We cannot stress this enough. If you are going to spend thousands of dollars on a new Web design, don’t design that new site without SEO.
Also, do not “assume” that because you have found a great Web designer that they understand the ins and outs of SEO. Designers design Web sites -- the photos, the layout, the bells and whistles.
SEO is an additional “crafting” process that is all its own. But yet, it must be integrated into the design effort.
Beware of any Web designer who suggests during the Web design process “a picture speaks a thousand words”. Remember, humans can see that beautiful image, but the search engines need to have text in order to index your site properly. You must include relevant text on each and every page that is intended for optimization. Text stored as an image is still only an image in Google’s eyes.
How do you tell if it’s real text or just an image impersonating text? Left click and drag your mouse over the words you see on the screen; if they highlight, they are real text.
If you see a symbol and no highlighting, then you know it’s only an image impersonating text.
No matter what anyone says, SEO must be in place for your new site to be seen at its highest potential!
If you ever hear a design company say, “Well, with our gorgeous new Web design you’ll have so many conversions, you won’t need to worry about SEO. Trust us, you’ll have plenty of business.”
Run! Run Away Fast! It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your new site design is. It doesn’t matter if you have a really low bounce rate, and it doesn’t matter how many directories your site is listed on.
YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY LOSE BUSINESS WITHOUT PROPER SEO.
How much business? Acorn customers who have had their sites made Search Engine Friendly enjoy an average of 25% of their bookings from Organic placement. That’s a fourth (or ¼) of all the bookings they are getting at no ongoing monthly cost once we’ve made their site Search Engine Friendly. IE: We applied the appropriate SEO techniques for high placement.
Also, when you request bids from various providers, make sure you compare apples to apples. Not all design companies include robust and complete SEO. Again, Education comes into play.
Don’t be FOOLED. If a company won’t take the time to explain their process to you before the contract is signed, you can imagine how well they will explain how they do SEO once you send them the check. Chapter 9 – New Designs and SEO
Finally, we can’t stress this enough:
• Ask Questions!
• Get Details!
• Get PROOF!
If the SEO is not going to be included on all pages, or it doesn’t include metas, content and internal links, then you’ll need to hire two companies to work together: one for design and one for SEO, which could change the cost of your project.
Again, remember to always check those References, not only on the Design portion of your site, but also on the SEO portion.
Just because a company has lovely designs in their portfolio, DOES NOT mean they have SEO experience. Do your homework.
Don’t be FOOLED!
President and Co-Founder
Acorn Internet Services, Inc.
Educating our Industry One Innkeeper at a Time...
© 2009 Acorn Internet Services, Inc. All rights reserved. Published in the United States of America. No part of this blog entry may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the authors. Making copies of any part of this blog entry for any purpose other than your own personal use is a violation of United States copyright laws. This blog entry is distributed as is, without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. While every precaution has been taken in the development of this blog entry, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, nor is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information or instructions contained herein.
This excerpt is from our Acorn Booklet "Don't Be Fooled" Chapter 9 – New Designs and SEO.