Objection handling

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Silktide Prospect is an automated testing tool and it is designed to remove as much of the human element from testing a website as possible. However, as with any automated testing tool there are certain limitations that all users need to be aware of, but understanding how to overcome these limitations and objections is key to the digital sales process.

Think of Silktide Prospect as an enabling tool that combined with your sales expertize, will provide you with the greatest possible outcome in the most efficient way.

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Familiarity is key

As with any sales process, understanding how the tools you use is key to success and the same applies to using Silktide Prospect. There are a wide range of tests that Silktide Prospect uses, and we highly recommend you become familiar with them as soon as possible, in order to get the most out of the tool.

When testing a business and looking at the results, you will find a wealth of information provided on the results page itself under the About this test link. Reading and understanding the information provided should be a priority for any digital sales professional.

Common objections

Below are some common objections or questions you may face as a digital sales professional when using Silktide Prospect:

Social media accounts

“I have a Facebook \ Twitter \ Instagram page, why does Silktide Prospect say I haven’t?”

Silktide Prospect looks for social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, by looking for links to the page from the site being tested. When Silktide Prospect fails to find a Facebook or Twitter page, the common reason is that the link is not implemented correctly on the site, either the link is not spelt correctly, links to a different page altogether or is simply not linked to at all. It may also be that the website is implementing social media links using an obscure plugin that uses JavaScript, or in an unorthodox way that we cannot detect.

What can you do?

If Silktide Prospect is not able to find the Facebook or Twitter page, then there is a very good chance that (human) visitors cannot too. As a digital sales professional, this presents an opportunity to sell your services and help the business owner rectify this issue and ensure that they promote their Facebook and Twitter pages as effectively as possible.

Explaining this and helping your client understand what is happening is key to turning a perceived negative situation into a sales opportunity and a positive outcome.

You can also override the settings for social media accounts within the report settings (click the small cog below the overall score, then select report settings), which is useful if a website is implementing social media account links in an unorthodox way. When adding social media accounts in the report settings, you will need to retest the site to show the latest results.



Another common objection is:

“The company I’m testing has an active AdWords campaign, but Silktide Prospect says it doesn’t?”

As the Silktide Prospect scan is anonymous, we use data from third-parties to try to detect AdWords spend based upon what can be seen publicly. By combining data from third-parties, we have a detection rate of around 95%, but the only way to know for certain that a company uses AdWords is by having access to their private information.

What can you do?

How to approach this topic is a key factor here. Rather than challenging your client and informing them that they do not have an AdWords campaign, which may put you in a difficult situation, it may be more effective if you inform your client that they may have issues with their AdWords campaign and a more detailed conversation may be beneficial.

Small AdWords budgets or obscure keywords may not be detected and in this situation, the key point to remember here is that AdWords detection is approximately 95% accurate. However, this presents an opportunity to discuss the client’s AdWord campaign and spend, especially if you are in a situation where a client flags this as inaccurate.


Mobile optimization

This is also another common objection:

“Silktide Prospect is not showing the correct mobile version of the site I just tested. I think Silktide Prospect is wrong.”

Mobile responsive websites usually rely on the screen width for the device the site is being viewed on to determine how to display the site as this method is far more reliable than other methods, such as JavaScript. As a large portion of mobile responsive websites use the screen width to determine the display, Silktide Prospect is designed with this in mind.

What can you do?

Again, how you approach this topic is key as understanding how mobile responsive sites work is essential. Modern web designers will typically use a device’s screen width to determine how the site is displayed. This method is more reliable and favored for the majority of mobile-responsive sites online. A client with a site that is not built using this method presents an opportunity to talk about modernizing the design of their site and using more reliable methods for mobile optimization, especially if this is a key focus.


It is important to understand what defines a backlink. Some clients may well say:

“My site has plenty of backlinks, but your Silktide Prospect report highlights this as a fail.”

The reason being is that Silktide Prospect is designed to mirror the way that Google ranks incoming links as closely as possible.

Google uses incoming links as a ranking factor and uses them as a “vote” for your site, but to prevent link farming websites spamming this feature to falsify rankings, Google will look at where the link is coming from.

For example, if a technology blog was linked to by Apple or Microsoft as well as linked to by, then Google will rate the link from Apple or Microsoft highly and ignore the link from

Google will do this because it classes the link on Apple or Microsoft to be highly relevant, whereas the link on are not so. This may also be the case for any links from online directories, as they are not always classed as relevant and will typically be ignored.

