7 Qualities to Look for When Hiring a Web Support Team 

web support team

Hiring a remote team of web developers and designers is the norm. Many small to medium online businesses go this route because of two major reasons: cost and efficiency.

Let's face it, not every business owner knows how to develop a website from the ground up. Many of them are just starting to realize the benefits of having an online presence even with a brick-and-mortar store. There are those who are just learning how to use the internet for their businesses –that’s why it’s the perfect opportunity for outsourced web support teams to provide their expert services.

One of the best solutions is to use one or a few of the numerous tools and apps available that allow remote teams to work cohesively.

However, it is the selection process that poses a lot of challenges. If you’re having this dilemma, here are seven qualities that every business owner should look for in an outsourced web support team.

(1) Expertise

In your quest for accelerated business success, it is important to find and partner with a web support team that is backed with years of experience. Since web development, design and optimization are crucial in meeting your business goals, this team should possess professionalism, expert knowledge, and skills. Teams are also expected to be up-to-date and in line with the latest web development and design trends.

(2) Fast turnaround time

Look for outsourced web support teams with short work cycles. This gives both parties the opportunity to take a peak of the website in action. Web support companies usually have outsourced people in different corners of the globe, making it possible to complete web projects in the shortest amount of time.

(3) Range of quality services

Typically for outsourced web development and design teams provide a wide range of skills and expertise. You’ll l find quality web services that include development, design, hosting, quality assurance and testing, site maintenance and audit, support, software design, and business analysis, just to name a few.

(4) Cost-effective rates

A combination of flexible rates and packaged fees are predominant among web support companies. This allows clients from various industries with varying budgets to avail of the services they can afford. If you belong to the small to medium businesses group, there will always be a type of service package that's suitable for your budget.

(5) Flexible options

Another quality that benefits online businesses is the flexibility of web support providers. They offer several options with regards to payment schedule, and team assignment. You can even request for a specific team or individuals to consistently work for you.

(6) Effective communication

Communication is a top priority among remote web support teams since it fosters trust, credibility, and coordination among team members and their respective clients. Good teams utilize all communication channels to support both internal and external needs of clients and their projects. Among the best practices involve proper documentation and relay of information such as project status, time spent, issues and resolutions, among others.

(7) Great customer service

Of course, any company - whether online or offline - should always aim for great customer service. Those handling this department should be able to address both technical and non-technical inquiries of clients, as well as deliver accurate and swift information from web support to client.

Are you looking for a web support team to help drive your online business ahead of the competition?

Fast Track offers a wide range of web services to Fortune 50 companies since 1999. Get in touch with us and let's begin this journey.

View User Profile for Shirish Sharma Shirish Sharma is a Project and Account Manager for Fast Track, Seattle, handling multiple Microsoft accounts. Shirish is a proactive, energetic, detail-oriented and versatile technical project manager with more than ten years' experience. He has successfully delivered high-quality Microsoft projects and has vast experience in software development life cycle. He holds a B.E. in Computer Technology from Nagpur University in Nagpur, India and a PG Diploma in Advanced Computing from the CDAC (Infoway Technologies) in Pune, India. Follow Shirish on Twitter as @ShirishTweets.

20 Free Site Evaluation Tools for Small Business 

free website evaluation tools

Improving the quality of website is crucial for small business owners. You may have all the features that a site could have, the topnotch content your copywriters have written specifically for your target market, and a user-friendly interface that any visitor on your site will find helpful. However, if your site is loading too slow, not properly optimized for search and visitors, and is not being linked to by relevant sites, it would be difficult for visitors to find you on the web.

To ensure that your site will be found in the soonest possible time and manner, you can make use of free site evaluation tools to help improve your website's performance and quality.

Built With

Built With is an excellent SEO tool for finding 'hidden' technical details about your site. It can provide information about your server details, hosting, name server, email service, CMS platform used (WordPress, Magento, Drupal, etc.), and many others. Built With can also go deeper in determining if your site uses plug-ins, which JavaScript libraries are used, if there are widgets and analytics tools, and others. It can also give you a quick look at the site's meta data (meta tags, descriptions), meta robots, and if there are Open Graph meta tags.

Google Page Speed Insight

Google Page Speed Insight generates a report which suggests how you can improve your site's load time. Simply enter your site's URL in order for the tool to generate this report. The report is broken down into either a Desktop or Mobile report.

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is an SEO spider which crawls websites and reports any errors. If there are bad links, it will generate a report with the 302's and 404's it finds.


Copyscape's free tool can find duplicate content. Enter your site's URL in order for the tool to check the web for any duplicate pages. You may also use any of its free banners on your site to deter anyone from copying content. 


NTopic is a tool which lets you see the relevancy score of a page's target keyword. You can use this tool in finding out which target keywords your competitors are using, so you can use them to your own advantage - such as creating content for marketing purposes and short social media descriptions.


