Why You Should Hire a Professional Web Designer Who Understands SEO
Some people will be surprised to hear that there are still some first and second generation websites online today that paid no attention to on-site SEO and they still rank relatively well in the Portland local market. As much as these websites might have served a purpose a few years back, they might be doing more harm than good right now [read “bounce rate”] especially with the increase in competition in the local PDX Metro market online. After all, what good is a website that simply pays no attention to user experience? How are your customers supposed to find, associate with and like your brand if your online portal does not attract or encourage them to do so? Do search engines even still rank these websites? The answer is yes – for now – in some cases.
The Importance of On-Site SEO in Web Design
Today, almost every business owner with a website wants to be number one on search engine result pages but not every website is properly structured or optimized to be on the first page of Google. This takes time, SEO and continuous effort. Unfortunately, most of these business owners, thanks to being overwhelmed with the technical terminology surrounding SEO, tend to think that this entire process is shrouded in darkness and is the realm of shady SEO experts. The truth is that, any professional company for web design Portland Oregon should be able to do an average job in setting up a website, but a trip over to GTMetrix.com, Pingdom.com or the Google PageSpeed tool seems to indicate otherwise. From the inception of the website design, to the execution and the maintenance of the site, everything should work in harmony to create the perfect portal for your clients to get information and make a buying decision. Without on-site SEO, your off-site SEO efforts in terms of backlinking and social media movement will fall short and even experience resistance as far as improving your search engine ranking is concerned.
This brings us back to the first and second generation websites we talked about earlier. Since many of these sites had no on-site SEO configured into their design, we are talking about web design aspects such as:
- Overall website aesthetics
- Loading speeds
- Image compression
- Meta content
- The appropriate use of headers
- The ease with which a visitor can find and read the desired text
- The kind of images and videos embedded within the site
- Ease of website navigation and so on
Since all these things weren’t as important an issue when many older sites were designed, today, almost every visitor finding themselves on these sites will leave immediately unless the information is excellent. This leads to something called ‘Pogo sticking’. This is when a customer lands on your website and immediately logs off and goes to your competitor’s site because they did not like the aesthetics of yours. Search engines take the rate at which clients ‘pogo stick’ your website and treat this as a sign that it is not optimized in a manner to increase positive user experience. And since every search engine is in the business of pleasing their clients, they will stop suggesting your website as a solution to online searches. As a result, your site will lose valuable organic traffic.
Why Hire a Portland Web Designer Who Understands SEO?
Proper SEO (search engine optimization) is a marriage between web design and internet marketing. It is that simple. These two aspects have to go hand in hand. If you have a web designer who does not pay attention to:
- How the load speeds affects the rate at which people leave your site (almost two thirds of your visitors will leave if your site takes longer than 3 seconds to load)
- How proper website structure and design appeals to the human eye (certain colors get a warmer reception than others thus encouraging further website exploration)
- How important it is to interlink the internal webpages so that both users and search engines can easily navigate through the site
- How broken links within your pages negatively affect your overall ranking
- What mages and video formats improve your ranking
- If your website is responsive (it looks and functions well on mobile devices)
Not only will you end up with a website that perpetually works against your internet marketing efforts, but you will also have a site that requires constant maintenance. This in itself can be expensive.
It takes about the same amount of time to carry out on-page SEO on an already completed website as it does to have a completely new website designed. The only difference is that trying to have on-page SEO performed on a poorly designed website (one that did not take SEO into account) will cost you more time and a great deal of money. And still not perform as well as it should.
It makes more sense to hire a web designer in Portland Oregon who understands SEO to design your business website. This is someone who will approach the entire web design project with the user – as well as the search engine – experience in mind. Not only will this individual design a website that appeals to the users by being easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing, but they will also ensure that the search engine bots that determine how high a website ranks on their result pages, have an easy time navigating and indexing your site. This greatly improves your chances to rank high on Google and other search engines.
Website SEO Is Increasingly About Responsive Web Design and User Experience
Another issue that affects almost every first and second generation website is that they aren’t responsive. Today, almost everyone surfing the net does so through one kind of hand held device or another. It is projected that in just under 5 years, almost every single person with access to the internet will be doing so through their smartphone. This means that your website needs to be able to respond to the kind of hand held device any one of your users could be using and to properly fit on the associated screen. This goes towards increasing the all-important user experience.
Unless your web designer understands all this, you will be fighting a losing battle. There is a lot to be done if you are to rank as number one on search engine result pages. Not only do you need relevant content that is easy to digest and appeals to your audience all the while being useful and effective in their lives, but you also need to pay attention to periodic algorithm changes that determine the ranking parameters. All this takes coordination and a solid internet marketing strategy. The backbone and basis of this strategy should be having a website that has in-built on-site SEO capabilities. Otherwise, no matter how much off-site internet marketing you do; no matter how many clicks you lead back to your site through these efforts, they will always leave as soon as they land.
Contact us today if you want to have an SEO optimized web designed or if you want us to evaluate your existing site for SEO optimization.
Michael Emery, founder of Sapid Agency, received a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Advertising Management from Portland State University and a Master of Arts from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He has been involved in online marketing since 2006.