5 Red flags that your web design company know nothing about SEO

In today’s online marketplace, SEO is imperative if you want anyone to see your website design. Having a website without effective search engine optimization is like spending your entire budget on a TV advertisement without allocating any air time to show it off. Nobody will see your website if you are relying on search engines and aren’t ranking well.

SEO is a very specialised field that takes years to perfect and in an ever-changing world, takes dedication and perseverance. When building a house, you don’t have one company that can complete the project from beginning to end effectively. There will be plumbers, electricians, surveyors etc., each one of these skills is a full-time job for each specialist – If one company tried to do all of this themselves it would be a mess! In short, you should leave it to professionals if you want it done right!

If a web design company promises you a “search engine friendly website design” this is one thing, but if they sell you the fact that they can also get you to number 1 on google, be afraid…be very afraid! At the web design level, it is important that the web designer understands the latest SEO best practices, and knows how to give you a good bedrock to work from. This will not only set you off on the right foot but allow your dedicated SEO company to get straight to work enhancing your SEO score without having to go back to the drawing board, costing you more money.

If you are a small company looking to revamp your website, or a new business owner looking to take the plunge into the world of web design..pay attention!

1. Does your web designer have a clue what they are doing at the coding level?

Hopefully, you have done a little bit of research on web design, so you aren’t completely caught with your pants down! You ask the web designer “I want my site to rank on search engines such as Google and Bing, what code will you be using to create my website? Wave that warning flag if you get any of the below answers:

a. Flash
b. Javascript
c. The coding isn’t important, it will just confuse you.
d. I am a good coder must not worry. :0)

Any of these answers should seriously make you question whether or not to pull the plug on the website designer immediately! Flash is largely obsolete of late and rarely used due to its incompatibility on mobile devices. Javascript is a language lost on SEO and using other ambiguous forms of code will simply leave you dead in the water. Your website must be using the approved HTML and CSS based framework if you are ever to have a hope in ranking successfully.

2. Your website falls flat on its face at the first hurdle.

So you have jumped ship and found another web design company (I hope) and they have successfully navigated the first question. You decide to ask the next question: I can’t decide what to have on my homepage, what do you recommend? Answers on a postcard…

a. A splash page asking the user to choose between a Flash site or HTML.
b. An intro page that plays once and then captures the viewer’s info via a cookie.
c. Huge pictures and hardly any text with video players and one link to a contact page.
d. I make a very good homepage with many links and many pictures.

…EJECT… EJECT!!! Splash pages and intros at the root of your website are some of the worst decisions for your poor website content. Search engines look to your first page for the majority of indexable information, so guess what. if there is nothing there, nothing will get indexed! Search engines don’t record data such as images, cookies or built-in apps, so you are starving the process of any quality data. You need quality content and keywords on the homepage to have any hope of good rankings.


Different domain in colouful blocks3. Put them to the test.

So now you understand the minefield that is a web design and SEO, so you have hit the web and studies some more. You decide to ask a question that may surprise your web designer. “What’s the difference between a 301 redirect and a 302 redirect?”

a. They are both identical processes that direct the URL to another.
b. It’s very complicated and would just confuse you.
c. Meta refresh redirects are what we use.
d. Redirects don’t seem to be a problem with your site.

Although they are both a form of redirect, only one (301) will pass on any SEO benefit of inbound links. The worldwide web consortium has discredited the use of meta refresh tags and recommends Javascript instead, should you ever actually need to have pages refresh automatically. Redirects are crucial if you are moving URLs. If there is no continuity in the chain of structure, this will wreak havoc on your search engine rankings.

4. Your web designer is missing small, but crucial details.

You then ask “Does it matter what the URL will be?:

a. This is not important in the slightest. Nobody looks at them, not even the search engines.
b. The URL’s are dynamically generated. This is what a modern website does.
c. The base count factor of the UI and PHP will take care of that.

Your URL is a factor in the overall SEO score for your website. Many frameworks assign an SEO unfriendly URL as standard to any new web page created. Your URL’s should be in plain text and preferably with your keywords in there if possibly. This not only helps the search engines but also the end-user and that is what makes for good SEO in today’s market. Also, never let your web designer try to confuse you and put you off the scent – keep on at them until you fully understand any situation you are unsure of.

5. The blow off.

A blanket red flag should be waved whenever you receive any statement resembling the below ludicrousness.

a. ALL SEO takes place after the website has been designed and is live on the internet.
b. SEO isn’t necessary, your site will rank fine without it.
c. It’s such a complicated business, we think it’s best you don’t worry your head about it.
d. We will get you to #1 on google.

Anyone that promises you #1 on google for your website has a nose like Pinocchio! The web is fluid and ever-changing, so nobody knows where they will fare by the end of the day. If you have other methods of bringing traffic to your website, or lots of traffic isn’t critical to the success of your business, then maybe SEO isn’t a factor in your budget. But if ranking in Google is all you have, then having a dedicated SEO company should be your next port of call after choosing a web designer. If you can get them both to work synergistically together, then you know you have hit the jackpot.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many web design companies that have in-house specialist teams that deal with SEO, but this comes at a premium. The cost of your project will likely multiply by 5x to 10x for this luxury and plethora of highly skilled individuals. If you are working to a budget and you want your new company to succeed in a fiercely competitive market, you need specialists to care for each stage of your venture. There are over 50 weeks and settings that a web designer can incorporate in your initial website design, a few you can do as a client (write good content) and a thousand things a specialist SEO company can do.

Dreamkatcha is dedicated to providing beautiful and responsive websites possible, that are truly SEO friendly. Not only are they stunning and easy to use, but they are built from the very core to outperform the competition, especially when are dedicated SEO company are brought in. If you are a startup business looking for the perfect launch to your new venture, contact us today and we’ll get you out there and ahead of your competition.