What Google Search Won’t Tell You About Finding a Great Workflow Tool
March 6th, 2018 • workflow
If you are like most buyers, your search for workflow tools starts with entering “best workflow tools” in Google. Then, equipped with 64,80,00,000 results, you can make a wise decision.
Sounds easy, right?
But is this really the best path to find what you need? Is there a chance you are being led astray and sold off to the highest bidder?
Internet search results are not the perfect answer to all your problems, and they definitely shouldn’t be your last stop for workflow tools.
Here are three ways you might need to rethink how you search for workflow tools online.
1. Be Careful What You Look For
When looking for workflow tools, you could end up with a huge menagerie of options, and Google doesn’t do a great job of helping you sift through them.
Anything that sequences task together might be considered a workflow tool, but it’s likely that you need something more capable than that. Most people require a workflow management tool that allows them to create complex workflows and forms to manage their business processes.
But not all workflow tools are created equal. Even if you narrow down your findings to workflow management tools, you will end up having a list of workflow tools that vary greatly in terms of cost, ease of use, features, etc.
For example, Appian is a BPM solution specialized for enterprise buyers with deep pockets while Nintex is a workflow solution for Microsoft SharePoint. ProcessMaker is open source and requires customization and AuraPortal requires you to use BPM notation to build workflows.
Be specific in what you are looking for. Do you want something on the cloud or on-premise? What is your budget? How technically difficult do you want the workflow tool to be? Do you need a low-code tool, or do you have developers on hand? Gauge your core needs and specify your search query to get most relevant results for workflow tools.
2. Challenge The SEO Mirage
Does the Google ranking of a workflow management tool suggest one is better than another? More than likely, all it means is how sophisticated and well-funded their marketing is.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has been a game for marketers for a long time to try to promote their brand above others for particular terms. Just because a workflow management tool ranks at the top of the search page doesn’t always mean it’s good software.
Added to gaming SEO, vendors with deeper pockets can also pay heavily for ads to show at the top of results pages for workflow tools. Like how retail marketers place candies and other fast-moving items next to a checkout lane, they hope you click on their ad because it’s the most convenient thing to do.
But just because a workflow management tool can dazzle you with a lot of features listed on a landing page doesn’t mean that it’s worth buying.
Search ads are effective, but make sure that the workflow tool lives up to the hype and can actually deliver on the promises it’s making. Don’t be taken for a ride just because someone topped the rankings for workflow tools.
3. Don’t Trust Review Sites Blindly
Well, if Google’s suggestions might be tainted, surely there are other places you can go, right? There are a plethora of software comparison websites that claim to be the most objective, an independent review site.
But some experts warn us that it’s a bad idea to blindly trust software review sites. Most of these websites are lucrative businesses whose revenue strategies are unannounced. Some will promote brands for a fee, while others will add layers of friction to reach a brand that doesn’t pay. Vendors can also game the system by planting sponsored reviews.
While many of these sites fight to stay neutral, you can’t always believe what you see. If you come across a website that compares and ranks different workflow management tools, don’t immediately assume you can trust the #1 recommendation. Find workflow tools that have high rankings across multiple sites and aggregate testimonies. Reach out to some reviewers and ask specific questions.
These Aren’t The Tools You’re Looking For
Choosing a workflow management tool is an important decision. Given the time it takes to select, train on, and implement a workflow tool, you are looking at a year commitment before you can genuinely assess if it is a good fit or not.
Taking the top result on Google doesn’t seem like the best strategy. You only need one of the many workflow management tools but finding that one is a serious choice and takes work.
Relying on Google and review sites of workflow tools can leave you in a state of analysis paralysis. The theory of paradox of choice says that it’s more difficult to come to a decision when you are spoiled for choices. In that sense, internet search results are not making your decision-making process easier.
So what can you do?
- Use very clear search terms and clearly articulate your need
- Use multiple search terms to make sure you cover your various requirements
- If a workflow tool doesn’t list its price, it likely assumes you can afford anything, so be ready for a high quote
- Check out multiple review sites to make sure one is not trying to make you biased towards the workflow tools that pay to advertise there
- Ask for reviews from people you know, or open up a conversation with someone who is willing to write a review for a product
But when it comes down to it, the best thing you can do to find the perfect workflow tool for you is to spend time with one. The best workflow management tools will offer a generous trial so that you can feel comfortable with the product. After testing the product, you’ll have a clear vision on which one is right for you.
Another tip to spot a good vendor is to see if they boldly pitch themselves against their top rivals or if they are just blowing their own trumpets. If they are confident about their work, they will offer case studies and comparisons on their website. You can call up the businesses featured in the stories and cross-verify the authenticity of their claims.
Who Are You Going to Believe?
If you are planning to find a good workflow management tool, go beyond the comfort zone of Google search. Use it to get to know the market and identify the key players, but you will have to put in some effort outside of the virtual world to find the right answers to your questions.
It takes a lot of groundwork, some instinct, and good judgment to overcome the ease of choosing the easiest option. Don’t believe everything the internet tells you, but trust yourself and do the necessary homework. Once you have the clarity and confidence to see beyond the obvious, choose the workflow tool that is simple, inexpensive, and has room to scale to your needs.