SEMrush is quite popular among SEO professionals. It can generate reports that are rich in data, but the most relevant is the report for keywords. Like NTopic, you can use SEMrush in finding out what target keywords are being used by your competitors.

Word Stream Free Keyword Tool

The limited free edition of Word Stream provides suggested keywords based on broad matches. This free tool also provides relative search volume estimates and generates a list of longtail keywords which can be very useful in your content marketing efforts and blog posting.

Get Listed

Moz now owns Get Listed, which is a tool that crawls the major business directories online, and extracts business names and locations (via zip code), and identifies missing listings in the results. This tool is great for showing your clients missed opportunities and low-hanging fruit.

Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer is a great tool for competitor analysis. It generates a list of inbound links and provides their own SERP ranking score - Page Authority and Domain Authority - which is regarded to have the highest correlation to SERP rankings.

Anchor Text Over Optimization Tool

This is a tool for discovering potential anchor text issues quickly. You can check for over optimized anchor text for incoming links.

Similar Web

Similar Web can check for missing data that are not included in Google Analytics. It provides estimates such as traffic, referring sites, ads, etc.

Circle Count

Circle Count is the number of people on your Google+ circle. You can use it to track followers and shares.

Share Tally

Share Tally provides a bird's eye view of a web page's social activity. You can generate an instant report of social sharing activities all across major social networks. This tool can help you determine which social media network is performing well for your own website or your clients'.

Follower Wonk

Another of Moz's free site evaluation tool is Follower Wonk. It is a Twitter analytics tool which helps you precisely analyze any Twitter user. You can generate reports based on geographical locations, keywords, and many others.

Pingdom Full Page Test

Pingdom Full Page Test is a site speed analyzer which identifies bottlenecks and measures site performance in seconds. It also tells you the best places on your site that need updates, so you can change it and reap rewards with little effort.

Hubspot Marketing Grader

Hubspot offers a free marketing grader which evaluates your site by grading its weaknesses and strengths by assessing the landing pages, social media connectivity, and many others. It will also compare your site to competitor sites to help identify the areas where your competitor attracts customers.


SEOQuake is a toolbar which can be used on Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browsers. It analyzes internal and external links, provides Alexa and Google Index scores, and PageRank. It can also measure keyword density of web pages and provides diagnosis of areas on your website which might be needing improvement.


Hubshout has a website grader that provides in-depth site evaluation and backlink scorecard which is specifically useful in checking if your site is at par with your competitor or not.


WebsiteOptimization has a technical site evaluator and SEO analysis tool that tests your site to see if it's optimized. It also provides suggestions on how to improve your site. You can also make use of their spell checker for your site pages.

Site Evaluator

Site Evaluator provides a free comprehensive evaluation of your web site and analyzes over 60 key metrics that can tell you how to improve your site’s visibility, traffic, and revenue.

A site evaluator is more than just a handy tool to find out about your own website. You can always check your competitors, your clients' websites and their competitors to help you improve site performance and quality.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:05:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C marketing tips SEO Site Evaluator SMB web trends

The Future of Facebook Marketing For Your Business 

future of facebook marketing for business

There may well be over a billion active monthly users on Facebook1, but the social networking giant is going through a phase of change that’ll affect how businesses conduct their social media marketing efforts on the platform in the future.

What’s Changed?

No longer is Facebook a parent-free haven for raving teens and 20-somethings. It’s no longer a place where the young go to hang out, have fun, get drunk and share embarrassing photos. Nope, Facebook has matured and is now brimming with these teen’s, moms and dads, and even grandparents.

We all know that kids enjoy hanging around with their parents as much as an insomniac enjoys the sight of the clock striking 3 a.m., and having your outraged mother commenting on your picture of a phallus-shaped turnip with a “stop being so rude and take this off!”, doesn’t do much for your street cred. So the teens and 20-somethings are heading to cooler, trendier, parent-free places2  like like Instagram (hence why Facebook bought Instagram), Snapchat, Tumblr and Twitter3, leaving Facebook to mature. So what does that mean for the future of marketing on the network?

The Facebook Marketing Future

Well, this will depend on your business, your products, services and your target market. Those looking to sell cool, innovative and fashionable novelties to the younger generation will see their Facebook efforts begin to falter, especially if Facebook keep shoehorning those brands into paying for ads, which those of the younger generation that are left on Facebook, are hard-wired to ignore.

However, those that market products and services to a more mature clientele could see Facebook marketing pay-off for them today and more so in the future. The older generation of baby boomers and the fleeing teen’s parents that are beginning to find their mortgage-free homes empty of once-needy children, have plenty of spare cash floating around the bank and plenty of free time to spend on the network. All that time, attention and money may well be up for grabs for the right business. 

Back to Basics

The Facebook marketing game is certainly changing and, as the network begins to reach maturity, it’ll be less about being cool, ‘going viral’ and being innovative and more about keeping it simple, doing the basics well and reaching the right people with the right product at the right time. Isn’t that what marketing has always been about?

Some things never change.



