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3 Things to Avoid When Using Specialty Web Service Providers


Are you using a specialty web service provider? You know the ones: they only handle one type of industry and have names like: “Dentists-R-Us”, “CPA-Land”, and “Ortho-Web”. There are many, many vertical web service providers in the marketplace. There are as many so-called “specialty” service providers as there are industries. The most common are providers for law firms, attorneys, doctors, dentists, and chiropractors—the list goes on and on.

While there are some great developers out there, there are bad ones also. The three most common pitfalls to avoid when using specialty web service providers are duplicate content, poor service and no content marketing strategy. Here, I will walk through each area, how to recognize them and what questions to ask.

Pitfall #1: Duplicate Content

Search engines rank your website based on its content. Content that is duplicated across more than one site will significantly lower your Search Engine ranking. In SEO circles, we call this “the duplicate content penalty.” How can Google penalize you? Easy—they may not show your site high (or at all) for search terms you deserve.

It’s easy to find out if your site has duplicate content. Try this simple 60-second experiment: Copy two or three full sentences or a whole paragraph from the middle of one of your main service pages. Avoid copying content from your homepage or your “about us” page. Now, here’s the secret: paste the content into Google’s search bar, hit SEARCH and see how many responses are listed. There should be ONLY ONE LISTING – yours. We routinely see law firms and dental sites with 3,000+ results. This means that the web developer has used the exact same content over 3,000 times!

The Lesson

  • You are one-of-a-kind, with a unique story to tell and your web content should reflect that. Bottomline, your content must be fresh, unique and ideally professionally produced.

Action Plan

  1. Fire your web company.
  2. Hire a reputable company do an SEO analysis to identify where duplicate content exists
  3. Demand fresh content

Pitfall #2: Lack of Service

Many specialty web developers are more concerned with billing you out than actually building a quality site site. Once your site is built they are on to the next site. These developers will provide you with hosting services, but their business model is based on building sites with a monthly fee and support and training is a distant second. Ask yourself: When is the last time your web service provider came out to visit you and your team about your business?

The Lesson

  • A team that truly cares about you as a client will take the time to reach out to you periodically to suggest improvements to your site and to ask how they can help you.

Action Plan

  1. Fire your web company.
  2. Find a local developer with a responsive team.
  3. Demand at least a semi-annual review of your site with a report and a follow-up visit to go over the entire online effort.

Pitfall #3: Lack of Ongoing Content Marketing Strategy

Ongoing content generation is one of the keys to constantly driving new traffic to your site. Many specialty web developers just want to build your site, cross their fingers and be done. Unless you have a team that can dedicate time to consistently adding high-quality content to your site, it will become static, collect dust and fall off the search engine radar. Some of the most common forms of content that are added on a regular basis are articles, blog posts, newsletters, and announcements.

Content generation is among the best marketing dollars you can spend. Because your business is unique, you owe it to yourself to find a developer that can tell your story and help you stand out from the crowd.

The Lesson

  • If you ignore your site, it will ignore you.

Action Plan

  1. Fire your web company.
  2. Hunt for a marketing team that has a department dedicated to generating content for you.
  3. Commit a portion of your marketing budget to content

Scott has a passion for growing companies using marketing and consulting with businesses to make their processes better. As a speaker and author, Scott loves to share knowledge and ideas. Scott is the President of RSM Marketing.

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