What can you do?

Ask yourself the following question:

“How many worthwhile websites link to mine?”

This is better than asking yourself “How many websites link to mine?” and should help clients think about how they can boost their backlinks through the best channels.


Yelp reviews

If a client questions the number of reviews their business has on Yelp:

“My business has over 100 reviews, but Silktide Prospect is showing I only have 3. Is this correct?”

In order to check Yelp for reviews, the Silktide Prospect team utilizes Yelp’s API to gather the required information. Due to limitations on Yelp’s API, it is only possible to detect a maximum of 3 reviews from Yelp, regardless of how many are present.

Another limitation of Yelp’s API is that it is only possible to pull a maximum of 160 characters from any review found on Yelp, so some lengthier reviews may be truncated or incomplete.

What can you do?

The simplest answer to this is to explain this to your client when discussing the reviews section with them. Rather than stating that your client has 3 reviews on Yelp, it may be more appropriate to explain that Silktide Prospect has detected at least 3 reviews from Yelp.

If your client asks why, then simply explain that due to the limitations of Yelp’s API, it is not possible to detect more than 3 reviews but the important message is that Silktide Prospect was able to detected reviews for their business in Yelp, which is a positive thing.


Page speed

You will likely be asked questions about a website’s page speed:

“Why does Silktide Prospect’s Page speed show a different result to Google’s?”

The simple answer to this question is that our page speed test works differently to Google’s, so the results will be different most of the time. Google looks for technical factors that could impact the page speed of a website, such as the presence of large files or poorly optimized pages etc., whereas Silktide Prospect looks at the actual page load speed.

This means that, on occasions, Google will show a good score for a website but Silktide Prospect shows a bad score. This could happen if the website is hosted on a slow server. Alternatively, we would show a good score for a website that is hosted on a fast server, but with little optimization, whereas Google would indicate a bad score because of the lack of optimization.

What can you do?

You should explain to your client that Silktide Prospect’s Page speed test and Google’s Page speed test are measuring different metrics, so there will be some difference in the scores. We measure how quickly the actual page loads, whereas Google looks at the technical aspects of the site.

In an ideal world, a fast loading website would score well in both Silktide Prospect’s page speed test and Google’s, so from a sales perspective different results identifies an opportunity to improve the client’s website as a result.


PDF issues

Sharing Prospect reports via PDF is just one way you can present information to a client. Unfortunately, there may be times when a PDF is not generated, or does not work as expected:

“I am trying to download a PDF, but it won’t open. I see a PDF corrupt / failed download warning but I really need the PDF.”

Prospect generates PDFs based on the report findings, and every report is different in some way. Whilst we have taken steps to ensure that our PDFs are generated as often as possible, there have been isolated cases where a PDF will not work properly.

What can you do?

Unfortunately, there is no known fix for this. However, the following actions have been known to fix some cases:

  1. Retest the report and download the PDF again. This has been known to fix some cases, but this will use a credit out of your monthly allowance so please keep this in mind
  2. Share the report using the share link feature instead. This gives your client a live web version of the report that they can browse at their leisure, plus provides you with the ability to track any activity to see if / when the client has viewed their report.

If retesting the report does not fix the PDF issue you are experiencing, then unfortunately it is one of the isolated cases where a PDF cannot be generated and we can do very little about it. We would therefore recommend sharing the report using the share link feature as an alternative.


Last updated

The freshness of a website is a key search ranking factor, and Prospect can test for this as part of the analysis. However, there are times when your client may say:

“Prospect reports that my site has not been updated recently, but I updated it yesterday.”

We look at dates from the last modified header of your pages and assets (like images and css files) as well as dates contained within your pages. Given this information, we make a statistical analysis on the probable last updated date.

We use a wide range of methods to determine when the site was last updated. This includes technical indicators and machine readable dates within the text. However, we cannot always know for certain the date a site was updated. It may also be that the page your client updated was not part of the pages tested when Prospect created the report. You can see which pages were tested by scrolling to the bottom of the detail view and looking at the “x pages tested” section.

What can you do?

The best approach is to advise your client on how Prospect estimates the last updated result. If the client does update their website regularly, ask them if included dates and times is appropriate, and if so, whether they should publicize them as it will also help inform a visitor of how recent any update occurred.

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