Every now and then we get an SEO related call from an existing web design or hosting client. Sometimes they want to improve their search rankings in key areas while other times they’re looking to change focus a bit with regard to SEO. Some clients seem a bit nervous about such requests as if we might feel they’re complaining. In truth, we welcome these types of calls because it means they’re paying attention to their website and they’re willing to do some things to improve their search engine rankings.
When we build a new website for a client, we always perform some basic SEO as part of the project. As far as we’re concerned, it doesn’t matter how attractive or functional the website is if it doesn’t get you results. We consider basic on-site SEO like proper tags, titles, keywords, etc. an integral part of any website design project. This applies to pages, posts, images and any other component of your website you can use to attract the notice of search engines and drive traffic.
Web Design and SEO Together
With that in mind, following are a few quick Do’s and Don’ts we’d recommend to any website owner with regard to their website design, hosting and SEO.
- Do some preliminary planning on your website keywords – Before you start on a web design project, give some thought to the most important keywords and phrases where you need good search results. Knowing this in advance can have a big impact on the content of your website; both what you put on and how you tag it.
- Don’t hire a designer who doesn’t do at least basic SEO – As I said above, it doesn’t matter how good your website looks if nobody sees it. If they can’t speak the language of basic SEO and show samples of how their current clients are getting good search engine results, find someone else. It’s just too important to ignore.
- Do check out your search rankings at least a couple times per year – It’s easy to forget about this but very important. Even if your website was setup well and ranking highly when you built it, search engine algorithms change frequently and can have an impact on your rankings. Good SEO is an ongoing process and is never really over.
- Don’t forget to change your on-site SEO if your focus changes – We had a company that wanted to emphasize one of their newer product lines. Fortunately, they had the foresight to consider their search engine traffic goals and we tweaked their website to generate higher search results for that product line. It was a fairly inexpensive exercise but got some pretty hefty returns in their search traffic.
- Do talk to your web design company about your search rankings – If you’re hosting and updating your own website, this may be on you. If you have a company managing your website content and SEO, though, keep an eye on things and don’t be afraid to question results if they’re not what you need them to be. If SEO service isn’t part of your agreement, you can still take some short term steps to improve your search engine rankings at a modest cost.
Your Website is Your Virtual Company
I can’t even imagine having a business without a website. As yellow page usage shrinks to almost nothing, online and mobile search become more important to the success of businesses each day. Taking charge of your online search results is not only your right but an important component of being a successful business. If your website company can’t or won’t get you the results you need, we’d encourage you to find one who will. Quickly.