Every company out there is experiencing this – emails coming in each and every day about SEO services, how they can get you to number 1 on Google, and how the “new” Panda update is changing everything.

Here’s the most recent one we’ve had –

Image of email from SEO company

So what’s right and wrong with it? 

  • Well the first sentence has 3 “untruths” in it.  Not a great start.  First off – You don’t need to use all 3 H tags in a page – You should certainly use and H1 once, and then possibly some H2 tags, but beyond that there’s no need.
  • The talk about using bold or italics in the page is nonsense – this goes way back into the history of SEO.  It might have had an affect back in 2009, but it doesn’t provide any benefit now.
  • Next sentence talks about Google PageRank.  PageRank doesn’t officially exist anymore.  It used to be a measure of a page’s worth, but Google stopped releasing the figures a couple of years ago, so checking PageRank is no longer an accurate measure.  New sites won’t have any PageRank even if they’ve become popular in the 2 years since it was canned, and older sites may still show as having a good PR even if they’ve hit rock bottom.  So just ignore it.  There are many other metrics that can be used as an alternative indicator, including Majestic and Ahrefs.  The section is correct in saying that you need On-Page SEO work to be done, but it goes on to explain it in a way that might well end up with a penalty.
  • The keyword should appear in the title OR the URL, but not exactly the same in both – otherwise it may count against you.  You should be using variations of it wherever possible.  So if your business is selling dog training information, you wouldn’t use the phrase “Dog training” over and over in the Titles, URL, H1 tags etc – you’d use natural sounding variations, such as:
    • Teaching your puppy
    • Dog obedience methods
    • Canine Training techniques
    • Etc
  • It takes a little time though, but it appears less like an obviously optimised site, and more like one which is using natural language.
  • HOORAY! The next sentence is accurate – your keyword density should be low – and 3% is a good figure to aim for.  LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) is a fancy way of saying something which contradicts their last statement – it’s the method of using variations of keyword that we just talked about.  So they do know about it, they’re just not likely to use it where it should be used.
  • What’s this?  The next couple of statements are accurate – there should be an internal link to another page on your blog, and images should have their Alt tags filled out, but be aware that filling out the tags should be done carefully – they can’t be stuffed full of keywords as it still counts toward your 3% density target.
  • And as for using a plugin that does this automatically for you – well if it’s written by these same guys it’s going to be very hit and miss.  There aren’t any plugins (yet) which can do this in a reliable way, so if you’re trying to optimise your site by yourself, try to stick to manual methods.