Isn’t My Web Designer Supposed To SEO My Site?

This post isn’t likely to make me many friends from those in the Web Design community but you know what they say… “sometimes, the truth hurts.”

The problem is that the “left hand” generally has no idea what the “right hand” is doing and as a result, important details are left undone. In this case, the left hand represents the web designer and the right hand represents the client.

Most client’s assume that their web designer will be SEO’ing their website. Most web designers assume that the client will hire a specialist to handle the Search Engine Optimization tasks.

Do you see where this is going?

After the web designer has finished their part, they put the site live. The client reviews the work, marvels at the beauty, and makes the final payment. The problem is that the site has not been SEO’d at all and the client is completely unaware of this fact.

I’ve seen sites that have been live for years that still have “meta titles” that read, “Untitled Document.” This is a sure sign that no SEO work has even been done and the site’s traffic rankings are usually hideous.

Now, I’m not blaming the web designers of the world because I don’t think it’s their place to SEO the sites they build in the first place. I do, however, believe that they should communicate that fact with their clients. Some web designers perform basic SEO to the sites they are building and some outsource the work to a SEO Consultant.

Regardless of what is done in terms of SEO, the topic should be discussed with the client. This way, the client will understand what it is they’re paying for and will know to look for a SEO Consultant if that work isn’t being performed.

WordPress SEO Basics

WordPress is a great platform for building both blogs and websites but there a number of things you can do to improve the on-page optimization.

If you only concentrate on improving three things, these top the list:

Permalinks

The Permalink structure controls how WordPress dynamically creates the url to your Pages and Posts and the default structure isn’t that great.

Here’s an example…

Let’s say you publish a Page named, “Contact Us.” By default, the generated url would look something like: YourDomain.com/?p=2

Do you see the “?p=2” portion after the main domain name?

That portion is called the “Permalink” and is generated dynamically by WordPress as soon as you publish the Page. The “?p=2” looks a bit strange to human visitors and doesn’t tell the search engines anything about the on-page content.

While there are a number of Permalink structure options, I prefer using the custom “/%postname%/” structure.

After making this change, the “Contact Us” Page would now get a website url structure like this: YourDomain.com/contact-us
This makes more sense for visitors and will improve the relevance for the keyword phrases contained in your Post/Page titles.

Improving Your On Page SEO

The most popular SEO Plugin for WordPress is called the “All In One SEO Pack,” by Michael Torbert.

Installing it will give you a number of benefits including:

•    The ability to control the “meta title” for your homepage and for every Page/Post you create.
•    Control over the “meta page description” for your homepage and for every Page/Post you create.
•    Control over the “meta keywords” for your homepage and for every Page/Post you create (if you’re still in the habit of entering meta keywords).

Website Performance Improvements

The “WP Super Cache” plugin, by Donncha, will help your pages load faster for visitors and search engine robots (aka bots or search engine crawlers).

How it does this is a bit technical but I will do my best to explain…

Instead of serving up the dynamic WordPress pages the plugin generates static html files. After it generates the files, your webserver will serve those files instead of the WordPress PHP scripts (which are heavier and slower loading).

As this criteria now plays a role in the search engine algorithm, you enhance your ability to rank in the SERPs.

If you need a website designed or optimized for the search engines, be sure to contact us as

support@page1marketinggroup.com

We serve Wilmington NC and surrounding counties “face-to-face” but we work with clients nationwide.