This is important. Not all web designers really understand SEO (search engine optimization) or Google’s best practices for showing up on search. But that is generally not their job. They make the website look good and get it live. Unless you want to hire a marketing agency AFTER your web designer is finished, ask the following questions:
- Are you an SEO specialist?
- Will you custom write the meta descriptions and page titles to optimize each page for search?
- Are your sites GDPR compliant? (new privacy practice laws adopted by the EU in May 2018)
- Are your sites secured with HTTPS? (Google ranking factor)
- Do you include a cookie notification? (GDPR Compliance)
- Do you create a custom favicon for branding my site in a browser>
- Can you help me get my business verified with Google My Business?
- Do you install Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager code for tracking?
- Can you set up custom Google Analytics reports and email them to me each week?
- Do you pull keyword research reports for optimizing content?
- Do you pull competitor analysis reports so that I can compare what I’m doing to my competitors?
If the answers to any of these questions is no, or met with “what do you mean?”, then you might want to shop around. Simply comparing prices doesn’t give you an accurate representation of what you will be getting for your money.
Most small businesses and organizations don’t realize the difference between a website designer, website developer and marketing agency. I have seen it time and time again where a small business starting out, spends $5000 with a website designer only to discover that they are getting no traffic to their website. Your web designer should know enough to explain what will happen when your site goes live. Google takes its time to decide where to place you in the organic search results. They look at content quality and quantity, backlinks, domain authority and 200 other factors which affect rank. Depending on your area and how competitive your industry is, it can take 6 months to 2 years (or maybe never) to show up on page one, if you just wait for organic ranking. And that’s if you are doing everything right! You need to check content, have custom-written meta descriptions and page titles, proper links, write a regular blog with GOOD content, have videos and FAQs. These all affect rank. Of course the fastest way to show up and get qualified traffic is through paid search, or “pay-per-click” advertising, AKA Google AdWords. But if your web designer doesn’t know that, you are sort of stuck. They are generally not holding out on you, they just don’t know what they don’t know.
Going with an agency that is a Google Partner is always a safe bet. Google Partners are trained in understanding search and how to achieve the best results using a number of methods. Get our FREE 9-point Digital Marketing Guide for a list of factors that we address when we design a website.
Remember, if your website can’t be found, it’s not doing your business any good.