I’m going to pick on a business here… not because I hate them (because I don’t) but just because I stumbled across this result while I was trying to find the website for the place I wanted to get a pedicure at during my lunch hour (and a half).
Here’s what happened. I vaguely recalled the name of the place being “Anthony Vince” something or other. So verily, I go to Google and search for “Anthony Vince Salon” and here’s what comes up…
Well. Okay. The name is right… but from the description it looks like it’s a multimedia development company that needs to go back to fifth grade and learn to spell “professional”… I have a sneaking suspicion I know what happened here, so I clicked on through to check out the site.
Oh look! It is indeed a salon/spa and not, in fact, a multimedia development company who can’t spell professional right. Next, just for giggles, I took a peek at their source code.
Aside from the glaring issue with the meta description being a self-serving plug for the illiterate multimedia developers — oh and the keywords too — there were the usual problems with making the site look pretty but completely ignoring/not caring about how the bots see the code. No H1 tags, no H-anything tags, no emphasis, no nothing. Yes, CSS is way kewl; however, the ability to convey emphasis and importance directly within the HTML is available for a reason. Digging further into the site, every page has the exact same title/description/keywords, a lot of the good content is flash so it’s useless anyway, and to top it off, the site hasn’t been updated in like 4 years.
So why pick on the poor saps?
I felt like this is a perfect example of why it’s important to know enough about what you’re doing in terms of your online marketing to be able to double check your developer’s work. No one expects you to know your business AND be a world class web developer. If your primary job function is NOT search engine marketing, no one expects you to be the world’s foremost authority on that either. That is still no excuse for not bothering to learn enough about what you’re paying people to do to know if they’re half-assing the project or just plain incompetent.
And the moral of the story is…
How do you *know* your consultants know what they’re doing? Ask the other people they’ve done projects for? Okay… sure… but ask them WHAT? How do you know which questions to ask if you don’t know what it is you want or need? If you do have a defined goal, but you really have zero idea how to reach said goal, what will you do then? Just let other people fret about the technical, voodoo magic details. Mmmmm… no. Bad idea.
Seriously… if you’re going to spend a ton of money on, let’s say, an engagement ring, you’re going to spend a few weeks learning about how to tell a bad diamond from a good diamond, a cheap setting from a high quality setting, etc. A cubic zirconium LOOKS pretty, but you’re spending money on a diamond and you want to know you’re not getting ripped off. Apply the same logic to your web projects.
Learn enough to know that you’re getting quality work out of your vendors and consultants.