Following up on a website optimization offer

2016-06-11 3 min read

    I’ve been getting a stream of offers to help “optimize” my site and decided to follow through with one and see where it went. The general pitch is to call out existing errors and problems and offer a service to help fix the variety of errors and improve my search ranking. Here’s the text of the most recent email:

    Dear business owner of,

    How is it possible that your website is having so many errors? Yes, most of the people share their anger and frustration once they get my email.

    Now, I will show you the number of broken links, pages that returned 4XX status code upon request, images with no ALT text, pages with no meta description tag, not having an unique meta description, having too long title, etc., found in your

    I have a large professional team who can fix all the above issues immediately at an affordable price. I guarantee you will see a drastic change in your Google search ranking once these are fixed.

    If this is something you are interested in, then allow me to send you a no obligation audit report.

    Best Regards,


    Clearly this is not personalized as every mention of can be replaced with another domain and have the same effect. The language doesn’t feel natural and is awkward but the author does include a series of technical words and phrases to showcase his knowledge. I wonder if they have A/B tested the hell out of different copies and ended up coming up with this. I recall reading that Nigerian scammers purposely use non-standard English as a way to identify even better marks. If they wrote in perfect prose they’d end up luring many more people into the top of their funnel that would end up backing out later. Much better to get a smaller set of people hooked that have a higher conversion rate.

    The day after my reply I received a PDF titled “Website Analysis for” It’s surprisingly well-fleshed out and contains a series of best practices and stats that my site is ranked on. It has the obvious ones such as number of pages indexed by Google as well as some esoteric ones, such as whether it’s listed on “DMOZ.” The analysis ended with a search ranking plan as well as the pricing page with 3 potential plans ranging from $300 to $900 a month. My gut is that this was a dual effort between code and humans with the bulk automatically generated and a human polishing it up. I’m confident that the human component was outsourced given the language and the fact that the firm has presence in India. Generating this was probably cheap but not insignificant and does make me wonder what their conversion rate is. The $300 price point seems high but is in line with the website optimization services out there so maybe these guys have figured out their customer acquisition model.