The 7 deadly sins of Technical Support

Posted on 07. Mar, 2012 by in Digital Marketing

Failing to implement technical recommendations – why do people do it? And what are the 7 deadly sins of technical support? 

In the glamorous world of technical SEO we see a lot of website owners and developers shying away from making or implementing any technical recommendations; either because of the sheer extent of the issues on their site or they don’t want to tinker around their site for fear the PANDA will strike.

In this day and age SEO can still be a little hazy to website owners. When viewing Google’s online support forums and various others, it seems as though most web owners and developers are fazed about taking the time to allow implemented changes seem to stand out, and by their own lack of knowledge.

Seven Deadly Fundamentals

Over the last number of years I have noticed the same 7 Deadly Si7 sinsns or 7 Cardinal Sins cropping up when discus technical changes some site owners. Not everyone is going to be savvy in technical SEO but it is a fundamental part of being the person in charge to listen to someone that does and who is giving solutions for resolving any issues.

The 7 deadly Technical sins can happen any time, in any order.  Or if you are really unlucky, all in the same week! Many of you reading this may think I have gone to extreme lengths to generalise day-to-day issues that may occur on a campaign. Hopefully as you read on you will see the underlining meaning of this post and can relate to them in some way.

  • Lust – An emotional energy that is directly associated with the thinking or fantasising about websites, usually in a technological way!

OK, OK I may have gone a little overboard on this statement, but I still stand by it. From a personal point of view when I sometimes look at a site and think “I wouldn’t mind a bit of that!…..On my personal sites that is”. Whether it is snippets for mark-up, regular fresh content or just a simple JavaScript overlay. These are the things we look at on a day-to-day basis and are always thinking of ways to implement them differently in order to generate the best out of them.

  • Sloth – Neglecting what webmasters have spoken about and being physically inactive about doing anything about it.

When I start every month, I try to calculate how many hours I am going to spend on each client so that I can be as beneficial to them as possible. I love thinking of new and exciting ways to promote sites, whether it is my continuous talk of “Snap Tags” to the rest of the Technical team (who I think will throttle me for mentioning them again!).

As it is our job to point out potential pitfalls, we can only do so much for so long. Emails can get lost in translation or sit in a folder named “what the hell is that about” with months going by and issues not being resolved. Sloth has the potential to turn what was once a decent ranking site to car crash material. It is vital to continuously update your site as often as possible. Sloth really is deadly.

  • Gluttony – Meaning to overindulge with optimising your site, or the wealth of items to the point of extravagance or waste. You can over optimise your site and most times that this happens it’s through black hat tricks.

I would always class this as exceeding the necessary amount of SEO on a site through Black Hat methods:

Paid links – Buying or selling links to pass PageRank on is a violation of Google’s Guidelines. This can negatively impact your site’s ranking in search results.

Hidden text – This is text that is displayed in a way were it is hidden or unreadable to users.

Cloaking – This is when content presented to search engine spiders is different from that presented to the user’s browser.

  • Wrath – May be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. Wrath can manifest in many ways with impatience being the main one to deal with in this industry.

As I have mentioned that this can manifest in many ways:

Client – Unhappy with service that you are carrying out on a campaign. Lack of ROI, CTR or even a drop in keyword rankings can have a negative snowball effect on a campaign.

Documents – This could happen if reports, PDFs sent to clients have issues themselves. It is always important to provide excellent work as much as excellent service. It’s all very well getting a large quantity of documents out but the quality needs to follow.

Communication – It’s vital in any relationship to communicate, however conflict is inevitable at times. Handling the problem is a two way streak to effectively deal with the situation. Whether it is from miscommunication, disagreements or misunderstanding! Communicational skills are a necessary attribute to have in the SEO industry.

  • Envy – This may involve wanting the layout, content or abilities of a competitor website, which is good as it involves a motive to outdo or undo the rival’s advantages. However, this should always be achieved through white hat methods.

Being envious of competitor sites can lead to a negative affect and put a strain on communications between site owners and Webmasters over the direction of the site. Having a skewed perception on how to achieve your sites goals needs to be kept strictly white hat, even though black hat options appear to be a cost effective approach at the time. In the long run they can negatively impact your site, which could lead to spending twice as much to get you back where you started.

  • Greed – With the motive to outdo or undo the rival’s advantages comes great responsibly not to acquire excessive desire to use black hat tricks.

It is ok to have a desire to have a nice layout, navigation, picture or even the desire for your sites’ functionality to work well. Excessively acquiring these by undermining Google’s Guidelines is no way to come about achieving these attributes.

  • Pride – Not shying away when recommendations are made, identified as a desire to have a more important or attractive website than competitors.

Having pride in your website appearance and abilities makes for a better running campaign. A main understanding of pride is that it results from getting satisfaction with meeting goals set aside to benefit your site. Throughout this blog you have probably noticed a current trend about “organically growing your site”; this is something we cannot stress about enough. Any black hat SEO methods these days could leave your site in dire straits. In the current climate with monthly updates affecting sites drastically it is best practice to:

• Have a good client to webmaster relationship
• Take on board any recommendations given
• Constantly use a planner; this will help tracking changes that have been made and changes that need to be made
• Always have budget for technical recommendations, although some changes may not show results straight away, we would not recommend them if they were not important.

Future Impact

google godsFuture proofing your site is the most important part of any business when it comes to changes on your site, there is no difference. I hope this blog has been enjoyable to read and provided a little more insight in the day-to-day running’s of a Technical Account Manager.

7 deadly sins, is your site committing sins against the Google Gods? Or is your site not tempted by these Capital Vices?