Two Categories of ‘Bad’ Website Companies:
The first category of bad website companies is the scammers. These companies are comprised of those not-good-business people – those who give off bad juju, and end up taking more than they provide. Before hiring a company, make sure they aren’t scamming you. Be sure you:
- Figure out if they have a bad reputation or not by looking for reviews of them. You can look at the Better Business Bureau for complaints. You can also search on ‘company name reviews’ or ‘company name complaints’ in Google to see if they have taken of advantage of people in the past.
- Also, when speaking with them, make sure to discern whether or not they know what they’re doing. You can do so by asking questions about how they do certain services. If they seem like they don’t want to disclose much, this could be a red flag.
- Ask to see other work of theirs. If they won’t share any, this could be a red flag too.
Bottom line: there are a LOT of scammers in the online marketing and web development world. Protect yourself from being taken advantage of.
2. Do the work, but it doesn’t work
The second category of bad website companies is those who do what they say they are going to do, but what they end up building you doesn’t work (because they don’t know what they’re doing). This is a big one. There are again, a LOT of companies who know how to build websites. The problem is, knowing how to build a website is only part of the equation. While they may know how to do the technical pieces, they may not have a good sense of marketing, which is a key piece. Its like hiring a baker to make your wedding cake. Would you hire someone who just knew how to bake a cake? No. You would hire someone who can bake the cake AND decorate the cake beautifully. Before you hire a company, make sure they understand marketing, in addition to how to build the site.
Here are the 4 most important marketing aspects that we recommend you include when determining which company to hire. Use these to evaluate the website company. If they don’t seem to place any importance on the things listed below, then they don’t have a good knowledge of marketing.
- Whether your specialties are visible and navigable within one second.
- Whether you have individual 7 point marketing messages on each of those pages that are built with SEO in mind.
- Whether or not they include a blog, built within the website, not separate (not on a different site).
- Whether or not you have a free download to build an email list that you can nurture and build over time.
Red Flags of Bad Website Companies
Below is a list of red flags. If a company you are thinking about hiring mentions ANY of the following things, take your business elsewhere.
1. They tell you SEO isn’t important
If someone tells you SEO is not important on your website, they are sorely mistaken. SEO is vital for a successful website.
2. They guarantee to get you on page one of Google
Unless the company is getting you onto page one with Google Adwords, then this claim is a big red flag. It can take months for you to get to page one of Google with smart, strategic SEO. If someone guarantees to get you on page one immediately, they are more than likely using shady SEO methods — methods that can hurt your website immensely.
3. They don’t give you guidance on how to write your pages
What we mean by this is, the company just wants to be a hired hand, with you telling them everything to do. This means they will only do what you tell them to do, without any input and guidance. They don’t coach you through the process or give you advice on what your website should look like, and what functionality it should have in order to be effective. Unless you consider yourself a well-versed online website marketing strategist, this is another red flag.
4. They haven’t worked with therapists before
Many of our clients come to us with a website designed by a well-known web developer in their city, or a family friend who builds websites for a living. While hiring someone who builds websites is okay, you will be better off hiring someone who has worked with therapists before, who knows the profession. Plus, you want to ensure the person who builds your site has a solid knowledge of marketing, as I talked about before.
5. They don’t have referrals of happy therapists to send to you
Referrals are always a great way to judge whether a company is good or bad. If their clients are happy, then it is more likely that you will be happy. Ask for referrals of other therapists when hiring a company. If they don’t have any, or won’t supply you with any, that’s another red flag.
6. They won’t let you control your own website
Many website companies will build your website, then have full control over it. This means you always have to go to them to make any changes to your website. Talk about a pain! This is another red flag. Before hiring a company, make sure they will allow you to have full control of the website after it is built.
7. They say a blog isn’t important
This is the ULTIMATE red flag! Blogging is key to a successful website. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — if you aren’t blogging, your website will not be effective. If someone says blogging isn’t important, take your business elsewhere.
8. They say you shouldn’t have very much text on your pages, because people won’t read it
This is a big misconception, which you should keep an eye out for as well. Many people say a small amount of text is better for engagement. This is WRONG. The more content on your pages, the more likely you are to engage with the website visitor and the more SEO juice you have. Without substantial content, you will not rank in Google.