Are you considering building or redesigning a website for your business? Is SEO part of the process?
This morning I was doing some preliminary website reviews for the students in my upcoming workshop and my head started to explode. Nearly every one of them was missing multiple factors that are critical to search engine optimization and should have been addressed when the website was designed.
Unfortunately most people don’t understand how critical the design of a website is as it relates to being found by the search engines. It’s of no value to have a pretty website if no one can find it or use it. Search Engine Optimization, the process of optimizing websites so they are found on Google, is critical to the success of any website and shouldn’t be an afterthought.
My colleague and fellow instructor, Sue Cooper, wrote a post that I had to revisit: Web Development – you get what you pay for. I think it’s become too easy for anyone to call themselves a web designer. With all of the tools and workshops available almost anyone can learn how to build a website and position themselves as a designer. What’s missing is a working knowledge of how to do search engine optimization among both business owners and web designers.
Not only that, it’s getting easier and easier to build a website yourself. I did a search on “how to build a website” and got over 700,000 results in exactly .37 seconds. Many people are drawn to the “simplicity” and “low cost” that are perceived to come along with a do it yourself website. A search on “web design agency” yielded over 100,000,000 choices. Holy buckets – how does one even know where to begin?
Top 6 SEO Website Design Mistakes:
- Poorly structured navigation – category structure is either missing or too complicated for a visitor to easily find what they are looking for.
- Over use of images – pictures are nice and add an aspect of visual interest, but without content the search engines won’t wind the page.
- Use of flash to display important content like menus and service listings – search engines can’t read flash, all of that great content gone to waste.
- Unoptimized page content – missing keywords in page titles, meta descriptions, heading tags, and sometimes even body copy.
- No Analytics or Web Master tools installed – if you cant’ measure it, how do you know if it’s working?
- Duplicate content, particularly in title tags and meta descriptions – each page should have it’s own unique content.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Web Designers who make these mistakes are doing it intentionally, I truly believe that they don’t know that they should be taking SEO into consideration. SEO has also changed a lot over the past few years, so websites that might have been ok a few years ago have fallen behind and it’s time for an update.
The search engine marketing workshops offered at the Search Engine Academy equip business owners with the knowledge needed to choose a direction for designing or redesigning a website. If you’re a Web Designer, the knowledge will enable you to create a great experience for your clients.
What may seem like a simple and affordable solution, may end up costing you more than you bargained for in the long run. A website designed with SEO in mind is a website that is designed for success.
Check out the upcoming courses and make sure your website is everything you want it to be.
Until next time.