Web Designers And SEO

October 22, 2010  |   Home Page Slider   |     |   Comments Off

In the last couple of weeks I have had several meetings with website designers. What I found out shocked and surprised me. They know next to nothing about getting your website ranked highly in the search engines!

Now don’t get me wrong, the website designers I met were to a man really nice, pleasant creative people. The websites that they had created looked wonderful. Some of the websites that they showed me or I checked out when I looked through their portfolio should be award winning from a design point of view.

The problems however started to rear their heads when I asked the most basic questions about search engine optimisation. Nothing complicated, technical or difficult- just the very basic principles of search engine optimisation. None of them had the first clue about how to get a website to rank highly in Google and for the most part, they didn’t seem to care much. My view is that a website needs to make you money- if it doesn’t, why on earth would you waste your time and money by having one!

So let’s start by looking at something simple. Ask your website designer what a Title tag is. Now, in every case in the meetings that I had in the last couple of weeks, every web designer that I met knew what the title tag actually was but they did not know why it was important and what it did for your website

Here is the point: Your main keyword phrase should be in the title tag of the home page. Now- why is this important? Well- the title tag as far as Google or any of the search engines is concerned is as important as a name. The title tag is the name or title of the web page- effectively it is like the title of a book- pretty much nothing else (apart from the domain name or URL) is as important as the title tag.

The question for the web designer that you must ask then is: What keywords or phrases is the site being constructed for? The bottom line is that you absolutely must do a boatload of keyword research (as for sure you website designer won’t) otherwise you are doomed to fail.

So, what on earth is a keyword?

A keyword term or phrase is simply the word or phrases that you type into the search box for a search engine to go and look for results.

There is a reason why you need to do keyword research. The purpose is to find out what your customers or potential customers are actually searching for as opposed to those terms that you believe that they are searching for. One of the biggest issues that people face when thinking about potential keywords is that they are so embedded in their own business and the jargon that it uses, they forget that their customers look for things in a different way.

A good example is that some time ago I used to work in the foodservice industry. At that time I was working for a major delivered supplier and we were starting out with a new website that we thought our customers would come flooding to. We set that website up incorrectly from day one, setting it up for the term foodservice without realising that our customers actually used the words catering supplier or catering delivery followed by their location.

What do I need to do?

If your website is not delivering you the results that you want- in other words it isn’t making you money- the first thing that you need to do is to get some proper keyword research done to find out what your customers are actually searching for as opposed to what you believe they are searching for. There are many keyword research tools available, just type the words “keyword tool” into the search engine of your choice and go from there. Personally, I believe that the Google adwords keyword tool is a great free resource and used properly will get you very accurate results based on great information.

Your next step is to take the keywords that you now believe are being looked for by your customers and run them through the Microsoft commercial intention tool. The OCI tool (just search it and you’ll find it) will give you a statistical probability figure that will tell you the likelihood or otherwise that people searching the internet will actually make a purchase subsequent to making that search. This is important as you need to be making money through your website. If people don’t usually buy after searching for a keyword phrase- why would you want to rank for it? Ask your web designer about this.

So the messages is pretty simple really- as well as checking out the websites that have been designed by your prospective website designer, check out the results that they are now getting for the key search terms that the sites should be found for. For example, if the site is for a dentist in Swansea, they should be easily found for “Cosmetic dentists Swansea”, “Swansea dentists”, etc.

Another thing to look at is to find how easy it is to find their website. Ask your web designer about the keywords that they are trying to get found for.   If you are looking for a web designer in Bridgend, perhaps you should search for “web design Bridgend” or something similar and see exactly where they are found in the search engines. In the end, it is after all your money and your money alone- if you can afford to go ahead and waste it, carry on. If your experience of your website designer is anything like the one that I have just experienced, just make sure that your pretty looking site isn’t wasting money by not getting found. Most local businesses can get ranked with a little effort and some smart work- you really do owe it to yourself to get this sorted out. The buck really does stop with you and that nice creative web designer isn’t paying your bills- you are.

I believe that if you want some specific task done- you should ask an expert who has proven what they can do. Should you take weight loss advice from a fat doctor? I don’t believe that you should.

One final thing- ask your website designer why the meta description is important. If you want to know why it is important- just give me a call on 07930 673053 and I’ll let you know what it is and what it does- no obligation and I won’t try and sell you anything- you might just save yourself some money!

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