SEO

3 things you don’t want to hear from a Web Designer

If you’re a small business owner looking for web designers/developers to create a new site or refresh your current one and you want the site to be in sync with your SEO needs, this post is for you.  I don’t think that web designers have to know anything about SEO. That’s what SEO specialists are for.  Of course, there are a lot of web designers who can somehow balance their knowledge of design with their knowledge of the requirements of the search engines. The majority of web designers know they don’t know SEO and partner with firms to make sure their finished product is SEO friendly. If I were a business owner looking for a web design firm, I would choose this kind of setup. Regardless, here are 3 things you don’t want to hear from a Web Designer about SEO:

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#1  Flash doesn’t affect SEO

Yes, it does! Search engines are terrible at indexing Flash videos, they don’t execute JavaScript and it DOES matter that you use correct HTML and CSS to create major design elements! How would you feel if you launched your site, only to discover it can’t get indexed because the HTML navigation was triggered by JAVASCRIPT and couldn’t be accessed by the search engines? Not good as several clients of mine have realized.

#2  Your Web Designer does SEO

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No, he doesn’t! Designing a website and SEO are two different sets of skills, and it takes an army to do SEO the right way. When you ask “what do you recommend for the home page” they smile and say; a)  “a splash page that asks the user if they want the Flash or HTML version of the site”, b) “a splash page as intro only that plants a cookie in the user’s browser”, c) “huge high-def pictures of your products with an embedded flash player and 1 link to the contact page”. Search Engines don’t download cookies, and splash pages are an SEO nightmare-especially when they lead to two versions of a web page. These types of pages suffer from a total void of an index-able copy.

#3  SEO can be done effectively after the design process is completed, so don’t worry yourself about it now, it’s easy.

No, it’s not easy! Leading SEO companies can navigate your SEO campaign around most design problems, but you’ll get the most bang for your buck if your design or refresh foundations are SEO-friendly. SEO is not easy, it’s hard. I know firsthand from the marketing consulting I do and from managing the excruciatingly detailed execution side. It is not rocket science but it requires attention to lots of detail and keeping up with the myriad of changes in the secret algorithms of the major search engines. Even if your designer had a working knowledge a few years ago, it doesn’t matter now because so much has changed.

Track the performance of your Search Engine Optimization campaigns with these three key performance indicators including keyword rankings. Take advantage of free Google Analytics tools and track KPIs that are most important to your business. Standard and custom reports are easy to create for tracking your Website’s visitor behavior and the impact of your SEO or paid search campaign.

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