Learn more about upcoming projects to improve the Agency Directory.
Please help us welcome Nhori Lopchan Tamang to the partner community! Nhori is a front end developer at HubSpot who recently transitioned to a new role on the agency directory team, working alongside (long time partner team member) Abby Krupnick. The agency directory gives agencies the opportunity to be found by companies looking for help growing their business.
We want to provide some features we’re exploring to improve the directory. Here is a quick list of our upcoming projects, followed by a deep dive into each project for those who are interested. Please keep in mind that we will definitely tackle improvements in the six areas outlined, but we may not implement all of the features in the way we describe here. We want to be transparent so you know what we know, but we also want to be clear that specific features may evolve as each project progresses.
We're very excited to say that when we wrote this post there were six items on the backlog we wanted to highlight, but before we had the chance to post this blog, two updates were taken live. Way to go ladies!
- Improving review credibility
- SEO improvements so filtered subpages rank in search (launched February 7)
- Multi-office location options
- Improved functionality of the directory’s search bar (launched February 7)
- Validation of expertise in specific services and industries
- Overall usability improvements for visitors
Improving Review Credibility
The goal of reviews on the directory is to provide visitors with genuine, helpful feedback on a service provider’s ability to deliver specific services. This means that reviews should only be from clients, and the content of the review should be based on the quality of the relationship and services delivered by the service provider.
Although that is the intention of reviews, we recognize that our current review system (which is authenticated via LinkedIn) does not have mechanisms in place to help reviewers abide by those guidelines.
This has led to a recent influx in unhelpful reviews (reviews from non-clients). We recognize that when one service provider sees another service provider climb the rankings due to reviews from non-clients, they begin to wonder if they should be doing the same. So, firstly we want to ensure it’s clear that our policy has always been that reviews should come from clients and that we actively enforce this by removing reviews which we know not to be from clients. And secondly, we're excited to share the improvements we’ll be making to the review system to help reviewers and service providers abide by these guidelines.
- Allowing reviewers to add star ratings across several factors (potentially factors like professionalism, responsiveness, etc), not just overall ranking.
- Providing a drop-down for the reviewer to select what service was provided which will make the review more relevant to viewers.
- Allowing the reviewer to select which company on their LinkedIn profile they were working at when this service was provided (in the event that they are a past client who has moved companies).
- Allowing service providers to reply to reviews left on their profile. This feature is especially important for negative reviews because it gives the service provider an opportunity to show visitors their perspective on the interaction.
- Updating legal terms that make it more clear that reviews must be from a client and we’re considering including a checkbox next to the legal terms that asks the reviewer to verify that they are a client.
If you have any additional ideas on how we could improve the review process please email us at email@example.com.
SEO Improvements (so filtered subpages rank in search)
Today, most of our directory traffic comes directly to the directory home page. These visitors are typically looking for agencies to help with inbound marketing or HubSpot. We’d like to increase traffic to your profiles by also attracting visitors who are looking for help with specific services (like website design or CRM migration) or who are searching for service providers that have expertise in their industry, or who are in a specific location.
To do this, we’re working on our page and URL structure so the correct URL facets automatically populate for filtered results. This will help us increase traffic to the directory for a number of search terms, and will help agencies get found for their specific areas of expertise.
This feature is now live. You'll notice an updated URL structure when you filter in the directory.
Multi-Office Location Options
Many providers in the directory have multiple office locations around the world. We’re building a way for providers to list multiple cities or countries where they are located, so they can appear in search or filter results for those regions. The challenge we have found with this feature is validation. What does “located in” mean when so many businesses have remote teams? And how do we validate location claims? (For example, Google does this by mailing postcards with a code to a business address for authentication.)
We currently have a location field which is an open text field that the provider can customize, and we have drop downs for country and state (if applicable). We are exploring a number of solutions which may involve changes to the location field, or the ability to select multiple locations in the drop down. What we have determined thus far is that the definition for “located in” will be limited to brick and mortar office locations. In the simplest terms, it must be somewhere a client could meet you in person for a business meeting.
We are also aware that many agencies have fully remote teams that are globally distributed. We’re working on options that accommodate remote businesses as well.
Improved Functionality of the Directory’s Search Bar
Have you ever searched for your profile and couldn’t find it? The reason that happens is our search bar only pinged the About Us section of a profile. We fixed that. The search bar now searches everything you select in your profile builder, including any text you include the location field.
Validation of Expertise in Specific Services and Industries
The goal of a directory is to help visitors find the provider best suited to help with their unique needs. In order to do this more effectively, we want to give service providers a way to get recognized for what they do best. This means features that help validate expertise. We don’t have a concrete roadmap in place yet, but some things we’re scoping out include:
- Linking reviews with services or industry
- Linking certifications or awards with search queries
- Bringing certifications and awards into filters
If you have any big ideas that would help agencies validate their expertise, please send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overall Usability Improvements for Visitors
Lastly, like any website we want to continually improve the usability for our visitors. This may include updates such as a conversational interface to help guide search, options to change the criteria that results are ranked by, and more.
We believe the directory is a powerful platform to create value for our partners, and I hope you do too. If you have any additional feedback or ideas please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! email@example.com.
Director, Global Partner Marketing