SEO spam is rife at the moment; not a day goes by without at least one arriving in my inbox.
Most are deleted just as soon as they arrive, but one from localadverts4u.co.uk stood out for 2 reasons.
- The email is particularly bad.
- The name rang a bell - I had an email from a client just days earlier asking me to block them.
The email makes for interesting reading...
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... but is there any substance to it?
Who are they?Apparently run by "David Gange" and "Stuart Biggs", localadverts4u.co.uk is a home-based business in Surrey.
What do they offer?
"LocalAdverts4U are experts in local search engine optimization. Based in Surrey, UK, our team of web-specialists work super hard to achieve lasting results for a range of small business clients. We guarantee to get you to the top of the Google rankings fast, so that you can get yourself in front of your target audience. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding."
Are they any good?Let's take a look at the email first.
GrammarFirst impressions count. If you use bad grammar, you're already fighting a losing battle.
FrequencyOnce a week is plenty, twice a week (or more) and you're likely to find yourself blacklisted.
Email SourceIf you have your own domain, use it for every email. Emails from "[email protected]" look amateurish; giving entirely the wrong impression. Strangely, the second email came from a localadverts4u domain, so that's two addresses to block instead of one.
StatisticsIf you're going to give statistics, it's always useful to know the source. Where is the proof that failure to implement any/all of the 7 "things" results in a 25-75% drop in revenue? Where is the proof that 1-5% of businesses are using these 7 "things"? I can't find any metrics to support this statement; which either means they're false or well hidden.
On to the services they offer...
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Google Maps"Google Maps is our bread-and-butter and the first thing we will take care of for you."
After an extensive search, I couldn't find any trace of a Google Map's entry for LocalAdverts4U. <sarcasm> I wonder if they realise they're losing 75% of local business to their competition? </sarcasm>
Google Search ListingSEO companies cannot guarantee to get you to position #1 on Google. Absolutely, unequivocally... it's not possible. If anyone tells you otherwise, run a mile.
Mobility WebsitesLet's assume they meant "mobile-enabled sites" rather than a form of transport usually reserved for the elderly & disabled...
Mobile sites add value - which makes it all the more confusing that LocalAdverts4U doesn't appear to have one.
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A "pass" rate of just 8% implies it's either a normal site built for a standard browser - or a very poor mobile site.
Social NetworkingA very powerful tool in the right hands. Sadly, few people put it to good use. LocalAdverts4U for example...
Website DesignCredit where due - the site isn't too bad. I've certainly seen worse!
It's not XHTML transitional, quite bloated with uncompressed images and doesn't make use of CDN's (content delivery networks) but design-wise, it's pretty good.
Sales VideosVideo marketing - if done correctly - can be immensely powerful. Trouble is, far too many look cheap & tacky. A successful video marketing campaign takes significant planning, investment and a design team with the know-how to both convey your business accurately and target the right demographic.
Speaking of tacky...
Spelling mistakes, blurry images and completely without structure or purpose. Quick... where do I sign?
Testimonial (singular)The only testimonial available is from Guy Gilbert from Pixlocks.com. Unfortunately, the site has been down for quite some time. What I can see from the WayBackMachine is in the short time the site was live, it was neither designed nor SEO'd by LocalAdverts4U.
SummaryThe web site isn't too bad and with some work, the videos could be made to look half decent. The rest however, is awful beyond words and certainly not worthy of the £127 a month price tag.
Had emails from localadverts4u.co.uk - Give your comments below.