an SEO proposal so other people can enjoy your content as much as I have?”
We get the same messages even as a web design and SEO company. There are a few things to understand about this message or others like it.
No, They Didn’t
Is it really this person’s job to “look at websites?” Can they get you on the first page of Google? Here’s an even more relevant question: is this email from a human being?
No one has looked at your website. You may be (and likely are) dealing with a wholly fabricated company overseas with no intention other than to take your hard-earned money. This message is from an automated process, otherwise known as a bot. The bot scans the Internet for contact forms. That is its sole purpose.
In most jurisdictions, it’s against the law to send automated bulk email solicitations through contact forms. If they are resorting to SPAM bots to advertise their services, they either have a horrible product, no morals, or both. A reputable company doesn’t hire or use SPAM bots to lie to their clients. As mentioned above, the other likely explanation is that this is simply a scam.
Scanning the Web
The subtle message is that there is an Internet scanner that someone has developed that is capable of finding websites with bad SEO. The truth is, it is hard to know how a site is doing from the outside. Without access to Google Analytics, there is very little to go on unless you take a deep dive and spend many hours analyzing content, markets, and keywords. People don’t do this for free. They are simply trying to play on your emotions to make a sale.
How’s Your SEO?
Since SEO is a process, it can constantly improve. The kernel of truth exploited in this message is that you probably can do more to improve search placement for your website. That is always the case.
What can you do? First, don’t react or respond to a message like this. Second, find a reputable company to hire to improve your SEO or do it yourself. Free tools are available to improve page speed, optimize content and metadata, submit your XML sitemap, and analyze visitor data.