Have you ever received an unsolicited website report that chilled you to the bone? With numbers, all in red and scores that are well below par. Discovering that your website, an extension of your business, is failing is truly the stuff of nightmares. But are things really as bad as they seem?
The answer is probably no. This is because if something looks too good (or in this case bad) to be true it usually is.
Let’s delve a little deeper.
What Are Automated Reports?
Automated reports are detailed accounts of what is going on with your website, its health and functionality. As a useful tool, automated reporting can regularly deliver relevant information at specific, predetermined times - so that you don’t have to search for and compile the data yourself. In turn, these reports help you to better manage your marketing efforts and website - as you are able to watch how performance changes on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
However, due to the rising need and use of these reports, thousands of sub-par reporting programs are now readily available online.
Therein lies the catch.
Because there are so many different types of automatic reporting software out there, you can safely assume that they are not all running checks for the same components and are not all as sophisticated as the next one.
Here are some of the pros and cons of automated reporting:
- Yields quick results.
- Runs through several components on your website providing you with an overview.
- Saves you time as you don’t have to manually search for information.
- Automated reports are not thorough.
- While they provide a glancing overview, there is no real context.
- If you don’t understand the context, it will take you longer to know what is going on.
Ironically, the reasons that make some automated reports advantageous are the same reasons they are disadvantageous. The software runs quick tests but that could make them less thorough. They can give you a great overview of several components on your website but don’t offer enough context regarding the how, what and why. While the automation process saves you time, by compiling this data for you, it takes a lot of time to work through the information if you lack understanding.
The Plot Thickens
Has anyone ever sent you a report, without your request, that claimed there were several things amiss from your website and its functionality? Usually, these emails are accompanied by an assurance that the sender (or their company) can fix the aspects of your website that are not running at an optimal level. However, tread lightly as there might be more to the story than meets the eye.
If you have an unprompted gloomy report lurking in your inbox, it is time to put on your detective cap and treat it like a murder mystery.
What Is The Motive?
Start off by identifying the sender’s motive and yes everybody has a motive. For what reason did they send it to you? Were they showing genuine concern for your website and business or is their motivation profit charged? You have to realise that there are many people out there who take advantage or business owners who may not fully understand technical terms and statistics.
Who Is The Murderer?
Read between the lines. It is more than likely that the sender is trying to sell you something and it is up to you to uncover exactly what that is. They might claim to have the answer to all of your website’s problems (that they have conveniently found) or offer you a once in a lifetime deal, at a cost of course.
Check Under The Bed
There is something missing from your website - a claim often made by these senders. But what if you know these claims to be false or if you want to double check their findings? If you are still concerned about the report you received, keep in mind that the software that generates these reports might not be looking in places that are hidden from typically searched destinations. Thus producing negative results, even if those components exist.
Is your website really as dead as they say or is there something more sinister at play? When you receive an unsolicited report from an unreliable source don’t be alarmed, chances are that there is a “murderer with a motive under the bed”. Even if automated reports seem scary and confusing - odds are that there is a simple explanation. Want to get a better understanding of how automated reports work and what they mean? We are happy to assist, give us a call today.