Your Web Team Isn’t Your Valentine
New relationships are exhilarating. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and all seems right with the world. Then reality provides a proverbial slap in the face and you find out that your “partner and best friend” is, in fact, a loud eater with opposing political views who puts the toilet paper roll on backwards. Sound familiar?
We have found that business relationships with some online marketing teams can look eerily similar to other romances in life. They start out splendidly and everything is humming along, and then at some point your plate is left spinning in the corner while they cater to a newer, more attractive client. Your business is left heartbroken, without direction, and in some cases has nowhere else to go due to a hastily-signed contract containing nothing but empty promises by a good salesperson. Worse yet, they might hold your website hostage causing you lost income and stress. If this were not bad enough, some don’t even know they are in one of these bad relationships. “How’s my SEO going?” they ask. “Fine,” answers the web team. Uh-oh.
So how can you tell if your web team is living up to their end of the bargain? First and foremost, if you were an SEOversite LITE Plus or Turnkey client, you wouldn’t have to – we would typically inform you well before it actually became an issue through our expert analysis and oversight (click here to learn more about our services). For those who aren’t quite there yet, read on for 5 signs that it may be time to kick your sweetheart to the curb (Happy Valentine’s Day!).
1. Organic visitors are down.
This may seem obvious to some, but not everyone knows that organic visitor counts are a direct result of a web team’s work. There are actually a few other sources of online visitors such as social media, referral, paid advertising like Google AdWords, and direct traffic. Some web teams will take credit for overall visitor counts to cover-up a lack of progress on the organic front.
2. Every metric they show you is great – every month.
It’s highly improbable that every month online continues to be better than the last until the end of time. It’s expected that some metrics like bounce rate or average session duration will fluctuate, especially when visitor counts rise. Not showing the complete picture could be a sign that they are hiding something. If your business collects leads and inquiries, often the web team will obfuscate the actual lead counts or not report them and point you directly to an oddball keyword that has improved in rank. Results are results so we recommend you look at key metrics like organic visitor counts and inquiries or sales first.
3. Timelines begin to slip.
Deadlines are there for a reason (though some SEO teams think that reason is “to be missed”). To be fair, there will be the occasional situation where there truly are unforeseen delays, or times when the client may have been slow to respond resulting in timelines being extended, but what is being referenced here is the habitual offender. Keep a running to-do list of tasks they promise to complete and ensure they are consistently checking things off of the running list.
4. Responsiveness becomes inconsistent.
Every team has their variation of what responsiveness means. For some, 48 hours is acceptable, while for others that response time seems like an eternity. The sweet spot to us is within one business day, and we communicate that to our Preferred Vendors well before they come on board. No matter what the “window” is for your current team, if it wildly fluctuates then it could be a sign of a systemic issue and more problems to come.
5. Work becomes sloppy.
Some examples of sloppy work could be a poorly written blog post or a piece of content that the team creates for posting either on- or off-site, or perhaps some photos that need to be cropped or edited prior to being uploaded. No web team will ever know your business the way you do so there will always be edits to be made to ensure that what is written or shown is consistent with your body of work – that’s par for the course – but when grammatical and/or spelling errors begin to become commonplace, that’s a problem.
Knowing the signs to look for is only half the battle. If you’ve ever tried to cut ties with your cable company or cell provider, you know that they like to save their best offer for either new clients or those that wish to leave, and most web companies are no different. The moment it sounds like you are ready to leave they will scramble and get upper management involved to offer you the same hollow chatter that worked the first time. Be prepared and don’t fall for it. Breaking up is hard to do, but just remember that SEOversite can help you switch to an honest, trustworthy web team at no cost to you. If your team is doing well, keep them, just as we hope you’d keep us. If, however, your web team might be cheating on you or you have fallen out of love, contact us today at email@example.com to learn more, or peruse our newly redesigned homepage at www.seoversite.com.