Website Audit Emails: Are They Bonafide Or Are They Scams?
If you’ve ever opened up your inbox to discover a tempting offer for a “no obligation” website audit, you might wonder whether or not it’s something worth considering. This is just one of the many ways NYC SEO Authority is keeping you current. If you’d like to learn about the most common scams that take this form and find out how to get a worthwhile audit done for free, simply keep reading.
We recently got a forwarded audit email from one of our clients with an inquiry about the legitimacy of the offer.
I take pride in offering my clients good value, but I’m also always open to showing them how to use third-party tools to learn more about their websites’ performance.
This particular email would clearly not be the start of a good experience for my client. I fired off a “Stay away from that scam!” warning as quickly as possible.
Sadly, this is not the only time I’ve seen this sort of predatory nonsense in my clients’ inboxes. That’s why I’ve assembled a list of tips for spotting and dealing with scam audit offers. With the help of Search Console, it’s easier than you think to pull together the important audit information related to your website.
The Free “No Obligation” Audit
You’ll usually see this sort of email coming from a sender who sounds like a legitimate professional, like “Marketing Consultant Bill Ross.” The usual gist is that my client’s website could do way better, and the sender’s company has a magic wand that can fix it.
Here are the three key clues you should look for that are classic scam warning signs:
- An email address from a free service, such as Gmail or Yahoo. Real professionals host their own email servers through a commercial domain name instead of using a free service like Gmail.
- A salutation that addresses the website domain name. Many of these scam offers come addressed to the attention of “Business Owner at [client’s domain name].” The actual email address the offer is sent to is typically one that’s publically posted on my client’s website. In other words, the email has been targetted at a bulk list of email addresses automatically “scraped” off of websites.
- A lack of identification. The specific example I’m describing here, from “Mr. Ross,” provided no clues about the company name, address, or website associated with the supposedly-professional sender.
How Google Can Deliver Your Audit Information At No Cost
Virtually everything these emails say they can deliver is actually available free of charge from Google through their Search Console.
I’m amazed by the number of clients I have who haven’t heard of the Search Console. Many of those who do know about it don’t understand how to use it. This free Google service is designed to let people monitor their websites’ Google performance easily and automatically.
This Google data will tell you virtually everything that those audit offers are promoting. Search Console delivers a wealth of information about how Google’s search engine reacts to your website. Key data points being tracked include the total number of pages the engine has indexed, the occurrence of 404-page errors, and the presence of malware. Google also provides useful info about potential problems with your title and meta tags.
Getting Started With Search Console
Using Search Console couldn’t be simpler. Here’s how to get up and running:
Verify Your Website
Before you can view the information Google has collected, you’ll need to verify that you own the website in question. This only takes a few minutes, and Google offers you multiple ways to do it. There are comprehensive directions including how-to videos on the help pages for the Search Console.
Review All The Relevant Reports
Once you’ve verified your site and logged in, take a moment or two to get to know Search Console. Finding the information you’re looking for is relatively self-explanatory. With practice, you can effortlessly navigate to the reports you want to check up on at any time.
For the clients of my agency (Huff Industrial Marketing), all of the relevant data provided through Google’s Search Console is incorporated into the custom dashboards we deliver to them. They can get fresh and up-to-date data regarding indexing, website health, and more at a glance. We summarize data from multiple reports and multiple sources. This is just another part of providing the very best New York local SEO services for our clients. If you’re interested in becoming one of them, call or contact us today! One of our architects is waiting to speak with you!