The world of website SEO is complex and full of misinformation. The one common belief is that most web designers have a full grasp of what Search Engine Optimization (aka SEO) entails.
Which in fact, the opposite is whats the norm. Most web designers you run across with have very little, if any, knowledge of what is involved with SEO, irregardless if they went to college to get a degree in Website Design.
I actually know people that went to school for Web Design at very good Universities. When I ask them what they know of SEO, they said that wasn’t something that was covered in depth. A basic overview of what it is was covered but that’s as far as it went. So any actual training in the “art” of SEO was pretty much overlooked. It was a task they as “web designers” should not be concerned with, so they were taught. “That’s what Search Engine Optimization consultant are for.”
Although I do agree with the fact that Web Designers are artistic in nature when it comes to build websites, that’s not to say that a Designer should not have a solid knowledge of how to implement website SEO best practices when building a small business website. And I’m sure there is the exception to the rule as far as Website Designers knowing the basics of SEO and the implementation into a website.
The real problem is that most clients know little about the web design process and mistakenly believe that their web designer has optimized their site for the search engines. As many web designers forget to discuss the topic with their clients, the site is put live without being optimized.
To improve your chances of getting a beautiful website that is well-optimized for the search engines, it’s important you as a business owner understand these three factors about website SEO for small business:
Website SEO: Web Design
In this phase, your web designer will work with you to create an aesthetically nice looking website according to your project specifications. This part is primarily graphic in nature but it does form the foundation of the entire website design SEO project.
Once the graphics are complete for your website, the coding begins so that your website can be understood and properly displayed by web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, etc. Some web designers will use a program like Adobe’s Dreamweaver to code the design while others will hire a web coder to do the process manually.
As a general rule, designs that are “hand coded” by a code specialist are more likely to follow the standards set by the Worldwide Web Consortium (aka W3C). They are also more likely to be “lighter” in their design, which is beneficial to SEO.
Search Engine Optimization
After the site has been designed and coded, the work can begin to optimize the website for the search engines. This is best performed by an website SEO Specialist.
The SEO Specialist’s job is to work closely with the client in an effort to understand their business and what result(s) they are looking to produce. With this information, they will begin the process of keyword selection and set about optimizing each page of the site.
In addition to the work performed to the site itself, the SEO Specialist will perform a variety of “off page” tasks. These tasks may include linkbuilding, social bookmarking, the creation of citations as well as many others.
As you can see, successful web design is a rather complex topic and frequently requires the work of several specialists. Armed with this information, you’ll know what questions to ask to ensure your project is completed to your satisfaction. After all, a beautiful website that receives little visitors won’t help you achieve much in the way of new business.
At Next Advantage Coaching (formerly First Coast Media Pros), we pride ourselves in not only providing you with clean, elegant designs that brand your small business but also implement SEO strategies that will help your website get the most online exposure. To find out how we can help your business generate more business, contact us to get a free website SEO analysis.