What you Need to know about SEO
(before hiring a web designer)
When shopping for a web design firm, many people have heard the term “SEO”, they understand it’s important, but have no idea what is involved, or how it relates to having a website designed. This leads to a lot of clients being led down the garden path by less than ethical companies.
Here’s the essential information you need to know about SEO, when you’re getting your website designed or re-designed, and you care about getting new clients from your website.
SEO & Purchasing a Web Design
First of all, let’s have a look at what SEO is, and what Web Design is.
Step 1) Web design is a one time set of work, to create and launch a website. The work involved (if you’re getting a full custom designed website with Aroma Web Design) is: consultation, design, revisions, programming, testing, creating and testing a mobile version of the site for tablet and phone size and testing this, inserting your content, doing final tweaks, and then launching the website. At the end of that, you have a beautiful custom website that creates the brand for your business, and makes potential clients want to contact you, when they reach the site.
The majority of companies out there, simply purchase, install and configure a template, and then call that web design… that’s a completely different product than the Aroma custom website. However that’s a story for another post.
Step 2) SEO, is an ongoing process of work, that is applied to a website once it has been created. It involves updating a website with content that Google likes, to encourage Google to rank the website higher in it’s index, for specific keywords. This helps people to get to the site, to be impressed by the product of Step 1.
Misuse of the Word SEO in Website Sales
As I mentioned earlier on, the word SEO is commonly used by a lot of less ethical firms, to mislead potential clients that are shopping for a website, into purchasing whatever type of website package they’re trying to sell.
Here’s some of the common terms to watch out for.
- “SEO Included”
A lot of people ask “is SEO included”? The reason for this is that quite a few companies that advertise cheap template web “design” claim “SEO is included”. This statement is very misleading. It implies that SEO is a one time action that can be purchased and then will be effective from then on.Even putting a single keyword in the title of a page, is “SEO”. What these companies often do is quickly pick a few keywords and paste them into the new site that they’ve assembled from whatever template they’re using. Then when this “SEO” does not help, they say “how surprising… perhaps you’d better sign up for our monthly SEO package!”They don’t explain what SEO is, until the client has already purchased a site from them, and then they nail them in the end with SEO packages, as they make their money from collecting these monthly fees. They do not offer the client training or instruction in how to do SEO themselves, as this would be against their interests.In contrast, at Aroma, every design client has the option of purchasing our SEO training, to learn how to save money on the long term, be letting someone internally in their staff, do regular SEO.
- “SEO Friendly” or “SEO Compatible” “SEO Ready”
Any properly designed and properly coded and tested site, is “SEO Friendly” and “SEO Compatible”.Any website on the web, unless it’s build in Flash, is “SEO Ready”. (however if your site does not look good, a redesign is highly recommended before doing heavy SEO – you want visitors to your site to like the site when they get there, not hit the back button!)All of these are misleading sales terms, implying that some additional value exists in the package they’re selling, and implying that a website that is not advertised using these sales terms, is somehow missing something.Ethical companies that do the job right, will not try to bamboozle you with these terms, but instead, they will create a site that is beautifully designed to fit the needs of your company, and properly programmed and tested to grow in the long run.
The Aroma SEO Approach
At Aroma, we believe in transparency. We want our clients to understand that we have their best interests at heart, and fully inform them on what they need to do to achieve their goals. We explain what SEO is, and what is required if you want to get to the top. There’s regular work involved to do it right, and be safe. Doing SEO it’s more like going to the gym a few times a week, rather than like buying an item and having it.
What is involved in full SEO?
Full, proper SEO, includes a market analyses, keyword research, deciding together which keywords you’d like to target, then applying SEO to the initial pages of content: title, meta tags, headers, links, and keyword density all play a part of optimizing a page. Then the core home page and other text pages are optimized for specific keyword groups.
Next, we encourage you to set up (or have us set up for you) Google web-master tools, Google analytics, a Google Plus account, Facebook & Twitter (if this can apply to your business)
Now, additional pages of content need to be added on an ongoing basis to target specific valuable keywords for your industry, which is usually best done in a “news” section, in order not to clutter up the core clean content, with tons of content that was written for Google.
Whenever you have new content on your website, optimized for Google, you then get social media engagement by spreading your fresh content through your social media network. Again, that’s a story for another post.
Doing the work of doing SEO, if you’re serious about making progress, can take from 4-8 hours a month in content building. We can do this work for you… This is the equivalent of paying someone to go to the gym for you. (Personally I wish I could pay someone to go to the gym for me and I could sit back and experience the benefits! 🙂 ) Alternatively, we can teach you to do the regular SEO work yourself, so you can save a lot of money by knowing how to write for Google.
But What About My Website?
Now that you’ve read this article, you’re going to have a foundation of knowlege, how web design and SEO relate. However every website has specific needs, and how much work your site need to get to the top, will depend on how much work your competitors are doing. If you have questions about what your website needs, and how we can help, please get in touch.
Bottom line is that if you’d like to do SEO yourself, we can train you and enable you to do the work in-house in your company, to save many thousands of dollars per year. However if you’d like us to do SEO work for you, we’re available to do your SEO work for you as well.
For a web design quote, and for any questions about SEO, send me an email…
I look forward to chatting with you!