I’m considering to develop a software that helps digital agencies find new clients by running web crawlers that performs SEO checks, spelling checks, online review checks etc. Can I get feedback on my idea?


I’m not saying you haven’t done this, but I hope that:
a) You’ve done your research on competitors, both for software and the approach you’re recommending your clients take to market
B) Build a product that actually offers value (to your customer’s customer).

Here are some comments I wrote to a friend a couple of months back in webdev. I’ve been in IT-related businesses for 20+ years, so I get the natural appeal of “there’s something wrong with your xyz”-style marketing. BUT 1) everyone is doing it (I’m on the arse end of it in my inbox, trust me) and 2) 99% of it is useless non-actionable crap designed only for leadgen, not adding value.

There are literally thousands of tools that do automated website audits. The names escape me at the moment, but they should be trivially google-able. The reason they escape me is every single one I tried was just a piece of shit.

I even looked at a wholesale platform for this – vendasta(.com). It showed a lot of promise in its marketing, but what was behind it was just pointless crap a) from a leadgen perspective and b) in actually delivering value to clients. It was designed to be sold – to the marketing company and to the clients, not designed to actually solve problems or add value.

Here’s the output from that one, for instance:
A screenshot of a website audit report
It looks nice, but it’s meaningless crap. And nothing is clickable, so it’s just clickbait (without the click hahha – replybait?)

Yes, you could do this. Maybe it would generate leads. But strategically, I think it’s a massive error as:
a) It produces technically confusing and irrelevant output, whilst simultaneously producing no detail in this case. Most produce detail, but that can make it worse as then it’s even more inane and harder to understand (even for someone like me).
b) When you do have someone who understands it, the VALUE of the information is really poor. i.e. So you tell me my website has some meta tag issues. So what? What’s the impact of that? If you give someone a report and it’s highlighting a gap… and that gap is, or is perceived as really small, as it will and must be from these automated tools, then the value they’re going to be prepared to pay – or willingness – is going to be pretty low.
c) You wouldn’t be standing out at all from the 10s of 1000s of web firms doing the exact same thing.
d) Your positioning is all around the combination of high-quality design, and sales conversion. This doesn’t assist either.
**specific strategy advice to their business redacted**

In my opinion, you would be 10-100x better off producing a free report on something like “The top 10 sales-killing mistakes small business owners make on their website” or something else oriented around a) pain and b) your prescription (a sales-converting website) than this inane crap.
If you want to do it, sure, give it a go. But i’d expect the results to be pretty crap unless you found a combination of automation + manual review that actually added value (in which case the automation is saving the person time, so they can focus on the high value touches, not the necessary data inputs for that).

For instance, I’ve had people do this on LinkedIn whereby they actually send me a paper spiral-bound review of my website and social marketing strategies. It takes effort to produce yes, but they only do this for pre-researched leads, and after an initial conversation asking for permission to send it. That’s one option – the report is actually of value. It was paper so I don’t think I have a copy, it definitely featured input from automated tools and also some commentary. But it was clear they’d taken the time.

Unless your automation is GOOD and basically… unique, it’s not going to produce value above the rest of the market. In which case, I’d stick with valuable content. Then your next call to action might be a free tailored report based off of that. So you’re only doing the free report manually for people who have clicked on your ad, opted in, opened the email, read your guide AND taken action. Those people are going to convert at 100x the rate of cold traffic from an ad.
My 2c,

David Kellam, CEO of Automate your Business, helps services-based businesses add multiple 6-figure revenue streams through automated systems & processes.