Does Your Website Designer Know Anything About SEO?
When you had your website designed, did your design contractor ask you for a list of keywords? I should hope so, and you would have given them a list of keywords or small phrases which related to your business, products and services.
From your perspective, this all sounds pretty normal and from all the research you have done on prospective website designers and your new website, this seems like the right question to get you to the top of Google. It’s all about keywords right??
Well as far as on-page SEO (search engine optimisation) is concerned, primarily yes.
But, there is a lot more to it than just the keywords.
- have you go the right keywords?
- do you know what the keywords are used for?
- were any alternate keywords suggested?
- was any of this explained, or where you just asked for a list of words?
I hear too many shocking stories from new clients, friends and acquaintances regarding the development of their new business website and the fees they have been charged by their web designer for SEO work as an optional extra, over and above the cost of their new site. Good SEO work is going to cost extra, but the shocking part of this regular horror story is the fact that the extra work done, in most cases, cannot be classified as SEO, well not in 2012, nor 2011 or even 2010 for that matter. Some of the methods we have seen of being used haven’t helped with search engine rankings in years.
Here are some common SEO requests, from horror stories we have heard, that should make you question whether you are going to get what you paid for:
- Please supply us a couple of keywords for your website.
- Please supply a description for your website.
- We need a list of keywords for the META Keywords on each page of your site.
- Or even worse, not even making any of the above requests.
- Or the biggest no-no of them all, let’s get the design of your site done and worry about the SEO once it is launched.
Although some of these questions are actually valid, in their current format they are nowhere near comprehensive enough, nor are they really valid without explanation or further investigation and follow-up reporting. The biggest mistake made is the use of keywords that are either highly competitive or don’t actually receive any traffic in the popular search engines.
What questions should you be getting asked, regarding your website SEO?
To get the ball rolling and get your SEO off to a good start your SEO consultant or web designer needs:
- a good understanding of your target market, their demographic and their geographic location
- to begin SEO planning, research and implementation during the conceptual stage of your site mapping / structure design
- to request a list of valid search phrases / keywords that your target market would use to look for your business, products or services within search engines such as Google and Bing
- to investigate these keywords and report on which keywords are actually used in the popular search engines, which of these keywords will generate targeted traffic to your website and to isolate the ones that are too competitive.
- to work with you on the structure of the website, ensuring that the site structure is customised to target each page with relevant keywords and without over optimisation.
This is only the start of the on-page SEO journey for your new website. After analysing your target market, keywords, competitors and site structure, this information needs to be implemented into your new site. Post site launch, tools and services need to be configured to monitor the effectiveness of your keywords, the traffic to your website, your search engine rankings for your keywords, and the effectiveness of your site’s design and content in regards to visitor interaction and conversions.
This may sound like quite a task, but without the implementation of a good SEO plan for your new website, your website will just be another one of those stagnant, unvisited sites on the net. Websites are not cheap, so for such a large business investment, you cannot afford to ignore the need for a solid SEO and internet marketing plan.
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