How to make sure your pet web design professional has your back
There’s nothing more tragic than updating your pet website or launching a new site and it’s not designed for SEO (search engine optimization) OR for the best visitor experience.
I’ve heard horror stories about pet businesses working with a web designer who creates “very nice looking sites,” but who didn’t know a thing about SEO. In fact, in a couple of cases over the past few years, web designers have ignored the SEO tags I had written for a client, and therefore completely missed the boat in helping the site generate great Google results. Recently a graphic designer wiped out all the previous SEO content during a site update, and the client lost rankings, traffic and sales as a result — costing her serious revenue. Yikes!
A key component of your website’s success is a pet web design professional who knows how to follow SEO best practices. Here are three ways to make sure your designer has your back.
First, ask about the designer’s experience with SEO and how it works as part of the design. The designer, or a programmer that’s involved with your website, should be familiar with Google Webmaster tools and guidelines, and follow them religiously.
SEO can be very complicated, so you need to have a pro guiding the setup of your website update or launch. For instance, the designer should know to do “301 redirects” for site updates so your old web pages can be linked to your new pages… and you maintain all that excellent site history you worked so hard to build with Google, Bing and other search engines.
You may even want to check out the Google Webmaster videos and guidelines too, so you know what to ask your designer.
Second, ask the designer about their SEO results for other clients. If the designer can show examples of other websites he or she has worked on, and how the design supported SEO efforts, you know you’re in good shape. It would be wise to ask for a reference or two — some of the designer’s clients you can talk with so you feel comfortable.
Third, ask who’s handling SEO copywriting and tags. Who does the keyword research for you, and who writes the content with an eye toward proper search engine optimization? Does the designer have a skilled SEO copywriter on the team, or is he or she winging it? Or worse, does the designer expect YOU to provide all the content, written for SEO? If the designer doesn’t have a formal process for keyword research and SEO copywriting, you may be in trouble. You’ll want to find an SEO copywriter to write the content, and also make sure your designer is open to using that writer’s content in all the right places. This is absolutely critical to the performance of your site!
If you have any questions about web design and SEO, please provide a comment below or contact me. It’s becoming more and more crucial that websites include SEO best practices on every page… blending a beautiful graphic design with optimized content and programming that makes it all work.
Until next time,
Here’s to a successful pet website!