Recently, someone asked me to take a look at her site and help her determine why she was not ranking well for her chosen search terms. It only took a couple of minutes to see many glaring mistakes that her web design company had made. Essentially, it was obvious that the company had zero knowledge of search engine optimization. They had done a fine job of creating a nice design, but had failed to do anything at all to optimize the pages.
Some of the SEO boo-boos they made include:
- Used the same non-optimized title for every page
- None of the desired keywords listed on the home page at all in the text
- Placed the only pages that had the keywords in the text behind a form that spiders would never see
Of course, no external optimization had been done either. The site had very few backlinks, none of which used the keywords in the anchor text. This, of course, is probably outside the boundaries of the normal web design company, so I wont blame them for that.
I guess the question is what do you look for when you choose a web design company? It is no longer good enough to hire someone who makes pages pretty. These days, web designers should at least understand the basics of SEO. Otherwise, you end up with a site that has to be completely overhauled in order to make it search engine friendly and optimized for your selected keywords.
Of course, even if a web designer does basic optimization when creating your site, you may still end up having to do more SEO work, or hire an SEO to optimize it further. But you dont want to be stuck in the position of having to completely recreate your site because the designer has made it impossible for the site to ever rank well in the search engines.
Moral of this story: Make sure your web designer integrates at least the basics of SEO work into the design of the site.