This is Part 1 of a two part post, check back tomorrow for Part 2 – A guide for what to look for…
Now before I start I just want to point out a few things I am NOT an expert in…
- Web Design
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- HTML source coding
- Meta Data and Keywords
- Social Media Marketing
Okay, now we’ve cleared that up you may be wondering who the hell do I think I am giving out advise about the above if I’m not an expert in any of them, well I’ll tell you…
I’m the person that MIGHT have been purchasing services from a company offering the above services, but I am tech savvy enough to do my research and know WHAT I need from a company providing such services. Therefore having been doing said research I am appalled at some of the ‘so-called’ experts selling these services inability to get it right on their own website – why the HELL would I trust them to do it for me!!?? In fact I was so incensed by what I found that I am actually sat here at 2am writing this guide as I couldn’t sleep!
In addition I do have some experience of business planning/strategy and market planning/strategy, which is why I know a bit about what is good and what you should be looking for when outsourcing this kind of work.
Furthermore some of these companies seem to have some degree fo success selling their services, clearly their clients have zero knowledge about what they should be getting for their money! Others, rightfully are not having any success – try getting it right for your own company first if you really want to sell your services to others!
Right, now that I’ve done the rant bit you will be wanting to know what it is that these companies are getting so wrong if a non-expert is trying to tell them how to do their job right. So, let’s get to it.
I am not going to name any names of these poor souls who are getting it so wrong, but I will use the lists of faults I found with just ONE such site to demonstrate how many of them are getting it wrong (and look forward to any experts in the field pointing out even more errors that I have not seen, seeing as I’m not an expert!). Once I have finished ripping strips off this website I will then provide a couple of examples of what I consider to be ‘getting it right’ as a comparison in part two tomorrow 🙂
Company X – A Social Media & Marketing Company that provides (amongst other services) Web-design, SEO, Social Media, PPC/Adwords, Email marketing.
Faults I found –
Well before you even get into the technical side of things you have the following issues…
At an initial glance the website ‘looks’ okay, but look a bit harder and the faults are glaring…
- A company selling web design services – who gets someone else to design their website? Errrm why do that? are you no good at it yourself – hmmm guess I’m answering that question here, aren’t I? lol
- Typo’s – It’s not ‘Social Meidia’ it’s ‘Social Media’ – and yes I know there may be typo’s in my blog, but 2 things 1. This is not a business 2. If it were my first priority with content would be double checking for errors!
- Twitter feed not loading – I later discovered this is because their twitter page does not actually exist…and they are selling Twitter services, oh dear…
- Broken Links – self explanatory…
- Testimonials – with no company name or link to the customer site
- Images used that appear to represent clients – but are clearly just filler content, no company names or links to sites, who do these images belong to?
- Two blocks of text with bullet point items that need further explanation – either through linking to content or expanding to show more when you click on them.
The links to additional pages on the site have // squashed right next to the words (e.g //about) which doesn’t look good, but that is not so much a fault as my opinion.
- About Page – Is not really ‘about’ the company so much as ‘why use us’ which is a bit different…
- What we do – brings you back to the home page, should be a new page, at least the drop down links work to individual services work…
- Services – on every service page there is ‘filler text‘ which should have been removed replaced before the website went live, ‘Get in Touch’ statements do not link through to contact page, the same with ‘sign up now’ buttons. There are bullet points under the filler text which seem irrelevant to the services offered and are identical on each page – what’s that about?
- Blog – there isn’t one, a link to ‘blog’ brings you to a page of filler text – and they do blog services
- Our Work – A page with images of client sites (genuine compared to the homepage images), but no link to the sites and the ‘testimonials’ on the homepage should be related to these, if they are the same clients…
- Contact us – A page that actually appears to be ok – what am I missing!?
- No link to it on their website!?
- Has just as many faults with broken links and filler texts.
- Some video testimonials from clients here which have some good content, even if they are not (real clients, companies I know exist) but these should be on the website!
The Technical bit
SEO – Viewing the source code for this site (where one of the services is SEO) shows that they are not using keywords in their own meta descriptions (image). The result of this? poor listing/ranking in search engines.
Google ranking – to find a company offering a particular service you generally don’t search for their website name, but keywords related to the service you are looking for. Some companies offering SEO will ‘demonstrate’ you coming top in the listings by typing your company name into google and if they have done ‘just enough’ (or paid for positioning) your company will appear at the top of the list – but who is going to be searching for your business by its name? only people who know you, most people will be searching for much more generic things such as ‘Web-design Birmingham’ not ‘Company X’ this is why your SEO and meta data keywords are so important! but you will see better what I mean about ‘getting it right’ when you see tomorrows examples.
Keywords – Using the Google adwords ‘keyword tool’ you can also see how little useful information is available in the site with the lack of useful recommendations that appear when you put Company X’s website name into the generator – tomorrow you will see what happens when you put in the name of a well written website…
I haven’t even read my SEO CHallenge book from Nikki Pilkington (To get your SEO E-book Click here to visit NikkiPilkington.com.) yet but I think I already have a pretty good grasp on this! and with my ‘training’ from doing the challenge when I am setting up my own website I think I will do quite well in my rankings, after all I definitely wont be making any of the mistakes described above! Would you buy services from companies that can’t even get it right for themselves!?
Check back tomorrow for a guide in what to look for with some examples of companies getting it right!
Thank you for reading! If you have enjoyed reading this post please share it with others who may be interested and I always enjoy receiving feedback and comments 🙂
- Blog Round-Up – The 5 most popular posts in September (showard76.wordpress.com)
- #30dayblog – Day 6 – Say Something Nice! (showard76.wordpress.com)
- Why meta description is so important (nikkipilkington.com)
- Tip #35 meta is better (nikkipilkington.com)
- 5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Strategy Isn’t Really a Social Media Strategy (windmillnetworking.com)