seoMaybe, maybe not. My husband knows how to make really great sandwiches, but does that mean he should open a sub shop? We have talked about starting our own restaurant some day, but we both know that there is a lot more than just making a great sandwich to run a successful restaurant.

Consider this same analogy between a web designer and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert. Designers rarely understand SEO let alone know how to implement it into a website.  Believe it or not, an astonishing number of website designers don’t have a clue about what SEO even means!

As a website is created and built, there must be an understanding about how web spiders crawl through websites checking for backlinks, HTML coding, content/copywriting, navigation, loading of website pages, meta tags and so forth.

Trying to implement an SEO strategy after a website has already been created can be a time consuming and expensive task. Why, you ask? If SEO wasn’t initially designed into the site, chances are there will be many structural and major design issues that will need to be addressed and changed after the fact.

Looks can also be deceiving when trying to choose a web designer. A web design agency can have a beautiful portfolio, but that doesn’t mean you should consider them qualified to create your website and implement your SEO strategy? Flash video clips, heavy image sites and audio may actually damage your business in terms of search engine rankings and hinder the user experience.

The way a website looks is only one factor of its success. A website design must be SEO and PEOPLE (user) friendly by being quick to download, and easy to navigate. Remember our restaurant example? A restaurant can have the most charming ambience, but if the food and service are poor, it can undermine its success.

If all your web designer talks about are meta keywords and they do not mention anything about link building or site architecture, consider this a red flag! If they promise you first place search engine rankings right away, they are also misleading you. There is no easy or fast way and it takes time to rise in the search engine rankings.

Looking for and finding an agency/designer that can build an attractive website and really understands how to create powerful search engine friendly sites IS possible. Take your time and don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions because it will definitely be worth your effort and time!

We’ve heard a lot of horror stories through the years about web developers, hosting companies and SEO firms. Anything you would like to share including SEO tips or advice?