1 http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2014/01/29/facebook-passes-1-23-billion-monthly-active-users-945-million-mobile-users-757-million-daily-users/

2 http://business.time.com/2014/01/15/more-than-11-million-young-people-have-fled-facebook-since-2011/

3 http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-where-the-fleeing-facebook-teens-are-going-2014-1

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 1:38:00 PM Categories: content development SEO social media social media marketing

Why Site Availability Important to Your Business 

importance of site availability

Site Availability measures the percentage of the time that website is up and available to users.

It is critically important that a website be up and responding to users as much as possible. A website that is down is like a store that is closed. Users will not be able to visit, obtain product information, or make purchases. Web sales will stop and users may go to a competitor’s site. While it may not be possible to be up 100% of the time, a site should strive for an availability of at least 99.95%.

How can you improve your site availability score?

To obtain a good availability score, it’s important to choose and stick to a trusted web hosting company that has a history of providing good services to clients. Make sure that the web hosting company is offering a minimum of 99.95% availability.

To learn about site availability and other key metrics that are critical to gaining business on the internet, or for a free site evaluation, visit www.site-evaluator.com.

View User Profile for
Posted by Sunday, August 17, 2014 6:19:00 PM Categories: online marketing SEO Site Evaluator social media

Is This Common Oversight Screwing Up Your Google Analytics Data? 

Google analytics data

Google Analytics is like a jigsaw in that we can have great fun and joy studying it, but it doesn’t come fully assembled out of the box. We need to piece it together bit by bit in order to create a more reliable picture of what’s really happening on our website. As standard, Google Analytics is lacking in accuracy because of: 

  • Cookie deletions or disabling, 
  • Server reporting errors, 
  • JavaScript errors or disabling, 
  • Private browsing, 
  • Cross device usage,
  • Browser timeouts,
  • And much more1

All this makes it difficult to track what’s happening on your site with any kind of certainty. Some of these are more important than others and some of these we can fix quite easily. One of the most important things, often-overlooked, but relatively easy to fix, is the inclusion of staff’s behavior in your Google analytics data.

Internal Traffic: A Cardinal Sin

Sometimes, your website is used by staff for information gathering, checking, referencing, answering customer queries and the like. Other times, there may not be a difference between the front and back end, with staff using the online checkout to process phone orders. Either way, if employees uses your website regularly for anything at all, you should remove that data from your analytics.

If you don’t remove your internal traffic from your Google Analytics metrics, you’ll skew your data and cloud your vision of what’s happening on your site.

Your Staff’s Sixth Sense

Staff that use your website regularly tend to know the site like the back of their hand. They know it from front to back, on a subconscious level. This means they’ll do things like:

  • Skip over pages on their way to finding something in particular, improving your user journey stats.
  • Use short cuts and workarounds when searching for information, helping hide the hard to find sections.
  • They won’t read because they know where things are, so their average time spent on page is a lot less.
  • They may use it a lot more, making your unique user engagement higher than it naturally is.

Staff will overlook nuances and navigate with efficiencies that casual users wouldn’t and they’ll do it all on a subconscious level because they’ve done it a million times before. This will warp your view of what’s happening and compromise your judgement of your sites performance.

How to Fix Internal Traffic Data Compromises

If you haven’t removed your internal traffic from your metrics yet, all is not lost. You can get things under control by filtering your internal IP address/es from your stats, like so:

1. Go to Admin:

2. Check in the ACCOUNT, PROPERTY and VIEW sections and make sure you’re viewing the correct website that you wish to disable the internal traffic for:

3. In the VIEW menu, on the right hand side, go to Filters:

4. Click + NEW FILTER.

5a. Make sure that Create new Filter is selected, then give your Filter a name. Use something recognisable like ‘Internal traffic’. 

5b. Ensure that Predefined Filter is selected, then change traffic from the ISP domain to traffic from the IP address.

5c. Enter the IP address that you want to exclude and click Save.

Note: If your company has more than one IP address, you’ll need to create a new filter for each separate IP.

You’ll now see your new Filter in the Filters menu:

This won’t remove internal traffic retrospectively. In fact, nothing you do with Filters or Goals or Event tracking will work retrospectively. They’ll starts tracking from today, so whenever you make a change like this, use annotations to mark it on your timeline2

Accurate Data = Informed Decisions

Without removing your internal traffic from your Google Analytics data, you’re leaving yourself open to needless and unhelpful inaccuracies and errors. This will create an inconsistent picture of what’s happening on your website and cloud your decision making judgement. If you don’t have accurate information, you can’t make informed decisions. That’s the whole point in using something like Google Analytics in the first place, isn’t it?


1 http://blog.crazyegg.com/2013/01/31/why-is-google-analytics-inaccurate/

2 http://www.fasttrackteam.com/the-secret-google-analytics-feature-that-will-change-your-life-forever-.aspx

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Posted by Wednesday, August 6, 2014 12:45:00 AM Categories: Google Analytics SEO
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